One of the greatest difficulties encountered by large companies that have managed to gain a significant share of the traditional market is that of diffusing brand identity online as well. The 2 channels - offline and digital - act and produce results in different ways; for this reason, it is not always easy for companies to adapt to the change required by digital transformation.
Over the years, NetStrategy has worked with many such companies, helping them to transfer their values and offerings online as well. One example is Juice, one of the most important Apple Premium Resellers in Europe in terms of turnover and number of physical stores. The company relied on NetStrategy with the aim of increasing visits and sales of e-commerce. The collaboration had as its focal point a digital marketing strategy, but not only: it was also important in this case to enter fully into the dynamics of the customer, who actively collaborates with Apple, a world leader in the hi-tech sector.
How did it go? What results did NetStrategy and Juice achieve together? But, above all, today can the online store be considered a new growth tool for the company? In this case study we analyze in detail the fruits of this important collaboration.
Juice is one of the leading Apple Premium Resellers in Europe. Its offline market includes 28 physical stores, located in various regions of Italy. The core business of Juice is the sale of Apple products and accessories, but the company also offers support services and training courses, both for individuals and businesses: Juice, in fact, has qualified salespeople and Apple certified technicians.
In early 2017, Juice got in touch with NetStrategy. The company already has its own website, https://www.juice.it/, which serves not only as a showcase for offline stores, but also as an e-commerce. However, this channel fails to generate visits, orders and therefore revenue in a significant way. Juice's objective is therefore clear: the company wants to place the digital channel side by side with the traditional one, applying a web marketing strategy that allows the diffusion of the brand also in the online market. In this way, the company can reach all those potential customers that search on the web for products and services and have a new tool to increase the turnover.
After a deep analysis of the Juice online store, 4 objectives are defined:
- Improvement of the positioning on the search engines. In order to attract new visits and new potential customers to the site, Juice must acquire authority and visibility on search engines: Google, in fact, is the tool that nowadays is used more often by the consumer to search information or products online.
- Optimization of the User Experience. In order to sell more, an e-commerce site must make the user's navigation smooth and pleasant. Thanks to specific actions aimed at improving the User Experience, it is possible to increase the conversion rate, i.e. the percentage of those who arrive at the purchase on the total number of visits.
- Increase overall traffic to the site. Alongside search engine optimization, it is also important to adopt an omnichannel web marketing strategy, i.e. focused on different channels (social networks, email and so on). The objective is to acquire new visits to the site and, above all, to build a brand identity in the digital market.
- Maximum coherence with traditional stores. The strategy applied must necessarily be aligned with the ways in which the company proposes itself in the offline market: only in this case the brand is recognized in all the channels in which it is present and associated with the values it has always pursued.
After numerous conversations and meetings with Juice and Apple team members, the company decided to rely on a partner who was willing to fully enter the company's mechanisms, such as NetStrategy. The first step of the collaboration was dedicated to the structuring of a customized web marketing strategy, including multiple strategic activities and channels. Below we outline the actions taken and show the results obtained in the first 3 years of collaboration.
#1 SEO OPTIMIZATION
Subsequent to the approval of the marketing plan, NetStrategy started the first strategic activities, which coincided with the optimization of the e-commerce site at a technical level: the goal was to solve the frictions that did not allow a smooth navigation and, at the same time, to gain credibility in the eyes of search engines. Here are some of the changes that have been made to the website.
- Responsive website. Nowadays there are many users who connect to a website directly from a smartphone. Originally, the website didn't display well on mobile devices, causing the company to immediately lose potential customers and abandon the site and buy from competitors. NetStrategy verified which CSS files were causing issues in this regard and corrected them. In addition, we resized multimedia elements (images and videos) that were too large, covering the entire screen from a smartphone. To date, the site is perfectly navigable from both desktop and mobile.
- Secure website. For an e-commerce website, security is a priority. No potential customer enters their personal and credit card information into a site that is not "trusted". At first, the site had 3 syntax URLs, but among them the https protocol version was completely absent. Google itself warned the user that they were in the presence of a site with insecure navigation when they entered the customer's site. This led to a drop in the conversion rate and a dramatic increase in the bounce rate. To overcome this problem, NetStrategy implemented the https version of the site, making it secure and reliable in the eyes of the user and the search engine.
- Meta tag optimization. Meta tags (meta title and meta description) allow the search engine and the user to understand what the content of the referring page is, obtaining a better ranking and more clicks. The site had a number of duplicate meta tags that were not very appealing. NetStrategy has optimized the meta tags, making them more persuasive to the user and more effective for Google.
These have been NetStrategy's focus in the first few weeks of operation. In addition to this, anomalies relating to redirects, H1, H2, H3 tags and much more were corrected. After overcoming this initial obstacle, the customer's website began to represent the company in a worthy way in the offline world.
In order to ensure the maximum usability of the website, we recently completed the migration to Magento 2 from Magento 1: the latter platform, starting from 30.06.2020, has finished the security updates, becoming in fact obsolete. The website has been promptly migrated to the most advanced Magento platform with technical implementations to make it even more performing.
After the IT development, NetStrategy started the content optimization: the goal was to position the site on search engines for several keywords. In this way, anyone searching on Google for products and services related to Juice's core business would have found the company.
Before NetStrategy's involvement, the customer's website was not visible on Google. It is enough to think that when the brand was typed, it was usual to find mainly sites that sold apple juices.
The starting point of the SEO activities concerned the study of the Buyer Persona, that is the prototypes of the ideal client of the company: gender, age, education, working career and so on. On the basis of this data, the right keywords have been analyzed in order to position the website in an effective way, answering to the need of Juice's customer-type. A complete analysis of all the categories has been carried out and to each of them has been associated a reference keyword, which had high search volume and low competition. On the basis of this information, a new structure was created, taking into account not only search engine optimization, but also the intuitiveness and ease of navigation of the website.
Subsequently, the optimization mainly concerned the following aspects:
- E-commerce products. Initially, the product information sheets on the site were subject to a high amount of duplicate content: it was generic information that included product specifications and could be found on any other site selling the same item. The NetStrategy team then started a process of producing original and persuasive textual content that would take the user directly into the daily use of the product. This improved both organic rankings and conversion rates.
- Google My Business. For a company that, in addition to running the e-commerce site, also holds numerous physical stores, it is crucial to appear on Google Maps. This way, a user searching for a store selling Apple products by geolocation can easily find Juice. NetStrategy has optimized the tabs of the stores on Google My Business according to the cities they belong to, allowing an increase of the visibility of the company on Google Maps.
- Corporate blog. In the medium and long term, publishing SEO-optimized content on your company blog will allow you to acquire additional traffic to your site. For this reason, NetStrategy periodically creates an editorial plan, which is based on the analysis of keywords searched by users. The blog articles are divided according to the user's level of interest (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU) and aim to convert that audience not ready to buy yet. In this way, you can also highlight the professional and competent tone of voice of the company.
#2 INBOUND MARKETING
The SEO, as well as the publication of articles in the company blog, is part of an inbound marketing strategy tailored to the characteristics and needs of Juice. It is a marketing strategy created specifically not to disturb the user: in fact, in this case it is no longer the company that looks for the potential customer, but it is the potential customer that finds the company on different channels if he/she has a need related to it.
The objective of the inbound marketing strategy developed for Juice is to accompany the user throughout the entire decision-making process: the Juice brand must be present not only when the user wants to buy an Apple product, but also when the user is still looking for very general information. In order to reach this goal, inside the e-commerce and the Juice blog the following elements have been implemented:
- Call-to-action. Integrating these buttons invites the user to take an action, whether it's to purchase a product, request more information, or download different types of content.
- Landing pages. A call-to-action must be accompanied by an effective landing page, a page that encourages the user to download/call/purchase, providing him with all the information he needs.
- Premium content. This kind of content aims to tickle the curiosity of the user who is not yet ready to buy. For Juice, a premium content titled "Why choose Juice?" was created: in this way, the user discovers the benefits of relying on Juice, bringing them even closer to the brand and the purchase.
- Pop-up. As soon as the user enters the site, a pop-up appears in the bottom right corner inviting him to download the premium content. This is not an invasive and annoying banner: the pop-up can be easily closed by clicking on the X. At the same time, it represents the best way to give the potential client the opportunity to download the report in a few seconds.
Thanks to all these elements, the site becomes not only a sales channel, but also a path for the potential Juice customer: finding time by time the information and the answers he is looking for, he is able to reach the awareness of the best product and service for his needs; in this way, he remembers the brand and searches for it when he finally feels ready to buy.
#3 SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Every day, millions and millions of users connect to social networks from all over the world. It is for this reason that a digital marketing strategy must necessarily take into account social platforms: thanks to these, in fact, it is possible to meet new potential customers and effectively lead them to purchase. These important results can only be achieved, however, when the company's presence on social channels is constant and focused.
At the beginning of the collaboration, the Customer had an approximate presence on Facebook: the posts were not studied, but randomly published in the "scraps of time". Our team has therefore developed specific graphics and texts for this channel. In addition, we opted for the opening of a profile on Instagram: through the power of persuasive images and texts and the strategic use of hashtags, Juice would have been able to reach new potential customers worldwide.
NetStrategy creates a weekly editorial plan for Facebook and Instagram: in this way, each post is scheduled, thus being able to better organize the content to be proposed to Juice's audience. The topics vary according to the single needs of the moment (for example, the opening of a new physical store) and according to the themes already treated in the past, avoiding the repetition of the same topics a few days apart.
The communicative style adopted by the company is perfectly coherent with that of the website and the blog: professional, simple and incisive; very few lines are enough to project the user into the youthful and modern reality of Juice. As far as images are concerned, the NetStrategy team creates specific photos for each post; however, there is a common theme in the graphics, so that Juice posts are immediately recognizable in the home page scrolled by the user.
In order to offer maximum visibility to the posts, they are sponsored through Facebook Ads. The performance of ads and active campaigns are constantly monitored: this allows to optimize copy and images and to understand which is the right target, which are the best times to publish and which is the area of interest. By publishing in a strategic way - and no longer by random - users now know when and how to find Juice's posts: in fact, an "appointment" is created between the company and the customer and this increases the interactions and the probability of new visits and new sales to the site, as well as obtaining loyal customers.
#4 SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING (SEM)
In order to offer immediate visibility to Juice on search engines, as well as to increase sales in "low season" periods or in those when SEO needed support, paid campaigns were structured. The goal is to reach the first positions for particularly searched keywords, making sure that the company can acquire new visits and new sales in the short term.
To cite an example, during the release of the new iPad Pro it was decided to create a series of paid ads that appeared in the top positions on Google when searching for terms such as:
- New iPad Pro;
- iPad Pro in installments;
- Buy iPad online.
Each ad links to a landing page that is coherent and relevant to the search made by the user. In this way, at first an answer to the user's question is offered, presenting the characteristics and the strengths of the product; then, the user can buy the iPad directly from the site, also accessing the financing that Juice, in collaboration with Cofidis, makes available.
#5 MARKETING AUTOMATION
One of the needs expressed from the beginning by the customer also concerned the automation of emails. This process had a double objective: firstly, to further strengthen the relationship between user and company; secondly, to improve the coordination of the physical stores.
How did we approach this? First, automation in email was implemented in the abandoned cart space. Based on the use of technical tools, NetStrategy found that there were a large number of customers who placed products in their carts but did not complete the purchase. To avoid losing potential customers who had already reached the crucial point in the decision-making process, an appropriate email was created: the consumer then receives an alert that takes him back to the cart, allowing him to complete the purchase in a few seconds.
Regarding Juice's internal organization, very often one person had to deal with manually sorting the emails that arrived to the different physical stores, causing a considerable waste of time. This phase has been automated by means of specific contact forms linked to personalized emails. In practice, today, if a user fills in the form asking to contact the Juice store in Genoa, he receives an email in which he is informed that he will be contacted soon. At the same time, the store in Genoa receives another email, containing all the contact details of the consumer. This is a very important step, because it saves time and money, avoiding "manual" sorting operations. Moreover, with a better internal organization it's possible to respond more promptly to the user, offering a high quality customer care service.
#6 STRATEGIC STORE PROMOTION ACTIVITIES
Periodically, Juice renovates its offline proposition, opening new stores in areas or cities where it was not present before. To open a new store means to invest in new territories and new potential customers: to make this investment profitable, it is fundamental to start strategies dedicated to the promotion of the stores before, during and after the opening.
Even in this case, NetStrategy bets on omni-channel marketing: it is necessary, in fact, that the company's target audience knows about the opening of the new stores from any channel (blog, social network or search engine). Our team then creates a news article, in which it presents the physical store, its offer and the area in which it is located.
Subsequently, the article is linked within the social channels, Facebook and Instagram, with the aim of giving it greater visibility. Thanks to the sponsorship of the posts, it is possible to target - and therefore highlight - the contents to the public of the geographical area where the physical store will be inaugurated.
To further support these 2 strategic activities, NetStrategy creates sponsored ad campaigns on search engines. In this case, 2 different types of ads are created:
- Ads targeted for the geographical area of reference. For example, if a geolocalized user in Aosta searches on Google for "Apple retailer", he will find the ad; if, instead, a user in Milan, a city where there are no inaugurations at that time, will not find it. By doing so, it is possible to make the ad visible to a really interested and close audience, thus avoiding wasting the budget in unqualified targets.
- Ads whose keyword contains the city of reference. For example, the ad will appear to a user from Milan who searches for "Apple Aosta dealer".
#7 COLLABORATION WITH THE CUSTOMER'S STRATEGIC PARTNERS
Due to the size of the Customer, one of the main requirements of the collaboration was to be able to enter perfectly in the complex dynamics of the company. In its business model, in fact, Juice has strategic and significant relationships with important companies, which require to follow guidelines that are sometimes rigid and stringent. The goal was to make all the parties cooperate, in a perspective of Juice growth.
Collaboration with the Customer and its key partners has never resulted in a limitation of NetStrategy's creativity and proactivity. Quite the opposite. It has led to effective coordination of the many activities to be performed, achieving even more profitable results. The various partners involved in the project constantly exchange information, feedback, and updates; content is sent regularly and reciprocally, with the goal of meeting deadlines on time.
Starting from these partnerships, specific strategic campaigns have been activated. One example among all is the promotion of the PagoDIL service, born from the collaboration between Juice and Cofidis. NetStrategy realized social network posts and blog articles, but not only: it also realized the script of the video and its diffusion, reaching in a short time more than 700.000 views.
Working with Juice was an exciting challenge for NetStrategy. The company's close relationship with important strategic partners meant that it had to follow strict guidelines, respond promptly, and meet deadlines. NetStrategy was able to fit seamlessly into Juice's business mechanisms and, thanks to a web marketing strategy completely tailored to the company, the challenge was won.
Today, Juice can boast a new customer acquisition channel, the online one, that, together with the traditional stores, has allowed a remarkable increase of the turnover in the last 3 years. The digitalization of the company has started with a focus on SEO and, above all, on the User Experience: this has allowed to increase incisively the organic visits already in the first year of collaboration. In the following chart it is possible to outline the results obtained thanks to SEO already in the first 12 months of activity.
Instead, below we present a chart comparing the results, again in organic terms, of the first 8 months of 2020 with the same period in 2017, the year NetStrategy started operations.
Organic visits, after 3 years of activity, have increased by more than 329%, from 109,000 in 2017 to 469,000 in 2020.
The creation of original and persuasive product sheets, combined with the implementation of call-to-action, landing pages, pop-ups and premium downloadable content, has also benefited the conversion rate year over year. Since 2017, the strategy's beginnings, the overall eCommerce conversion rate has more than quadrupled, with an overall increase of 472%!
Focusing on search engines, Google Ads campaigns have allowed Juice to acquire, in the last 8 months alone, more than 27,000 new visits to the website: users who have come into contact with the brand, buying or getting information about products or services in order to make a future purchase.
And what about social networks? A targeted social media marketing strategy, no longer casual and approximate, has allowed us to significantly increase the number of "likes" on Juice's Facebook profile: to date there are almost 25,000, continuously growing. This means that, potentially, 25,000 people are interested in the contents proposed by the brand and in the future could become loyal customers.
All these strategic activities have allowed not only the growth of the e-commerce channel, but also a greater profitability of the physical stores. This also comes from a better presence on the search engines: today Juice is present, with the sheets or the pages related to the stores, among the first results of the SERP for keywords like "Apple retailer Milan" (#1 and #2 position), "Apple assistance Genoa" (#2 position) and "Apple Mantova" (#1 position).
In addition, a customized strategy for the opening of each store has allowed the brand to be known even where it was not present before: reaching the right target audience through the website, social networks and search engines, offline sales have also increased considerably.
Thanks to the relationship of trust established and the results obtained, the collaboration between NetStrategy and Juice continues today. The first step, to let the consumer know that Juice is not only a physical store, but also has an online presence, has been successfully accomplished. This is demonstrated by the number of direct visits to the site in the last 8 months: almost 353,000 people have typed in the URL directly, aware that Juice is present online and can satisfy their needs.
After the important goals reached in the first three years, the collaboration between Juice and NetStrategy has been consolidated and strengthened to reach new important goals together. Now we just have to go on, looking at the future with the optimism of those who know that there is still a lot to do, but with passion, perseverance and strategy, every goal is reachable.