4 Ways To Make Your Business’ Shoppable Instagram Successful

Say you’re an eCommerce merchant that has been wanting to advertise your products through social media. In a culture dominated and shaped by social media, this can be a great way to reach potential customers and raise awareness about your business.

Now, you have quite a few different options to choose from. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, the list goes on. However, if your product can be showcased visually and it is appropriate for your target demographic, a great choice for social media marketing is Instagram.

Instagram has been on the rise as a photo & video sharing application. Some users have already begun to assert that Instagram is replacing Facebook as their dominant form of social media. The New York Times reports that roughly 700 million users access Instagram each month, with roughly 400 million users logging onto the app daily.

If you are an eCommerce business owner that has been looking to expand your reach, Instagram could be an untapped market for you. Multiple eCommerce stores and social media influencers are already capitalizing by engaging their users through this social media forum.

If you are new to Instagram and are unsure how to sell your products, have no fear! Codal has worked with countless eCommerce merchants to assist them in achieving their goals. As a writer for an eCommerce web development company, I have compiled a basic how-to guide for selling on Instagram.

Providing Humanized Content

So, you have decided to take the plunge into the world of Instagram. Aside from the obvious housekeeping tasks— choosing your username, picking a profile picture, writing a description—your content plays a huge role in your account’s success.

Instagram is a visual app; therefore, you need to be providing material that is visually engaging through your profile. Ritual is a great example of this aesthetically pleasing and intriguing content.

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(Screenshots from Ritual’s Instagram Page)

Although they are a vitamin company, their page seems almost artistic. Thus, it makes it interesting for the user. They are showcasing the vitamin in a new way and it is working— Ritual boasts 63.5k followers with 584 posts.

Ritual is also successful because of how they make their product seem tangible. Due to the fact that their product is intended to be for people, they have people marketing and showcasing their vitamin in their content. Ritual humanizes their page through their product representation.

Aside from this human connection, Ritual makes their product’s intention straightforward in their posts. The average user can understand what the vitamin is for upon first glance at Ritual’s page. For example, their page shows their vitamins being balanced on someone’s lips. If I am a user that knows nothing about their product, I assume that it is meant to be ingested— no caption needed.

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(Screenshots from Ritual’s Instagram Page)

In order to sell your product through Instagram you need to make your content seem tangible and your intention be straightforward.

Ritual is just one great example of a brand using Instagram to sell products well. But follow their lead and you can also see yourself gaining user engagement insta-ntly.

2. Exhibiting Quality Marketing Techniques

The developers at Instagram recognize that their platform is being used to sell products, so they have made it nice and easy for merchants to be able to promote their products through advertisements.

If you fork over a little cash, you can purchase photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, and sponsored Instagram stories. This can assist your business on extending your reach beyond your profile. With these ads, you can customize the particular demographic of users that you would like to target.

These ads might be brief, but with your demographic parameters set- they can be funnelled straight to the users that are the most compatible. Now that’s what I call marketing.

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Although these ads are great, a drawback would be your inability to directly link your product in the caption. If users want to learn more they can, through ‘swipe to learn more’; however, you are still unable to link to your company website.

A way around this minor roadblock would be putting your company site in your business’ Instagram biography. That way, if a customer wants to find out more about your products, they can have a set place to look.

Furthermore, you can send a customer your company link through a direct message (or a DM, as the kids call it these days). For example, you can post on your Instagram story an advertisement, and tell your users to “DM you for more information.” Now, with that sidestep, you can link the user to your company homepage directly.

3. Providing Shoppable Instagram Posts and Including Instagram Influencers

Recently integrated into Instagram is the ability for users to check out products through ‘shoppable Instagram posts.’ Sephora integrates this ability into their page with ease. If a user likes the way a product looks- a simple click, and they have the information at their fingertips.

A savvy way of selling your products, a user can browse products from your business without ever leaving the app. This feature prioritizes the importance of providing ease for your user.

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In addition to making shoppable posts, it can be great marketing for your business to team up with a social media influencer. As an influencer, these individuals have access to a vast number of users.

If these users agree to work with your company, it can increase the amount of site traffic for you and your social media mogul. A win-win.

4. Your Page’s Cohesiveness

When making a successful Instagram brand, it is important that your brand’s flow be seamless. Anyone who provides solid ui design services would stress that your color, logo, and aesthetic should match on both the website and the Instagram page itself.

Therefore, if a customer clicks on the company site while on the page, the brand seems to extend itself beyond these two forums. A user should never feel like they are looking at two different brands when they are looking at your site and Instagram side by side.

With your website and Instagram page, cohesiveness is key.

Do It For The ‘Gram

As you are developing your business’ Instagram presence, don’t forget about the other parts of your eCommerce business. As an eCommerce web design company in Chicago, Codal is committed to helping you achieve your eCommerce goals.

Contact us today for help in developing your business further!

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4 Ways To Make Your Business’ Shoppable Instagram Successful

GDPR: What It Means For Your Business

If you’re a business owner, you have undoubtedly heard of the passing of the GDPR on May 25th, 2018. As a web development agency in Chicago, Codal has been acutely aware of this legislation and its breadth. Yet, this astronomical legislation was a long time coming- the GDPR’s construction started in December 2015.

The General Data Protection Regulation, or most commonly referred to as the “GDPR,” is a European Union privacy and security law. Now, I know what you’re thinking. How does this impact my business if I am in America and my business is based in the U.S.?

Since GDPR involves any personal data that EU citizens provide, its reach is far beyond Europe. Thus, if your business operates in the European Union, offers services/goods to EU citizens, or essentially accesses any part of the EU- you must be in compliance with the GDPR.

The GDPR is the largest cybersecurity update in the past two decades: giving data control back to the user and limiting the extent that businesses can use this information.

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The price for not complying? Lawsuits and fines galore. Now, that’s scary. And for the sake of user cybersecurity, it’s meant to have that fear factor. As a web application development agency in Chicago, that works with a number of companies that are affected by these laws- I understand the unease that you must being experiencing. However, we are going to delve into this cryptic legislation together and determine what it means for your business.

Taking A Bird’s Eye View

If your business falls under the breadth of the GDPR, the first thing to do would be to take a step back and look at the data being collected holistically. What are you collecting this data for, and are your users aware of these uses?

The GDPR emphasizes that users have control over their “personal data.” Forbes simplifies and lays out what this would encompass: personal identifying data (name, address, date of birth, web-based data (location, IP address, cookies), health/genetic data, biometric data, racial/ethnic data, political opinions and sexual orientation. That’s a lot of data.

If your business is using any of this information, it is pertinent that you check your privacy agreements to be in accordance with the GDPR (Article 7 in the legislation). Are users explicitly agreeing to the following ‘terms and conditions,’ that would allow you to use this data? If the answer is no, your privacy agreement may be due for a facelift. No matter what your answer is, GDPR is a reminder that your privacy agreement could probably use an update.

This is why so many users have been receiving emails asking them to review changes in these privacy agreements. I would recommend following suit: once you update the agreements, let users know of these changes and require them to re-agree.

If you’re looking for an example of GDPR compliant privacy agreements, Google has a good example of their user policy here or here.

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Review. And if necessary, be sure to revise promptly.

Hire A Data Protection Officer

In addition to a potential update in privacy agreements, a business should consider hiring a data protection officer, or a “DPO” for short. A data protection officer ensures that a business is adhering to all aspects of the GDPR. DPOs also work on data protection strategy and the implementation of new security protocols.

Additionally, a DPO has to conduct audits of a business’ security, train other employees about data processing, and more. Depending on the amount of data your business processes, GDPR may require you to hire a DPO.

We recommend taking a look at the GDPR legislation to see how your business fits into this requirement. Who knows, your new DPO might become your right-hand man.

Plans And Records

As the GDPR is put into effect, businesses also need to create a Record of Processing Activities (RoPA). The RoPA includes: information about the data controller, purposes of processing, and the security measures put in place. Article 30 details this portion of the GDPR in further detail.

Another important addition to the GDPR is its policy regarding data breaches. The GDPR requires companies to report breaches within 72 hours of the incident occurring. That’s a quick turnaround.

This short timeline means that companies should create policies on how they might handle a data breach. The quicker breach plans can be implemented, the sooner a business can minimize the damage and lay out its next steps – all while fitting in with the GDPR requirements.

However, if a company fails to report a data breach, they will face hefty fines. Better safe than sorry, make sure your business is in line with the GDPR requirements.

What Next?

The bottom line is that you should get your business to be GDPR compliant as soon as possible. Though the full GDPR requirements are much lengthier than this article, it’s a good starting point to refining your business’ data protocols. This includes advertising and the social media realm! Prevent the excessive fines and lawsuits – get on board with the GDPR.

And while you’re in the mindset of updating your business, get in contact with an eCommerce web design company to help your users find your security policies and privacy changes with ease.

GDPR: What It Means For Your Business

How Mobility Can Reduce Healthcare Facility Costs

Having a mobile presence is no longer just a “trend,” it is expected from consumers, and more of a need in today’s digital world. By 2020, it is predicted that the revenue from mobile app’s will be around $44.8 billion.

The evolution of mobility for the healthcare space has invited many mobile app development agencies to jumpstart their processes for healthcare software development solutions.

With almost 100,000 mobile applications related to fitness and healthcare in the mobile app store, it is obvious that there is a very high demand for Chicago app developers, especially one’s proficient in healthcare mobile app development.

The real question comes down to this:

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The GSMA reported that by the end of 2017, mHealth and healthcare software solutions will reduce healthcare facility costs by $400 billion in developed countries.

But how?

Time is Money

mHealth can save countless hours, for both patients, and a healthcare facility, and in today’s era, ‘time is money’.

With the assistance of healthcare mobile app development, patients can fill out forms, schedule appointments, request prescription refills, and view treatment history, all via the internet.

Think about it, you can easily spend 20 minutes every time your at the doctor to fill out paperwork, and it can take hours to get ahold of your medical records via your doctor, and not online.

Less Resources Required

If patients are scheduling appointments through an app, requesting refills online, and asking their doctors a question through a web portal, less human resources will be required to run and maintain a doctors office or any medical facility.

Once an organization onboards a healthcare mobile application, a huge amount of time and money will be saved on human resources. What’s the need to have 4 people at the front desk of an office, if they are not being utilized?

It is also important that once an application is onboarded, that it is marketed to their patients so they use this technology to their full benefits.

Electronic Medical Records and Reports

Having access to your healthcare records, anywhere, anytime, allows less of a back-and-forth between patients and physicians. It allows individuals to access their information faster, and without the help of an office representative or a doctor.

Before technology was around, physicians and office-workers would have to enter a room with a lot of paper medical records:

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Not only is time and money wasted in this, but it is extremely inefficient, as this space can be used for additional things. And if you’re looking at it from an eco-friendly point of view, having this much physical paper isn’t very earth-friendly. 80% of Americans obtain some of the health information online; if your healthcare facility doesn’t have a way for your patients to access their records via the internet, you’re behind the technology schedule!

How Codal Can Help

Codal is a team of high-quality, Chicago app developers and user experience designers.

As a UX design company in the healthcare space, we know what it takes to design around HIPAA compliance and regulations, making Codal a great choice for any project that you want to start around healthcare software development solutions.

How Mobility Can Reduce Healthcare Facility Costs

An AI, IoT and Healthcare Intermix

Healthcare is an industry in which there is a lot of room for error, but it is one of those industries in which technology can fill in the gaps of error. Workflows and processes may not be organized, patients are being misdiagnosed, and many physicians may not have the level of accuracy that they need. Technology such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) and IoT (the Internet of Things) can trigger a complete digital transformation in healthcare.

Medical Artificial Intelligence

AI (artificial intelligence) has already started ingraining itself in the medical field, and over the years, it will most likely hold more and more importance.

According to Forbes, researchers from Mayo Clinic have already used AI to identify genomic information of a brain tumor, without a biopsy. It also helped discover attributes that are present in an MRI scan, that a physician wasn’t even able to identify. Overall, AI can allow for more accuracy than a physician can.

Soon, every patient will be ”decoded” right in front of us by using this technology. Along with assisting with diagnosis, the array of different healthcare IT solutions are also helping developing and perfecting drugs, and can even assist in the detection of insurance fraud throughout the industry.

It is truly a life-changing, and life-saving technology.

Connected Healthcare Solutions

Taking advantage of connected healthcare solutions can also improve processes, improve patient experience, and even help correctly diagnose patients. While IoT is fairly new in a lot of industries, it has entirely ingrained itself in the healthcare & medical fields, indicating a digital transformation in healthcare.

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Medical IoT is not only innovative hospitals using extremely high-tech equipment, it also includes the FitBit (and any other wearable health device), Life Alerts, and various other healthcare software solutions that are connected to the Internet and a device.

While many clinics and healthcare facilities understand how IoT can help them, and no matter how many clinics and physicians have adopted this technology into their everyday lives, there are still a handful of IoT issues that need to be overcome in order to fully take advantage of what this tech can offer.

Cybersecurity, data integration, and device management are 3 of these issues that need attention. If it is easier for you to access your health data, chances are that it is easier for any hacker as well. Along with the security issue, any facility that takes on IoT, probably will have to alter their IT departments to ensure that this new technology will be properly managed.

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New standards and regulations will be needed in order to integrate all of the data, from all of the connected medical devices being used.

So, What’s Next?

If you’re looking for a custom healthcare IT solution, a healthcare website design, or any software development for the healthcare or medical industry, check out Codal, a Chicago-based agency specializing in these types of solutions.

Companies like Codal that help develop IT solutions can also assist in tackling any of the issues that are related to IoT, or AI.

It is also crucial to hire a UX design agency that understands the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act. Knowing all of the in’s and out’s of HIPAA compliance regulations is incredibly important if you are building any type of healthcare software development solution.

An AI, IoT and Healthcare Intermix

How Color Can Affect UX

Using color at a mobile app design agency is a lot more strategic than many people think. Individuals tend to believe that the designer chooses the color that they think is the most aesthetically pleasing, or would match their industry or brand best. While many designers do have to follow a UI or branding kit, the use and strategy of color should never be overlooked.

Colors have a huge impact on a users behavior, thoughts, emotions, and mood. The success of both a digital or physical product could depend on the choice of color. Common English phrases even sometimes use colors to describe a mood, like the phrase “feeling blue.”

Research that was conducted by Colorcom shows that it does not take very long for someone to make a judgement about a product; only 90 seconds. Within those 90 seconds, majority of the judgement is based on the color. Therefore, using color theory can advance the usability and conversion rates of the product.

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Blue

Blue is an extremely common color when it comes to design. This color gives off an emotion of safety, trust, happiness and friendliness. While different shades of blue can give off different meanings, almost all shades of blue will still give off a feeling of trust. Many large enterprises use this color in their branding, such as Chase, United Airlines, Charles Schwab.

Pink

The color pink gives off a feeling of joy and playfulness. While many people think that this is a feminine color, it may not be as much as you believe. Many times, pink is used for candy, sugar-based products, often associated with innocence and youth.

Black

Black typically represents power, and is used on more serious and formal digital products. However, it is a unique color that should be used with care. Although it is powerful, it can also be used to be perceived as mysterious or frightening, but sometimes sophisticated. As a UX design agency, we know that this is a color that every design teams needs to use with caution.

Check out Chase Bank’s logo below. It includes both black and blue colors, representing power and trust, which is exactly what they want their customers to perceive.

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Green

For fairly obvious reasons, green is typically related to all things earthy and natural, and related to the environment. Many healthy food companies use their color to grab a person’s attention, white most consumers understand what this color relates to.

Since this color is pretty natural to the eye, many calls-to-actions on websites and mobile applications are green so that the user is directed right to that button. As an app development agency, we always have to strategize where calls-to-actions should be places, and how they should look in order to increase conversion rates.

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Red

Similar to black, Red should also be used for carefully. It typically will represent aggression and importance. While red can represent both love and war, it is a proven color to raise awareness, whether it is good or bad. A little bit of red can go a long way.

Any company that you hire who offer’s UI design services, or even just strictly UX services, will be able to help you strategically choose your brand colors, and choose the best places on your digital product(s) for certain colors.

How Color Can Affect UX

Utilizing Storyboards To Understand The Users World

A lot of research and time goes into the final design that an end user sees. Before all of the pretty colors and typography is added to a website or application, there is an entire user experience process, where your UX design agency begins to understanding goals, gather requirements, and conduct research, to better understand the user, and to design with data and research in mind.

Different UX design companies will use different research techniques, such as interviews and surveys, contextual inquiry, and group workshops. Then, the UX designer will take this data and summarize their research findings into user stories or user flows. This helps the team communicate their findings and solutions to the team, along with wireframes and personas.

Personas are typically created to help the designers understanding who they are designing for, and why, and wireframes help layout the application or website, before adding the graphical aspects. So, where do storyboards come into play?

What are storyboards and why should you use them?

A storyboard is a graphical, linear set of illustrations to portray an entire story of a user completing a task. Stories are one of the most effective and powerful ways of delivering information. In user experience design services, a storyboard is a visual tool that will predict and explore the user’s interactions with the platform, to help understand the flow of someone’s interaction with product over a given time.

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Why storyboards? Well, a storyboard forces the designer to think about the user flow, prioritize what is important, and allows a team to work together to create a very clear picture of what is being designed, and how a user will use it.

It also helps a designer put real people at the heart of the overall UX process. When dealing with data, research and analytics, it can be difficult to put a human face on a handful of numbers. However, storyboards help put the user first.

How to get started with a storyboard

Simply start with a pen and paper, and start mapping out the most simple interactions. You can then break up your story into individual moments, and decisions that the user will make.

If your mobile app development agency is building a mobile app to help consumers diagnose a sickness, the first step might be that consumer feeling sick and staying in bed all day. After you create those first interactions, start adding emotion into the story. How does the user feel when they find the app and create an account? Next, every step, or interaction, can become a frame, emphasizing every moment and the emotions that are felt at that point. At this point, you can start adding visuals to to bring the story to life.

After you have your first draft storyboard, start adding in images and graphics, or even just sketches. Pass this along to your team, and start collaborating on the story. Your UX company or mobile app design company may find interactions that were either missed, our thought of as less-important as it should be.

Your storyboard doesn’t have to be pixel perfect, it just has to tell the story of your user. Once you have the story complete, you will be much more prepared when putting together the wireframes and overall flow of the platform.

Looking for extra assistance with your user experience? Chat with the experts at Codal!

Utilizing Storyboards To Understand The Users World

Your Push Notifications Need to be Personalized

In the year to come, personalizing the experience for your users should be on the top of your priority list. More and more, mobile app development firms are understanding just how important personalization and customization really is. Consumers not only want, but they now expect the website’s their on to be personalized, with content they’re interested in, with their own data, etc.

But why push notifications?

The power of push notifications is quite large, according to Wigzo, push notifications can boost engagement by 88%. This statistic is for standard, unpersonalized notifications. Now, imagine about how much more engagement you can get if that message is personalized to the user.

Another reason for starting the personalization with push, is that most users will opt-in for push notifications. If users are opted-in, than it is a relatively easy way for you to reach your user whether they are using your app or not.

Another fun fact, is that Android users tend to engage with more push notifications than iOS smartphone users. Therefore, you should definitely utilizing companies that offer Android development services, and plan out some effective content notifications.

If you’re still unsure on whether or not to use and personalize push, I’m confident that any UX design company that you hire, will help you strategize this, especially if you utilize their UX research services. With research, you will have real data from real users, giving you data about exactly what they want.

The software development agencies that build the below app’s did something right; they have completely nailed personalizing their push notifications.

Pandora

b1Pandora personalized their push notifications in a great way. The notifications are completely custom to the users in-app activity. Localytics reported that one of their most effective push notifications read “2015 is half over and you have already enjoyed 48 songs on Today’s Country Radio. Here’s to 48 more!”

Not only does is this message directly relative to the users activity while on the app, but it celebrates the users achievement (number of songs listened to on a certain radio station). It also gives the user a new goal, to listen to another 48 songs on that radio. The intention of this message is to make the user excited about their past activity, and encourage them to use the app more.

Good job Pandora! (Or to the UX company that helped them strategize this!)

Trip Advisor

b2TripAdvisor does personalized push notifications extremely well. Not only is this app your best friend while you’re traveling, but their mobile app design company had to have designed it where it is usable even when you’re not traveling. The app lets you know the great ratings of restaurants near you, no matter your location.

TripAdvisor’s mobile app will send you notification when prices are going up on a trip that you’ve had your eye on, and always recommends hotel rooms, flights, and things to do, based in your in-app activity. They also ensure that their personalized push notifications have a strong, actionable call-to-action.

MyFitnessPal

b3MyFitnessPal is another business that does push notifications very well. Not only are they extremely personal, speaking straight to the user about their behavior on the app, but they are extremely relevant, timely, and actionable.

For an example, if a user logs meals every day but skips one, it will notify them to remind them to log that day’s meal. They also send notifications that are bold, but effective, like “Hmm. Seems like these reminders aren’t helpful. We’re going to turn them off.” To say the least, this is quite a bold statement, however, it intrigues and interests users since it is so different, creating more engagement.

Conclusion

Messages that are sent via push notification are much more effective and engaging than emails and even text messages with offers and promotions. Everyday, consumers receive a lot of emails with promo’s and offers that are not directly addressed to them. Personalizing push notifications and keeping the message relevant engage the user and keeps them coming back for more.
engages the user,

If your conversion rates, or your CTR is not improving, you should potentially consider investing a bit more time in redesigning your app, or simply consult a UX UI design agency to get professional advice.

Your Push Notifications Need to be Personalized