Web personalization: what is it and why is it so important?

The idea of ​​this post is to show everything that can be customized and give some tips on how to create a customization template to be more effective with your site

Web personalization is the process of creating customized experiences for your audience, based on their behavior, needs, desires, profile, location and other characteristics. Web personalization can be used to increase conversion rate, to sell more, or to increase product engagement, for customer retention, for example.

First, that story of making a campaign to reach everyone is no longer effective, regardless of the channel used, such as email, social media, paid media, newspaper and even television. The latter, in addition to being expensive, is not focused on the individual.

Personalization is a critical component of your marketing activities , it’s important to create a great experience for your consumers and bring about the best conversions.

A great example to illustrate:

For a marketing analyst, chances are high that he will not generate results if the same marketing email is sent to his entire base.

Its database is complex and made up of multiple segments and different types of consumers. Each will have different interests in specific products and services. Even inserting the variable “ Hello , *|FIRST NAME|*” keeps the same communication, offers and a piece of content that for everyone is not effective.

We can see that they do the same on the website. They offer the same experience to each visitor, without paying attention to their behavior, their attributes to establish a connection.

It is quite common for the analyst to think about the increase in audience and forget to speak individually with the visitor to your website.

The main metrics for conversion, lead generation  and sales are marketing activities that come from your website. And personalization is the means to be more effective and measure the impact of these actions .

A recent survey by VB Insight showed that 87% of companies see an increase in these metrics when they customize their marketing actions. According to the DemandGen survey , 70% of buyers have indicated that a seller site was the biggest channel of influence in the buying decision.

What is web personalization?

The term web personalization refers to the dynamic and personalized creation of online experiences , in order to give them maximum relevance and improve the experience for visitors and consumers.

This is done based on their behavior, location or attributes.

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What can you customize on your website?

First of all, it is necessary to define in 3 elements to be customized:

  • attributes
  • Collect
  • Interface

What are the attributes?

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  • Behavior: by user browsing data such as pages visited, time on a particular page, click on any button or link.
  • Demographics: referring to the IP of the region or country. In this way, it is possible to change the language or regional elements. In some cases, with user data, it can be customizable by gender and age;
  • Firmographics: are characteristics of organizations and firm data. For example: company size in number of employees, area of ​​expertise or industry, revenue and other data related to the organization;
  • Contextual: by device used by the user, type of group or vertical focused on some theme. Example: if you have a sports ecommerce, it would be for a “tennis” vertical.

How to collect?

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  • Buyer stage by website behavior: can identify the stage by mapping parts of the website with tracking pixels from Google Analytics , Facebook Pixel and other tracking tools, can retrieve who has passed a cart page, but you haven’t made the purchase yet.
  • Interest (Lead Scoring): defining scores according to a certain interest, Lead Scoring rules and automations can be created . For example, for a Lead with more than 4 conversions in a tech material you can send emails or offer content related to tech.
  • Data/Base (CRM): by segmenting the database of your Leads, you can separate them into direct campaigns for each type of Lead or moment. Example: separate Leads by age, gender, regions, decision-making positions, etc.

How do I present?

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  • Custom fields: by collecting form fields from your website or Landing Page , you can offer personalized content according to the interests of these Leads
  • Dynamic areas: are parts presented with content of interest to the user. Example: the website changes the language according to the country where the user is located.
  • Integrated campaign: when you target a base according to a certain interest and send content to them. Example: when you target positions of directors make a communication for that position.

3 examples of web personalization to inspire your business

To understand in practice, check out three web personalization cases, which are part of our new Complete Web Personalization Manual :

Grupo Pão de Açúcar: customized offers for customers

Retail giant, Grupo Pão de Açúcar has invested in technology to gain more market share and consumer life.

Through the Pão de Açúcar Mais application , customers receive personalized product offers and also suggestions for other discounted items that may be of interest to them. All based on the purchase history and preferences of each of the consumers.

The results indicate that the strategy is going very well. Four months after the application’s launch, which took place in May 2017, the loyal customer base grew by 6%.

According to the retailer, today more than 80% of purchases made at Pão de Açúcar stores are already made by participants in the relationship program.

Optimizely: customize to convert more

After four years of optimizations, Optimizely , the conversion optimization platform , has achieved the best possible version of the site itself. At that time, any change had minimal results.

If they wanted to engage more potential customers and raise their conversion rate, managers would need to radically change the homepage.

That’s what they did: they created 26 customized versions of the home page. Visitors not only identified with the action but also tweeted about it. Look!

web cases personalization optimizely

The result was that the custom pages performed better than the old and unique home page. In numbers:

  • engagement increased 1.5%
  • the conversion rate in the “Solutions” tab grew 113%
  • the CTA conversion rate to create a test account has gone up 117%

Spotify: customizing every list

By the end of July 2018, the music streaming platform Spotify had registered no less than 83 million paid subscribers. Three months earlier, there were 75 million paying users. Compared to the same period in 2017, the rate is 40% higher.

At the heart of this accelerated growth is the company’s quest to innovate and adapt to user needs, delivering tailor-made experiences for each of them.

The platform expresses this idea in all its lyrics: “the playlists that Spotify creates just for you, like Discovery of the Week and News Radar, are based on your habits (what you like, share, save and even what you skip ) and also those of people with similar tastes”.

 

Weekly News: Twitter on “The return of the arrobas that weren’t”

The social network announced that it was going to delete inactive accounts and provoked unexpectedly emotional reactions from tweeters

We have come to the end of the last week of the penultimate month of the last ten years. This, as we have discussed at length here, means absolutely nothing. Even if we do not believe in the past and the future, as there is only the present, the symbolism persists and we end up being touched by sentimental issues.

Perhaps due to the proximity of Christmas and the renewal of hopes of the abstraction called New Year, this week’s news tour addresses themes that concern an internet that has already been. Perhaps, even, to an internet that could have been or that naively chose not to be. So, Twitter and Tim Berners-Lee are here.

Well, the fact is that our next news post will only be in December. And shortly thereafter, 2019 will come to an end. Another certainty we have is that our newsletter will continue to be delivered regularly on Fridays, bringing positivity to your inbox. If you haven’t signed up yet, you have another chance below. Afterwards, continue reading the post!

Twitter in “The return of the arrobas that were not”

To say that Twitter has gone into an uproar in the past week may seem redundant. After all, twitterers are always upset for some reason every day, getting involved in arguments that sometimes, unfortunately, escalate into verbal violence. However, in recent days, a subject recalled the root era of the social network: the arrobas.

In the early days of microblog, choosing a good username was essential to show who you were, whether it was your name or a nickname. Many people even came to be known by @. Right at the beginning, but really, it was easier to get what you wanted. Now, it’s almost impossible, forcing the use of numbers and other subterfuges.

Much of this is due to users who made their accounts and then left their profiles indefinitely. I, for example, have an @ well ok, which has my first and last name. However, I always wanted something shorter, like @volps – it’s easier to quote, taking up less space, even with character enlargements. It was always a stillborn profile, though.

Cut to 2019

Because this week, out of the blue, Twitter sent a warning  that it would start deleting accounts from December 11th. The criteria was very simple: if the user has not logged in in the last 6 months, he would have the account disabled. The internet – or the twitterers – had the party: thousands, maybe millions of arrobas would be released, and many people have already started to map theirs.

But soon the problems started. Automated accounts, which aren’t always evil bots, would disappear. Those that post links directly, for example, as well as others that are dedicated to tracking deleted tweets from politicians and authorities. The biggest criticism, however, came from an unexpected emotional relationship of many users: dead people.

You may have already seen a memorial account on Facebook, which is offered to relatives of deceased users who want to keep their profile. It is an important way of dealing with grief for many people. Twitter doesn’t have that. Many profiles of people who are gone, therefore, would disappear on December 11th, saddening friends and relatives.

Twitter decides to rethink

Faced with this strongly emotional repercussion, Twitter announced, the next day, that it would rethink the sudden disappearance of the inactive arrobas . The justification was really linked to the tweeters who have already left us: no one would be removed until the social network figured out how to deal with these profiles that are so important to many people.

In addition, the company explained that it already had a policy to delete inactive profiles, but did not exercise it. And with GDPR, the European data protection law, you need to take this more seriously. In the end, this case reminds us of the real and extremely personal connections we have to social media. They can help you deal with tremendous pain.

There is no forecast of deletion of profiles in Brazil, for now, but maybe it’s worth logging into your inactive Twitter account. Maybe you’ll remember when that was a lot more fun. Just be careful with the virulence there.

Web Inventor Launches Plan to Save It

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, wants to save it from himself. He launched this week Contract for the Web , a global action plan to make the online world safer and empower the people within it. The document was prepared for about 1 year by more than 80 organizations, and has the support of 150, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

He told the  British Guardian newspaper as follows :

If we leave the web as it is today, there are many things that will go wrong. We could end up in digital dystopia if we don’t change things. It’s not that we need a 10-year plan for the web, we need to change it now.

The contract has 9 principles, divided equally into 3 large groups. See below, in free translation:

governments

  1. Ensure that everyone can connect to the internet
  2. Keep the internet available at all times
  3. Respect and protect people’s fundamental rights to online and data privacy

Companies

  1. Making the internet accessible and at a price people can afford
  2. Respect and protect people’s data privacy to build trust online
  3. Develop technologies that support the best of humanity and face the worst of it

citizens

  1. Being creators and collaborators on the web
  2. Build strong communities that respect civilized conversations and human dignity
  3. Fight for the web

ET returns to visit Elliot 37 years later

Since the theme of this post is the longing for a past that doesn’t come back, let’s talk a little about someone who came back: ET, the extraterrestrial. The sympathetic alien eternalized in Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film, has appeared again on Earth. And he came to visit his old friend, Elliot. This is the plot of an advertisement for Xfinity, a company that provides internet services, video streaming and other technological possibilities.

The theme is precisely the possibilities of connecting the modern world, which Elliot and his family happily present to the space friend. There are multiple references to the film, awakening nostalgia in the group that is in their 30s, 40s and 50s. No I’m not crying, you’re the one crying.

 

5 reasons to start investing in SEO today

The expected result is rewarding, both in terms of your website’s conversion and your brand positioning and perception of your target audience

SEO is a set of techniques used so that those who use internet search engines (Google, Bing, for example) reach your site organically, that is, without the use of paid media. The main techniques used are: content creation, link building, SEO Tech and user experience.

Imagine that you are looking for a material about Digital Marketing . If you don’t have a good indication, most likely what you’ll do is Google it , right?

Now think how many people are doing this right now about what you offer. I’m sure there are thousands of users looking for solutions that your company offers, and if they aren’t reaching you, it’s time to invest in SEO

But what is SEO? (and why invest)

SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization , or in free translation, it is the optimization for search engines.

In other words, it is a set of techniques used for those who use internet search engines (Google, Bing, for example) to reach your site organically, that is, without the use of paid media.

For you to have an idea, around 70% of the traffic on the results of the Digital Results blog comes from organic search, that is, these visits are the result of the work with the optimization of our pages.

Given concept, I quote here 5 good reasons for you to invest in SEO.

1. Invest in what is really yours

Ever wondered what your biggest asset on the internet is? I would say the best answer is: your website. It will stay with you for as long as your company is active, it is there that people will know what you do, what are the advantages of your business and what you have the best to offer.

But what about social media ? They are extremely important in the most diverse points of the Digital Marketing strategy, however, they are not your patrimony.

Imagine if 10 years ago we had invested a very high amount betting all our chips on Orkut? Surely what appeared to be something very clear could be a disaster.

Investing in SEO for your website is investing in something you really own, it is betting on your greatest asset on the internet and reaping the rewards of hard work, however very valuable.

2. Get space on the 1st page of Google

Being on the first page of Google does not mean that your company provides a better service or has a product with much higher quality than your competition. Being among the top means that your SEO work is being done well and that your content is relevant.

However, for the more lay public and that uses the internet for research purposes, the feeling is that Google appoints you as one of the best in your market.

Here, small and large companies compete together for the same market . All the more reason to invest in SEO.

3. Be the reference your user is looking for

The more searches you have on the first pages, the greater will be your authority in the area in which you work.

People are looking for relevant data, solutions to problems, tips to improve their daily lives and much more. And if in these cases the searches were related to themes that your company operates, surely the brand that it will see as a market reference will be yours.

And it’s not enough to just produce content, you need to be aligned with ranking techniques so that your website is always ahead of the competition, that is, it is once again necessary to invest in SEO.

4. Increase your website visits (and sell more)

Being on the first pages of search engines is synonymous with more visits. Optimizing your site will make your navigation easier and your content, as well as rich, may be even more attractive. Result: increased search volume, new conversions on your site, more Leads to relate and much more chance of new customers .

A site with no updates and no use of SEO techniques will not generate recurring hits and will lose relevance over time, going from a site with the potential to generate a lot of business to a mere static virtual business card with very few hits .

5. Increase the quality of your ads

If you are thinking of investing in Google Ads and making your campaigns even better, it is essential to focus on SEO.

Google Ads measures your ad position using the Quality Score . It estimates (along with the bid) which position your ad will be placed in the auction. The Quality Score is divided into CTR ( click-through rate or click-through rate ), the relevance of the keywords and the quality of the page that will be accessed, and it is in this last point that SEO comes into play.

Optimizing the page for the user (among other factors) includes original content, relevant data and other information that the most diverse SEO techniques can help make browsing the best experience possible. After all, it’s no use clicking on an ad looking for one thing and finding another, right?

And one more important aspect: having the page optimized can make your bid cost less than expected . One more point for SEO!

Investing in SEO in times of crisis

With the Covid-19 pandemic and the quarantine, the way many companies and people work changed. The home office became a reality, in addition to the digitalization of many businesses in order to guarantee their survival during this period.

With this, more than ever it is the time to invest in SEO, because it is not enough just to be in the digital environment and have a website, your business, products and/or services need to be found by people, that is, to be on Google .

With the Coronavirus crisis, those who were already doing SEO work ended up getting more results, as they probably already had well-positioned pages. However, even if you never invested in SEO or didn’t know what it was about before reading this post, now is the time!

Warning: SEO is not overnight

Optimizing a website and seeing it grow takes a while. You can add at least 3 to 6 months to your schedule. But little by little, the results are accumulating and the gains are rewarding.

Investing in SEO is a fundamental point to achieve medium to long term results . It needs to be worked on constantly and you must always be aware of the new rules of the game.

However, the expected result is rewarding, both in terms of conversion of your website and your brand positioning and perception of your target audience .

It’s really worth investing in SEO 🙂

To learn more, download the Complete SEO Guide , a material with everything you need to know to stay on the first page of Google and attract more qualified visitors.

 

6 basic tips for your technology company to conquer market through the internet

Here are some simple and easy-to-apply tips for you to position yourself on the internet by attracting customers to your product. Check out!

We know that among the biggest difficulties faced by technology companies is gaining market share and becoming a reference in what they offer. And the way to get there is usually not an easy one, as competition is great, the target audience is often unprepared to understand such a product or service, and the flood of information on the web continues to grow. Building trust takes effort and time, but some shortcuts can be added to get your business there faster.

With that in mind, we’ve put together some simple tips for you to position yourself on the internet by attracting customers to your product. Check out.

1. Interact through social media

This topic seems obvious, but many people still miss the opportunity to use social media fully and strategically. They use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn only to publicize the content they produce or replicate from other portals. Some companies don’t even invest in as many networks as Google+, Instagram, SlideShare, Youtube or the newest of live video transmissions like Periscope , which have brought excellent results for several companies.

Social networks are based on interaction. So, participate in discussions, answer comments and questions that have to do with your product in groups and other pages and interact with other companies. This helps build trust, shows authority on the subject and gives credibility to your brand. Using social networks in a genuine way based on the proposal of each one, relating to users, is to increase the chances of having them as future customers.

2. Advertise on sites that are reference in your industry

This tip demands financial investment, but it can also bring surprising results. If your product is a health app to help people stop smoking, for example, you can search search engines for the first sites that are organically ranked in the “stop smoking tips” search.

Most news portals use Google’s advertising system, allowing you to place your website or a specific Landing Page on the portal through the Adwords display network . This is a way to strategically go after customers and, even not getting the first placements of your content for those keywords, gain visibility among your target audience (who have already recognized that they have a problem but so far not knows your solution). Also, when you finally arrive organically on the first page of searches, people will already be familiar with your brand and bringing them to your company’s website will be even easier.

3. Participate in specific forums

The idea here is the same as that of social networks: interact and show that you understand the subject, becoming a reference in the area. The difference is that in these forums you will find people with even more specific knowledge in that area and with more punctual questions, which can be considered from the middle or bottom of a funnel .

This audience is usually even more prepared to understand your solution and how it can help you overcome problems or improve processes, ie, to buy it. Some examples of technology forums to participate in Brazil are: IT Forum 365 , Techtudo , UOL , Imasters , Script Brasil and TechNet .

4. Join Quora

Despite being a social network, Quora is worth a special topic, as it can be considered the largest knowledge-sharing social network. What this means? That the dynamic of questions and answers on this platform, which is very similar to a forum, has moved several areas of knowledge. And, in the case of technology, we can highlight it even more.

Many people use Quora to ask questions about technology and the social network usually ranks very well (on the first page) some types of questions about SaaS, such as “I’m thinking about buying this product X, does anyone recommend?”. Always be aware of curiosities number one, that is, the first pages of results and look for questions and assessments left by common people, not companies, to answer them.

The point here, again, is to build trust and gain visibility. So don’t participate by just saying that you offer software for that niche. Introduce yourself really engaged to try to help with the issues raised. If you can provide truly qualitative answers, people will likely go after your profile and can see that you, for example, are the CEO of a SaaS company that offers a useful solution to their problem. This way, you will be able to enter the list of hiring possibilities without even having to offer your product or service.

5. Create your own forum

If participating in forums can already bring incredible results to gain authority and promote the brand, imagine creating your own discussion space. If this solution is viable for your company, do not hesitate to put it into practice. Thus, your organization will be largely responsible for generating a dialogue around the theme that your product is inserted.

In this space you can indicate your rich materials or blog posts within each topic raised, or just submit answers that really help the participants. This will not only generate buzz for your business, it will also help your target audience take more steps towards their education on the subject.

Many technology companies have already invested in this strategy and obtained very interesting results, as is the case of Rock Content, RD’s partner that created the Content Marketing Forum , which addresses several topics related to content production for marketing. In addition to gaining authority on the subject, your business will position itself as a reference in the market, attracting new customers without major efforts from the sales or marketing team.

6. Work with marketing automation

It’s no use attracting visitors to your site with all the tips already mentioned if you can’t turn them into Leads and keep them close, nourishing them with other content until they’re ready for purchase. Working with marketing automation is to avoid wasting all the effort you’ve had so far. This strategy facilitates a closer and more personalized relationship through segmentation, in addition to allowing you to educate your Leads explaining why a product like yours is relevant to them. To learn everything about the subject, from theory to practice, we recommend reading our eBook “Marketing Automation” .

Despite conquering an increasing space in the Digital Marketing of companies and bringing real and measurable results, there are few organizations in Brazil that invest in automation and, therefore, those who use this resource end up coming out ahead. The use of marketing automation is to close with a flourish (before sending to sales) all the strategies that have been carried out so far.

 

News of the Week: 15 Years of First YouTube Video

In 18 seconds, one of YouTube’s co-founders showed his visit to a zoo in a video and changed the story.

The world of technology continues to revolve around the coronavirus pandemic. Our weekly news post features some of these lighter stories for you to chill out on Friday and the weekend. Today, we talk about the 15th anniversary of the first YouTube video. It also has a new use for Boston Dynamics robots.

Remembering that you can subscribe to our newsletter. In it, you will receive, once a week, a summary of all the content we publish here on the blog, with links to read more. Just register below! Afterwards, keep reading to know some news about tech and Digital Marketing.

YouTube celebrates 15 years of its first video

Fifteen years ago, on April 23, 2005, Jawed Karim produced and posted on the internet a video that would change human history. The production did not have great artistic value, nor did it revolutionize narrative or cinematic aesthetics. It would be very difficult to do this in 18 seconds, but enjoy Jawed’s work below and do your own assessment.

“Me at the zoo” is nothing extraordinary – I mean, going to a zoo these days would be awesome – besides being the first video uploaded on YouTube. Jawed Karim is one of the co-founders of the site and was honored to inaugurate it. Perhaps, if I knew I was rewriting (or reshooting) history, I would have done something better.

Or not, because the idea of ​​YouTube was really to be something like you on TV. Over time, mega productions were arriving. For example, my first video there was “The Adventures of the Hangover Man” , in 2007, made in the Telejournalism discipline at UFSC. Unfortunately this revolutionary work is no longer available, but today I appear in RD videos.

And you, have you posted a lot on YouTube or do you just watch what other people and companies put on there? And your video consumption habits with social isolation changed? Those in the world have changed.

YouTube publishes study on social isolation

You may have read that video consumption increases a lot during the quarantine period. We will talk more about this below, and we have already talked here about the  peak of internet consumption in Brazil . Well, Google, owner of YouTube, released a study about the new habits of users of the video platform .

The main information is the list with the 5 most researched topics at the moment. They are as follows, in no order of number of accesses or something like that:

  • home office
  • study with me
  • quick meals
  • stress reduction
  • exercise at home

That is, if you or your company can contribute in any way to one of these issues, know that people are interested. It is also worth thinking about a partnership to publish content.

Google will warn you when you do a clueless search

Have you ever imagined searching for something on Google and not finding what you wanted? Okay, bad example, this happens a lot. Can you imagine, then, doing a Google search so wrong that it has nothing to offer you on the answers page? Well, now he’s going to let you know when you hesitate.

Starting with the United States, Google will now display a warning at the top of the results page when it feels it doesn’t have much to tell you about the topic.

The results will still show up, but with this “wow, better, improve this search” touch, we’ll be even a little embarrassed to click on the links. The tool can suggest new searches, according to the semantics of what you requested. And Google says it shouldn’t show up too much because, well, it compiles the entire internet.

I’m already wondering how SEO experts are going to rack their brains to find out how this will affect search and, most importantly, the internal challenges to make the message of “search clueless” appear. I’m going to try something like “ideal wallpaper for meetings in Zoom”, with the answer “you meant no wallpaper, right?”

Social isolation brings nearly 16 million new subscribers to Netflix

As we talked about above in the YouTube news, video consumption has skyrocketed with the coronavirus pandemic. Unable to leave the house, people naturally turned their attention to television and streaming platforms. Netflix this week released its quarterly report and the numbers are impressive.

The company gained a total of 15.77 million new subscribers worldwide in the first three months of 2020, when social isolation began. The expectation, in the first analyses, was to earn around 8 million in total. In fact, it was difficult to predict the extent of the quarantines, so it’s an understandable difference.

For comparison purposes, in the first quarter of 2019, the worldwide growth in the number of subscribers had been 9.6 million, while in the previous one – the last one in 2019 – it had been 8.7 million. The numbers can be found in the letter to investors released by Netflix . In Latin America, there were 2.9 million new subscribers.

Boston Dynamics robot is working in hospital

Remember Boston Dynamics’ robot Spot? The one that, along with other models of the company, made some people – or I, at least – lose nights of sleep with images of a revolution of machines against humans? That’s it, that’s it. Take a look below at its newest feature.

Darling, right? Well then, this little robot is working in a hospital in Boston . Equipped with an iPad and a communication radio, it is helping doctors to visit patients without the risk of contamination. The company hopes that Spot will soon get an upgrade with a temperature, pulse and oxygen measurement device.

In this way, the (now) friendly robot may, who knows, work in patient screening areas and temporary hospitals. We hope he’ll soon be back to his normal duties, such as organizing warehouses, climbing small hills and scaring humans in videos released monthly by Boston Dynamics.

 

Algorithm Update: Why Your Ecommerce Shouldn’t Rely Only on Paid Media

Understand how changing the algorithm can hurt your sponsored link campaigns and see how you can work around this situation.

Among so many difficulties that ecommerce entrepreneurs have in their daily lives, one of them is the total dependence on heavy investments in paid media and sponsored links.

But after all, why is this a difficulty?

Because social networks and search engines always adjust their strategies, through algorithmic changes and updates, to charge more and more for sponsored keywords or ads. To get an idea of ​​how common this is, Google recently made a change to their algorithm and, shortly thereafter, Facebook followed suit.

And what are the consequences of algorithm changes for your business?

  1. Your investment for sponsored ads will have to increase, after all the competition in the first places will be fiercer and the last ads, cheaper, no longer exist;
  2. On Facebook, the reach of your target audience is more restricted;
  3. At Google, as organic results are increasingly disputed, the strategies for producing quality content and correctly applying keyword terms will have to get better and better.

Therefore, when developing your Digital Marketing strategy , don’t be hostage to paid media and sponsored links, as algorithm changes like this are constant.

But then, how to solve this problem?

The answer is simple: conquer and create your own marketing asset, that is, your contact base, through the generation of Leads and relationship with those Leads.

To do this, we have selected some suggestions for marketing actions below:

  • Be sure to invest in sponsored links: they are still the best way for your ecommerce to scale quickly;
  • Create strategies for this investment to become a marketing asset for your business, if your visitor is not going to buy now, use your paid visit to generate a base of contacts;
  • On your website, always give the option to leave the contact for those who are not determined to buy – for example, register for a discount coupon and tips on using products they have in store;
  • Keep a personalized relationship: segment your lists based on the profile and interest of each of your contacts and connect with them through Email Marketing targeted to your characteristics. Email is one of the few relationship channels with your potential customer, don’t burn this channel with campaigns that don’t have a good opening rate result. A great post with tips on this subject is Segmentation: How to generate better results by sending fewer emails.

Below, see how these actions fit into Lead generation and the purchase journey, that is, the path that the Lead needs to take until it reaches the moment when it will decide to buy:

Lead Generation for ecommerce

Whenever we talk to ecommerce owners or marketing managers, we see a certain resistance in talking about indirect conversion, since sales conversion is (and should be) always the focus.

Indirect conversion is any strategy that you use to “provoke” some action in your website visitor if they are not ready to purchase. This action usually has as its main objective the capture of contacts to maintain a relationship, so that there is a break in barriers and you earn the trust of that new user. With email capture you can also bring it back to your website with low investment.

Unlike a physical store, ecommerce does not have that attendant who asks how he can help you, offers tips on which product is best suited for your interest and “convinces” you to buy with him. Therefore, the capture of contact, the personalized relationship and quality is what the role of this seller will play.

Some might say, “Ah! But whoever enters my site is looking for something and has already decided to buy it”. Really? The average conversion rate of Brazilian ecommerces in 2015 was 1.65%, according to a survey by Experian Hitwise.

So, think: at what time of purchase were the other 98.35% of your visits that left without taking any action? Already decided to buy? Or rather, already decided to buy in your store? Probably not. To understand more about the concept of moment of purchase and the importance of working also with indirect conversions, I suggest, in addition to reading the topic below, the post “What is it and what is it for Lead Management” .

Buying Journey in ecommerce

Every user in the purchase process goes through four steps to make the decision. This concept is what we call here in RD the Buyer Journey. The four steps are: Learning and Discovering, Recognizing a Problem, Consideration of the Solution, and Purchasing Decision.

In the post “Buying journey: what it is and its importance for the Digital Marketing strategy” , there is a detailed explanation on the topic. In the case of ecommerce, a practical example of these steps would be:

Learning and Discovery: The visitor enters your site by simply browsing your social network and seeing your ad. He entered because it was an ad for the perfume he usually wears and wanted to see prices and other options he might like, or he searched for some information that his website offers.

Problem recognition: You need to buy a perfume because you discovered that what you have is running out, but you still don’t know which one to buy. Enter the websites to see prices and recommendations for the perfumes you are considering. In this case, the recognition of the problem was caused by an external factor: the perfume you have is almost gone. But the perfume seller website itself can provoke this problem recognition, offering content that awakens the user to the pain he has. For example: Did you know that perfume scents are best recommended for day or night? Know which perfumes we recommend for each shift.

Thus, your visitor discovers that the perfume he has is for the night, and feels the need to buy a lighter scent for the day.

Solution Consideration: If the user already knows which perfume he wants, he starts researching prices, delivery times and reliability of the websites where he can buy. If the first contact with your website is only at this stage, your chances of winning this dispute are greatly reduced, but it is from here that all ecommerces centralize their efforts to attract visitors. That’s why conversion rates drop so much in the Brazilian market – the visitor is searching for a price, whoever gives less wins.

Purchase decision: The user already knows which product to buy and where to buy. If the contact with users only occurs at this stage, few of them will actually convert into a sale on your website – the tendency is for them to buy from a website with which they have had a relationship before.

Sometimes, when the product being marketed matches an impulsive buying profile, this journey can be taken quickly. For complex sales or with higher tickets, the journey is usually longer.

Either way, it’s worth investing in ways to attract for all these steps. Thus, you increase your chances of carrying the user throughout the journey and make him build confidence to buy with you.

The constant change in algorithms is a big challenge for ecommerces. But, as we’ve seen, there are ways to get out of your dependency on sponsored links and get results with lead generation and content production based on your audience’s buying journey.

Therefore, optimize your investments, have your own marketing asset and don’t burn the only relationship channel with generalized emails and no relevant subject for your potential buyer.

Do you have an ecommerce? Have you ever felt the impact of algorithm updates? Do you have alternative plans to get around this challenge? Use the comments below and share your experience with us!

What is the secret of successful startups in Brazil and worldw

Algorithm Update: Why Your Ecommerce Shouldn’t Rely Only on Paid Media

Understand how changing the algorithm can hurt your sponsored link campaigns and see how you can work around this situation.

Among so many difficulties that ecommerce entrepreneurs have in their daily lives, one of them is the total dependence on heavy investments in paid media and sponsored links.

But after all, why is this a difficulty?

Because social networks and search engines always adjust their strategies, through algorithmic changes and updates, to charge more and more for sponsored keywords or ads. To get an idea of ​​how common this is, Google recently made a change to their algorithm and, shortly thereafter, Facebook followed suit.

And what are the consequences of algorithm changes for your business?

  1. Your investment for sponsored ads will have to increase, after all the competition in the first places will be fiercer and the last ads, cheaper, no longer exist;
  2. On Facebook, the reach of your target audience is more restricted;
  3. At Google, as organic results are increasingly disputed, the strategies for producing quality content and correctly applying keyword terms will have to get better and better.

Therefore, when developing your Digital Marketing strategy , don’t be hostage to paid media and sponsored links, as algorithm changes like this are constant.

But then, how to solve this problem?

The answer is simple: conquer and create your own marketing asset, that is, your contact base, through the generation of Leads and relationship with those Leads.

To do this, we have selected some suggestions for marketing actions below:

  • Be sure to invest in sponsored links: they are still the best way for your ecommerce to scale quickly;
  • Create strategies for this investment to become a marketing asset for your business, if your visitor is not going to buy now, use your paid visit to generate a base of contacts;
  • On your website, always give the option to leave the contact for those who are not determined to buy – for example, register for a discount coupon and tips on using products they have in store;
  • Keep a personalized relationship: segment your lists based on the profile and interest of each of your contacts and connect with them through Email Marketing targeted to your characteristics. Email is one of the few relationship channels with your potential customer, don’t burn this channel with campaigns that don’t have a good opening rate result. A great post with tips on this subject is Segmentation: How to generate better results by sending fewer emails.

Below, see how these actions fit into Lead generation and the purchase journey, that is, the path that the Lead needs to take until it reaches the moment when it will decide to buy:

Lead Generation for ecommerce

Whenever we talk to ecommerce owners or marketing managers, we see a certain resistance in talking about indirect conversion, since sales conversion is (and should be) always the focus.

Indirect conversion is any strategy that you use to “provoke” some action in your website visitor if they are not ready to purchase. This action usually has as its main objective the capture of contacts to maintain a relationship, so that there is a break in barriers and you earn the trust of that new user. With email capture you can also bring it back to your website with low investment.

Unlike a physical store, ecommerce does not have that attendant who asks how he can help you, offers tips on which product is best suited for your interest and “convinces” you to buy with him. Therefore, the capture of contact, the personalized relationship and quality is what the role of this seller will play.

Some might say, “Ah! But whoever enters my site is looking for something and has already decided to buy it”. Really? The average conversion rate of Brazilian ecommerces in 2015 was 1.65%, according to a survey by Experian Hitwise.

So, think: at what time of purchase were the other 98.35% of your visits that left without taking any action? Already decided to buy? Or rather, already decided to buy in your store? Probably not. To understand more about the concept of moment of purchase and the importance of working also with indirect conversions, I suggest, in addition to reading the topic below, the post “What is it and what is it for Lead Management” .

Buying Journey in ecommerce

Every user in the purchase process goes through four steps to make the decision. This concept is what we call here in RD the Buyer Journey. The four steps are: Learning and Discovering, Recognizing a Problem, Consideration of the Solution, and Purchasing Decision.

In the post “Buying journey: what it is and its importance for the Digital Marketing strategy” , there is a detailed explanation on the topic. In the case of ecommerce, a practical example of these steps would be:

Learning and Discovery: The visitor enters your site by simply browsing your social network and seeing your ad. He entered because it was an ad for the perfume he usually wears and wanted to see prices and other options he might like, or he searched for some information that his website offers.

Problem recognition: You need to buy a perfume because you discovered that what you have is running out, but you still don’t know which one to buy. Enter the websites to see prices and recommendations for the perfumes you are considering. In this case, the recognition of the problem was caused by an external factor: the perfume you have is almost gone. But the perfume seller website itself can provoke this problem recognition, offering content that awakens the user to the pain he has. For example: Did you know that perfume scents are best recommended for day or night? Know which perfumes we recommend for each shift.

Thus, your visitor discovers that the perfume he has is for the night, and feels the need to buy a lighter scent for the day.

Solution Consideration: If the user already knows which perfume he wants, he starts researching prices, delivery times and reliability of the websites where he can buy. If the first contact with your website is only at this stage, your chances of winning this dispute are greatly reduced, but it is from here that all ecommerces centralize their efforts to attract visitors. That’s why conversion rates drop so much in the Brazilian market – the visitor is searching for a price, whoever gives less wins.

Purchase decision: The user already knows which product to buy and where to buy. If the contact with users only occurs at this stage, few of them will actually convert into a sale on your website – the tendency is for them to buy from a website with which they have had a relationship before.

Sometimes, when the product being marketed matches an impulsive buying profile, this journey can be taken quickly. For complex sales or with higher tickets, the journey is usually longer.

Either way, it’s worth investing in ways to attract for all these steps. Thus, you increase your chances of carrying the user throughout the journey and make him build confidence to buy with you.

The constant change in algorithms is a big challenge for ecommerces. But, as we’ve seen, there are ways to get out of your dependency on sponsored links and get results with lead generation and content production based on your audience’s buying journey.

Therefore, optimize your investments, have your own marketing asset and don’t burn the only relationship channel with generalized emails and no relevant subject for your potential buyer.

Do you have an ecommerce? Have you ever felt the impact of algorithm updates? Do you have alternative plans to get around this challenge? Use the comments below and share your experience with us!

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How to extract lessons from the success journey of the fastest growing startups to create new businesses from scratch?

Every age has its challenges, but it’s easy to see that technology is improving people’s lives. Just look at some successful startups  in Brazil and around the world to see innovative business models, with relaxed environments and a genuine concern to meet the needs of customers.

What makes these companies so special? Why are they able to grow at a fast pace? And how to extract lessons from the success journey of the fastest growing startups to create new businesses from scratch?

Here are some clues.

The District is an independent innovation platform that, in addition to supporting the development of hundreds of startups, produces industry reports such as “Corrida dos Unicórnios”.

Analyzing startups that reached a market value of more than R$1 billion and also those that have great chances of reaching this level, we identified some similarities and patterns that you can see in the text that follows. Enjoy!

Characteristics of companies that rise quickly

Focus on customer pain

Imagine yourself on the streets of San Francisco a few years ago, in that end-of-hours slot. Horns, lots of people on the sidewalks and you needing to take a taxi, but the delay was already causing you anxiety.

Feeling the problem of urban mobility first hand, Uber’s founders decided to create a solution for themselves and thousands of others, who quickly became millions of users.

Do you have Uber or other similar app installed on your smartphone? Chances are pretty good it’s Uber.

This example illustrates well how successful startups were able to interpret a pain that affects many people and, based on that, develop a technological solution whose model can be easily replicated.

The next step is to create a trial version, gathering important data about users’ perceptions. This Minimum Viable Product (MVP) step , or Minimum Viable Product in Portuguese, is when the startup realizes the points of improvement that must be worked on.

All along the journey, people’s needs always come first, which brings us to the next point.

Concern about quality and reputation

As an application’s user base rapidly grows, so do new sticking points. Be they specific characteristics of a particular profile that had not been considered in the initial product or even in relation to the way the startup communicates its proposal.

This close look at customer feedback should go beyond traditional support channels. A good Brazilian example is Nubank, which created an open space for exchanging experiences and clarifying doubts, encouraging community interaction.

On the NuCommunity proprietary platform, any member can create new conversations and interact on existing topics, as long as it always follows the good neighbor policies that the user accepts when signing up.

Many international brands also develop their own communities. The objective is to closely follow the users of your products/services, making them protagonists in the generation of content  and even suggestions for new releases.

Diverse teams and horizontal leadership

Unlike more traditional companies, successful startups strive to maintain a horizontal structure. This means that leaders are constantly developed to encourage the participation of every member of the team, rather than just communicating Board decisions.

This more collaborative and engaging way of working favors a greater sense of responsibility, where everyone is directly committed to the business objectives.

Therefore, when we talk about strong leadership in the context of startups, what is in focus is not hierarchy, but the genuine connection of each leader with their team:

  • promoting autonomy and empowerment at work;
  • valuing diversity and inclusion;
  • reflecting the brand’s purposes beyond marketing.

Using Financing to Expand the Business

Another difference between successful startups in relation to traditional businesses is that, in the latter, there is greater dependence on equity. On the other hand, the investment market in startups had a turnover of more than US$ 700 million in Brazil only in the first half of 2020, according to the study Inside Venture Capital , carried out by the District.

How to explain such expansion in the middle of the pandemic, especially when many of these contributions are made in early stage startups that did not even reach revenue equivalent to what was already invested in them?

For Venture Capital funds, this is where the opportunity lies. They want to participate in the accelerated growth of startups, multiplying the amount contributed several times. This requires an in-depth analysis of the business, the profile of the founders and the market potential that the startup proposes to supply.

In addition to access to capital, startups undergo a real polishing, having the opportunity to rethink products and processes. The comparison with precious stones is not by chance, since in each new round, the level of requirements and competitiveness rises, as it attracts larger contributions.

Innovative environment

Although the movies and series that portray Silicon Valley’s BigTechs have already made colorful offices, with ottomans, pool tables and arcades, famous, it takes a deeper look to understand how the startup environment works in real life.

For those outside the industry, it may seem counterintuitive for people to spend the day having fun and yet companies multiplying their size, displaying balance sheets that are the envy of many businesses with 50 years or more in the market.

Decompression spaces and rituals are just a part of the daily life of successful startups. Flexible hours, freedom to express opinions, absence of dress code attract new talent and favor a culture focused on constant learning.

Unlike traditional companies, startups are encouraged to connect with other ventures in the sector. Thus, professionals who work at different startups come together, form different partnerships and develop skills together. In this sense, it is interesting to connect to an innovation hub such as the District that holds various events with experts.

secret of successful startups

Successful startup cases

With support from major maintainers such as Microsoft, Danone, AstraZeneca, Johnson&Johnson, Bosch, Hospital das Clínicas, among many others, Distrito for Startups has supported the development of the ecosystem.

  • Marketing and sales : dissemination of startups and connection with large companies;
  • Knowledge : training for founders and mentoring with over 200 mentor options;
  • Management : gratuity and discounts on management, marketing and sales tools ;
  • Investment : course on pitch, funding/valuation and connection with funds and investors;
  • Community : physical and digital hubs to connect more than a thousand people in the community;

Thus, many cases of successful startups often sprout in the ecosystem. For example, fintech Neon Payments, which joined as a resident of the District in 2014 and is now approaching the next Brazilian unicorn.

Last year, Neon announced the purchase of Mei Fácil, another startup that had also been a resident. In 2020, information circulated on the market of a new investment, in the order of US$ 300 million, in an investment round led by General Atlantic, with the participation of BlackRock, Vulcan Capital, PayPal Ventures and Endeavor Catalyst, in addition to Monashees and Flourish Ventures, investors from previous rounds.

Do you want to know other cases and always be on top of the best practices of successful startups? Then access the District’s website  and also follow social networks.

 

News of the Week: Less than half of Google searches result in clicks, and Orkut is blocked on Tinder

Research released by Rand Fishkin raises questions about Google’s dominance in search and how marketers should act

Let’s not deny it: as you will see further on, it was a very happy week for us at Resultados Digitais. Therefore, exceptionally, I will leave aside digressions about the passage of time and our smallness in the face of finitude in the name of the joyful moment we are living. And, since now, we thank you for your participation in this party.

Keep reading the post to find out about the investment we received this week, in addition to the main tech and Digital Marketing news of the last few days. Or the more peculiar ones, as we like to highlight in our already traditional summary.

Search indicates that less than half of Google searches result in a click

study released this week found that less than half of Google’s browser searches in June resulted in a click. More precisely, 49.47% of these searches, both mobile and desktop, led the user to click on a result to get more information about what he was searching for.

The alarm was set off by Rand Fishkin, one of the big names in SEO  in the world. The numbers were gathered from an analysis by Jumpshot, the data arm of Avast, an internet security company, on Android devices and PCs in the United States, in the millions (the total number is not revealed).

When we put the magnifying glass in searches via mobile browser, things get even more impressive. The “zero-click searches” reach almost 62% of the total, even without counting Google’s applications such as Search and Maps. It’s a lot of people just seeing the answer and leaving, without going any further. Bad news?

Okay, but so what?

Of course, a large part of that total can be sports scores, questions with dates, and other things not necessarily related to the process of purchasing a product or service. Still, if people start stopping at featured snippets , which we can assume will get bigger and bigger, we have a few things to rethink.

In his blogpost (link is at the beginning of this text), Fishkin expands the subject to Google’s broad domain of internet searches. Based on Jumpshot’s data, it demonstrates that 94% of browser searches are done on the company’s products. If we include apps, the number probably grows even more.

It even features data on shrinking organic clicks and continuing growth in ad clicks. In other words, tips on how we can prepare for this change are given. Should we, however, focus our content strategies to be at the top of Google? It’s a question we need to assess.

Special tech and Digital Marketing mash-ups

In a lighter tone and less “existentialist research”, the week was lavish with mash-ups involving major brands in technology and Digital Marketing. So, we’ve gathered them into one item, for scanning purposes (we’ve done this because it’s more pleasant to read, not to please Google’s robots).

Tumblr is sold to the owner of WordPress

Verizon sold Tumblr  for $3 million to Automattic Inc., owner of WordPress. If the value seems small, wait for the next information: in 2017, Tumblr was purchased by Verizon for 1.1 billion dollars. I don’t even know how to calculate the rate of such devaluation.

The joining of cousins ​​so far removed from the blogging world is a new attempt to bring Tumblr back together. Automattic’s plans are to leave it as a WordPress add-on – who knows what that means. The fact is that the tool that was once the favorite of the most artistic class is no longer the cultural engine that it once was.

In addition to being hit by SnapChat, Instagram and even Facebook, Tumblr took a hard hit with Verizon’s decision to ban “adult” content. That’s because he was used by the LGBTQ+ community to express their sexuality , and the act ended up being seen as hostile. Thus, a huge user base abandoned Tumblr.

Orkut is blocked in Tinder

There is no reason to report this fact other than that it makes a very funny headline. And that’s reason enough for me. To make it even more fun, the fact happened in Brazil. That’s right: Orkut Büyükkökten, the creator of our eternal favorite social network, was blocked on Tinder while in Porto Alegre.

n fact, it started a little earlier, when Orkut was looking to make friends and new contacts on Tinder. Orkut started giving matches (seriously, it’s too good), but people thought it was a fake, denouncing his profile. It ended up being blocked.

As the case happened in Porto Alegre, of course there is an interview at Zero Hora  with the guy who made our youths happier.

Digital Results receives an investment of R$ 200 million

We don’t usually talk about issues involving millionaire figures, but let’s make an exception because we are so happy and proud! Digital Results received the largest investment ever made in a SaaS company in Latin America: R$ 200 million in a Series D round led by Riverwood Capital.

These resources will be used on four fronts: maintaining a high R&D investment; improve different elements of the customer and partner experience; attract and develop the best talent; and accelerate our international expansion process.

RD and Sebrae launch Startup Drive

In recent years, RD has worked with many startups. We saw that they rely heavily on the support of tools and templates to automate processes and facilitate the identification of opportunities. With that in mind, we created the Startup Drive, in partnership with Sebrae.

 

What is the Privacy Policy of a Website or an App?

Privacy Policy

The Privacy Policy of a Website or an App (or Privacy Policy) is the document with which users are informed about the purposes and methods of processing their personal data. This document, therefore, represents the communication to users of any information necessary to guarantee correct and transparent data processing in accordance with the law (for example, the purposes of the processing, the data retention period, the right to withdraw consent to the processing, information on the data controller, etc.).

The online privacy policy is mandatory whenever personal data is processed on a website or application. According to the European privacy regulation (GDPR in English), the processing is defined as any operation carried out on the user’s personal data in an automated or non-automated way (for example, storage, use, reading, communication of data, etc.).

Remember that the ‘ lack of or incorrect information privacy the user is punishable by a penalty fine of up to EUR 20 million or up to 4% of the turnover annual world, taking into account the individual case, the nature, severity, duration of the infringement, etc.

When using the privacy policy for websites or apps

The privacy policy for websites and apps is used to communicate to users the necessary information required by current legislation both for a website and for a desktop or mobile application. The document will adapt on the basis of the selected options and can be used for any type of service provided to users (e.g. blogs, e-commerce, information sites, e-marketplaces, etc.), as well as for any purpose of processing the data.

This document will need to be posted online on your site or within an application. If, on the other hand, you need a document to manage the processing of data for offline activities such as shops, doctors’ offices or for employee data, you will need to use a different document: the privacy policy for offline activities.

You can specify the purposes for which you will collect the data by choosing from a list of predefined purposes (e.g. sending emails or newsletters, interacting with live chat, etc.) or, for special needs, you can describe the purposes in a personalized way.

The privacy policy is also used when products or services are offered to foreign users. In these cases, it is possible to create the document in English or in two languages ​​to facilitate consultation. It is in fact mandatory that the information is always understandable even to foreign users and must therefore be translated into all the languages ​​in which the site or app is available.

What the GDPR compliant privacy policy model contains

Our privacy policy meets all legal requirements and contains all the information required by current privacy legislation and European regulations (GDPR):

  • Types of personal data collected: it is possible to choose between data voluntarily provided by the user (contact data, information, content, sensitive data, data collected from social media, etc.) and automatically acquired data (usage data, geolocation data, data collected through cookies, etc.)
  • Purpose of processing: the purposes for which personal data are collected must be listed (e.g. statistical purposes, user profiling, payment management, etc.). We have prepared the interview allowing you to choose between pre-set and/or customizable purposes
  • Processing methods: the electronic or manual tools with which the data are collected, the methods of organizing the data, the security measures to prevent unauthorized access, disclosure, modification or destruction of data must be indicated
  • Data recipients: the names of the third party’s recipients of the data or the economic or commodity categories to which they belong must be indicated (e.g. marketing consultants, shippers, etc.)
  • Legal basis of the processing: the basis on which the processing is based (consent, legal obligation, contractual obligation, etc.)
  • Place: where the data are stored and if they are transferred to a non-EU country
  • Automated decision-making processes: if procedures such as profiling and the logic with which they are used are used
  • Data retention period: how long the User’s personal data are stored;
  • Rights exercisable by users: the legislation expressly requires you to enter the list of what a user can do (ask for data removal, cancellation, transformation into anonymous form or blocking of data, etc.)
  • Identification data of the data controller and/or the data protection officer (DPO): all data must be entered to identify and contact who determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data. If appointed, the data protection officer must also be indicated
  • English language: it is also possible to generate the document in English if your users are foreigners.

The privacy policy is only one of the obligations provided for by the GDPR. Once you have downloaded your document, we will guide you step by step through all the necessary subsequent formalities (for example, the request for consent, the preparation of security measures and the preparation of the treatment register, etc.) so that the connected documents are correctly prepared. (eg. Cookie Policy or cookie information, etc.). If you need more help you can also request a website GDPR adjustment to adapt your website or app or request our GDPR consultation with an experienced lawyer to be followed up further.

Information you need

To complete the privacy policy, all the data of the site or App and of the owner are required. It can be very helpful to get help from your webmaster or IT consultant.

Remember that our interview does not generate a simple privacy policy template for websites and apps. Based on your answers, the system automatically draws up a customized contract model for your exact needs, guaranteeing its legal correctness.

The document can be modified free of charge in all its parts without time limits. Don’t worry so if you don’t have all the information available during the interview, you can always enter it later.

Other names

The privacy policy is also known as:

  • privacy policy for website or app compliant with the gap
  • privacy policy for websites or apps
  • information on the processing of personal data
  • GDPR policy statement

Other useful templates and facsimiles

  • Cookie Policy: to inform your site visitors of the cookies you will save on their browser
  • Terms and Conditions of a Website or an App: to regulate the rights and obligations of users of a website or application
  • Personal Data Processing Register: to collect all information relating to the management of personal data processed
  • Privacy Notice for Offline Activities: to inform your customers or employees about the use that will be made of their personal information
  • E-marketplace Membership Conditions: to regulate the relationship between the owner of an online marketplace and suppliers who sell products and/or services to users

How to Open an E-Commerce: What You Need and Costs?

E-Commerce

To open e-commerce, it is necessary to comply with some basic steps required by law that vary according to the type of site chosen for your business. Let’s see together how to do it best and how much it costs to start an online business.

What is e-commerce

E-commerce is a traditional online store where users buy directly from the owner of the site that sells their products. The entire sales process, therefore, involves only two parties: the owner of the site and the user who buys.

E-commerce differs from e-marketplace where, on the other hand, multiple vendors or external suppliers are put in contact with users. In fact, in the e-marketplace there are three parties: the owner of the site, external sellers and users.

The steps to open an e-commerce site

The first step to open an e-commerce is to create the website where the products or services will be sold. To do this, you can contact a developer or take advantage of the solutions offered by various dedicated platforms (e.g. Woo Commerce, Shopify, etc.). These platforms are easy to use and ready to use, but they have the disadvantage of often having a commission on sales. On the contrary, creating your own tailor-made site involves an initial expense but guarantees the freedom to customize it in every detail and avoid commissions.

Another important aspect is the type of e-commerce that is chosen to sell online. In particular, e-commerce can be a website or app that sells tangible products such as computers and smartphones or digital services on subscription (e.g. software as a service or SaaS). Furthermore, it is possible to create the online store with its own warehouse or without warehouse (drop hipping) and use an external supplier to ship the products directly to customers.

To sell online, the business owner must post a set of mandatory information and data on the site. This is a necessary fulfillment to guarantee transparency to its users and to avoid penalties. Specifically, just report the following data:

  • name and surname of the owner or company name
  • VAT number (necessarily on the home page)
  • Economic and Administrative Index number (REA)
  •  paid-up share capital and relevant data (only for companies)
  • data on licenses or authorizations necessary for the sale of particular products (optional)
  • certified e-mail PEC address (optional)

Generally, this information is indicated in the lower section of the site (footer) together with the privacy documents.

What it takes to create an online store

If you want to start a new business from scratch you need to open a commercial enterprise. In these cases, the company can be opened as a sole proprietorship or as a company (SRL, SRLS, SPA). With the sole proprietorship the shopkeeper cannot have partners but has reduced costs for opening and management. With the company, on the other hand, the costs are higher both in terms of expenses for the establishment and for taxes, however, the owner is not directly liable for the debts of the company and can involve other shareholders.

If the opening of e-commerce is just another sales channel, instead, it is possible to use an already started business. In this case, it is not necessary to open a new firm or company. In fact, it is sufficient to communicate the additional activity to the business register and modify the ATECO code of the activity with your accountant.

Is it possible to start the business without a VAT number?

It is possible to sell on the internet without opening a VAT number only if the sale is occasional. This occurs when the sale is made sporadically and not continuously. For example, when a private individual sells their used smartphone on an ad site.

When you want to open an online shop, however, the VAT number is mandatory. In these cases, in fact, a continuous commercial activity is carried out which requires some specific requirements. In particular, in addition to having to open the VAT number, it is mandatory to register with the business register, submit the certified report of the start of business (SCIA) and register with INPS for social security contributions.

The documents needed for the site

All online sellers must respect the privacy and rights of their users. In fact, an e-commerce must publish a series of mandatory information documents.

The information on privacy

To work at its best, the site often collects some personal data of users and saves cookies on their computer to track their choices. In these cases, it is necessary to publish on the site:

  • a Privacy Policy (or Privacy Policy): to specify how user data is processed and to ensure correct and transparent processing
  • a Cookie Policy: to inform users of the cookies that store their data and that are saved on their browser

The conditions of sale for customers

E-commerce companies are also required to publish general conditions of sale. It is a document that contains the terms and rules that apply to purchases and use of the platform by users. In particular, this document includes:

  • the characteristics of the goods and services for sale and the relative prices
  • the commercial guarantees applicable to physical and digital products
  • the methods of payment, shipping and delivery
  • the information on the right of withdrawal and its methods of exercise
  • any limitations of liability (e.g. protection of intellectual property, etc.)

The seller must ensure that the terms of sale are accepted by customers before making a purchase. Furthermore, it is necessary to send them an order confirmation after the purchase has been made.

The other requirements to be respected

In addition to the basic steps to open an e-commerce, additional requirements must be met. In particular, the owner must have all the moral requirements required to open a shop of any kind such as not having been definitively convicted of receiving stolen goods or money laundering. In addition, there are additional requirements depending on the type of product sold such as the HACCP certificate required for the sale of food products preserved or produced by the e-commerce owner.

How much does it cost to open an e-commerce?

An e-commerce has the advantage of having lower costs than a physical store. Generally, in fact, an online business does not have to bear the costs of renting a location and does not have to pay contributions and salaries for staff such as clerks and cashiers. Furthermore, if the activity is carried out in drop shipping there are not even the costs for logistics and for the rental of the warehouse where to store the goods.

Against this saving, online activity still involves some typical costs. Starting the shop, in fact, implies the costs for the development of the website, for the relative hosting contract and for the commercial management of the site. In particular, e-commerce often requires digital marketing and site optimization for search engines (SEO) with variable costs depending on the consultant to whom it is addressed.

Furthermore, to keep the business online, the costs vary if the legal form chosen is a sole proprietorship or a company. In fact, the costs for the sole proprietorship are lower and do not involve the fee of a notary (approximately € 200 for registration in the register of companies and maximum € 1,000 for SCIA). On the contrary, the costs of setting up an SRL are higher as those for the notary and taxes are added (about € 1,500 for an SRL and about € 400 for setting up a Simplified SRL).

The differences in costs are also present in the tax area for accounting management. In fact, the annual costs of the accountant change not only according to the tax regime but also to the type of business open. The sole proprietorship has lower costs starting from € 300 on a flat-rate basis, the company, on the other hand, has higher costs starting at least € 1,000 per year.