facebook-location-targeting-experiment

Can Facebook target specific Nigerian cities? Here's your answer

This post is a result of a campaign a colleague asked me to run. The campaign goal was to get people to attend a praise/worship session at the University of Lagos. As usual, I started thinking of campaign mechanisms and what targeting will work best. What I had concluded was that the easiest people to get to come to this event would be those closest to its venue.

As you'd expect, I tried to target Yaba, but I wasn't sure of the results because I hadn't done anything like this before. Which gave rise to the need for an experiment. In the coming weeks, I ran one experiment to decide if this could work or not.

If you're all about seeing the results, you can jump to the infographics below. Otherwise, here's the experiment that was run.

Experiment Hypothesis

The basic hypothesis behind this experiment was simple, and shockingly spot on.

  1. Participants who see the ads will be of two types, people who live in Yaba/Ikeja and people who were in Yaba/Ikeja at the time but do not live there
  2. At least 70% of the participants will indicate they were in or lived in Yaba / Ikeja

Experiment Design

Here's the simple process the experiment followed.

  1. Lead form ads were used to collect user data
  2. These ads targeted specifically the cities of Yaba and Ikeja on 2 different days
  3. Leads were collected over a 2 day period for both cities
  4. Users were asked where they saw the ad, and where they lived

Without further ado, here's the result from that experiment.

facebook-city-targeting-test-nigeria

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2 use cases for city based targeting for paid ads

 

Brick & Mortar Stores

Think about Shoprite, they have stores scattered around Lagos and other states. What if we could target the cities where these store are? Assume for a moment that different stores needed to get "rid" of specific stock peculiar to that store. Instead of running ads to everyone in Lagos saying sales, I could run a campaign for Ikeja saying 80% off electronics with directions for the store through Google Maps. Now someone who steps into Ikeja sees the ad and knows they can participate in the sales. Imagine this scaled to multiple cities, providing data on store performance across states and cities. Just pure bliss man

Remarketing + Location Targeting

Debras Grace, a female fashion store in Yaba recently launched their ecommerce website. If I were to be asked to drive in store traffic, outside of just running ads targeting Yaba, I could go one step further. Imagine I took the remarketing list of all engaged website visitors, people who added to cart but didn't purchase. Now all I'd need to do is setup an ad for this audience specifically in Yaba with an offer of 10% off when you purchase in store. Now users who see the ad while in Yaba have HUGE context already. If conversions aren't high on that ad, its probably jazz

These are just a few among many, I can think of three other ways right now, but we can keep those for later.

As the market continues to grow and demand more performance based marketing campaigns, things like this will become invaluable to marketers and SME owners. Next up, we'd be testing the limits for Google.


fixed-rates

How to ensure your dollar advertising rates stay fixed during a campaign

Its been a weird past couple of days. By now you already know that Donald Trump won the US election. What you might not have heard, is that the dollar is slowly coming down, at least for a short while. Mostly because the world isn't sure what's going to happen now, but expect it to come back sooner than you think.

Thing is, now everyone is waiting for the bank rates to drop too, so they can do some quick shopping. But for some of us, we're looking to pay just a little less on our ads. And not everyone knows how to do that.

Same goes for when you start off a new marketing contract. You can't tell your clients that their actual costs might vary as the dollar fluctuates, so you usually would give the prevailing dollar rates + some buffer. Which also doesn't always work, we've seen major jumps these past few months. So here are a few ways to get an assured fixed cost on your ads payment for the most popular platforms.

Option One: Pre-Pay for your ads at a fixed rate

On Google and Twitter, you can prepay for your ads as against using a post paid option. For Google, you can do this directly on the AdWords dashboard, and for Twitter, you can go through the Twitter partner for Africa, Ad Dynamo. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn't allow prepaid ads at the moment. At least not in Nigeria. So this can only work for Twitter and Google.

Making Manual Payments in Google.

To make manual payments in Google, simply visit your billing tab and click on the "Make a payment" button.

Obviously, this can't be refunded once paid, so I'd advise you pay on a per campaign basis. You can also easily switch back to automatic payments once you decide to go with the later. This can be especially useful for a short, one off campaign. I've also used this method to keep checks on accounts where access is share with other individuals. Maybe the client themselves, just so no one ends up paying more than planned for.

Making manual payments for Twitter through Ad Dynamo

If you're running a Twitter campaign and need to make pre-payment, Ad Dynamo is a valid option. You can get invoiced for a specific ad budget and run on that till its exhausted. Now admittedly, this isn't a good option for small campaigns (less than $500). But it can save you tons of money in fluctuating FX when you use this in running bigger budget campaigns.

 

Option two: Make payments with a dollar card

The second - and slightly more obvious - option, is to pay for your ads through a dollar account. This tends to ensure fixed rates on those ads. The major problem here would be that most SMEs and small scale ad agencies probably wouldn't have one. But at this point, if you plan on doing online advertising for the long term, I'd advise you open one.

Before opening a dollar account though, I'd advise you check properly for information about the bank you'd like to use. A friend recently mentioned that her UBA card still had a dollar restriction. Please get proper information so you don't waste time.

The good thing about using a dollar card, is that you can keep adding to it as you find sweet deals on the black market rates.

We're likely going to be in this fluctuating FX regime for a while, so if you'd be advertising either for yourself or for other businesses. I'd advise you start taking into consideration long term plans to get your costs to be as low as possible. Let me know if you have any other tips on how to save costs on FX.


make money on fiverr

Here's how you could make over 100k on Fiverr monthly

Running a small business, blog or personal brand can be hard. And for people like me, that tend to do 1,000 things at the same time, it could get even harder. Especially when you try to do all the work yourself. But every once in a while, it dawns on you that you need help. Because truth is, not everything you can do is doable when you prioritize. And that's how I found Fiverr.

Before now, I had used upwork a lot, but I got a better deal on Fiverr once and used it a few more times. And during one of my searches, I realized there was a Nigerian on Fiverr with active gigs. This was a bit interesting for me, because I had only just learned of the platform. And to think someone was there not just as a buyer, but a seller, was interesting. So I got to work getting in touch with Nigerians on the platform. Basically trying to get a feel of what their experience was like. Their actual responses are at the end of this post

Here are the major takeaways.

Registering & Getting Gigs

Contrary to what I had initially thought, registering on the platform is quite straightforward. I already signed up myself as a buyer, and if the seller registration is similar, its seamless. Once I had gone through a few "gigs" as they call services provided by freelancers, I got a clear picture of the general idea.

According to the name, everything starts off at $5, except a few cases. So even if you're selling web design services, most people kick off with a $5 offer. And then they graduate it into different packages. For example, "I will build a one page website for you in 3 days" could be $5. The same freelancer will then have 2 upgraded packages. In one case, he could offer a 10 paged website for $20 and then unlimited for $100. But freelance services mostly start at $5

Now my major concern was if there was any kind of stereotyping as per Nigerian freelancers, but according to responses from most of the guys I contacted, there weren't at all. Now there might be a few cases, we can't completely rule that out, but for the most part, no one cares that your flag is green-white-green. Speak fluent English and you're mostly good.

Receiving Payments

Andddd... another pain point. PayPal still isn't open for businesses in Nigeria. And hopefully we'd get that soon, maybe after another petition. But at the moment, that method for receiving payments is crossed out. But from what I understood, people use the Payoneer to receive funds. Fiverr has some kind of connection to the Payoneer Prepaid Mastercard and can send your funds there.

Alternatively, if you're one to travel in and out of the country, you can always setup your business PayPal account and receive money through it. You'd figure out the withdrawing part right? ;)

One other thing to keep in mind here is the FX rates. Payments are made in dollars, so if you can somehow get the dollar value into a local account, you'd probably be getting very good bang for buck when you convert at the black market rates. All the more reason to be on Fiverr :) . And although none of our respondents hinted directly at that, I'm guessing it can be done. Check out their actual responses below

Responses from Nigerians on Fiverr

 

Meet Uche Maduagwu - Offers Design Services

Questions

  1. How long have you been on Fiverr?
  2. Have you ever had any Nigerian hiring you for a gig? Or they're all foreign gigs so far?
  3. How do you typically receive payment? Paypal?
  4. On your overall experience, what do you think of the platform? As a freelancer, is it very profitable to be on?

Response

1) I started fiverr 2014 after my service year. About 2 years ago but then I didn't have any skill to offer. So I took about 6 -8 months to gain a skill. So practically I started Fiverr fully in 2015. The skill I acquired was from YouTube and not from anybody. I just download YouTube videos related to what I do.  Though tedious but but I learnt a lot,  till date I am still learning...                        

2) I get more gigs from other countries. The only Nigerians that hired me, just few, are based in UK and USA. 

3) PayPal is banned in Nigeria so I only use it to buy things online not to receive payment. I receive payment using my Payoneer online account. They sent me a master card which I can use to withdraw in Nigeria or any part of the world irrespective of the countries currency.     

4)lolz, I reserve my comment.  But one is that it pays my rent and up keep monthly. So I don't touch my monthly salary from my place of work.... what I earn from Fiverr monthly, it's almost a bankers monthly salary when the dollar is converted to naira using a dollar to N200 exchage rate, not N400. I guess you understand me better now.

 

Meet Sarumi - Offers Statistical Services

Questions

  1. How long have you been on Fiverr?
  2. Do you usually get people from other countries hiring you? Or do you get more gigs from Nigerians?
  3. I noticed your gigs are mostly on math related topics, does that work really well? It's really interesting to see that someone can do that in freelance, I would never have guessed
  4. On your overall experience, what do you think of the platform? As a freelancer, is it very profitable to be on?

Response

  1. It's been like a year and 3 months now that have been on Fiverr.
  2. 80% of my clients are from United States while just 2 Nigerians have worked with me.
  3. It very interesting doing math online and so far have been doing well on average of 110k per month except when I'm on vacation.
  4. The platform is very okay and has helped a lot compared to odesk or elance. It's very easy to navigate.
  5. Payment options are paypal and Payooner.

 

Meet Blossom Jey - Offers Video Services

Questions

  1. How long have you been on Fiverr?
  2. Do you usually get people from other countries hiring you? Or do you get more gigs from Nigerians?
  3. How do you typically receive payment? Paypal?
  4. On your overall experience, what do you think of the platform? As a freelancer, is it very profitable to be on?

Response

  1. I've been on Fiverr for 11 months,
  2. I've never had an order from a Nigerian,
  3. I receive payments via PayPal (don't ask how),
  4. And Lastly, Fiverr is has been profitable to me as a Freelancer and also a student

 

Getting on Fiverr, the best practices

As a Nigerian getting on the Fiverr platform, there are a few things I can tell you for free. And I can say this because I've seen a few Nigerians on Fiverr doing weird things. Not to blame them though, but I think some are obvious. Lets get into it

1. Make your profile clean and professional

One of the first things people do before hiring on Fiverr is checking your profile out. Now if you sound too serious, they might flip out and run for the door. If you sound too casual, they'd think you're a faffer. Get a good mix. Spell out the services you offer in the most understandable manner you can so people know what you do. Once done, you can chip in some humor if its in you, but don't force it

2. Use a picture of yourself or an illustration

This part makes me plain mad. I see a few guys, like someone called "Deola" and it's a white man's picture, an old white dude. In my head I'm like "Why Deola? Why?" Be proud of who you are, and if you're not for some weird reason, at least use a simple vector image. Maybe something that really captures the services you offer. Someone else used a picture of a Nigerian celebrity, I think Kate Henshaw or so, don't remember clearly now. Just stick to you please :)

3. Have a few active gigs. Services people need

A lot of the Nigerian profiles I saw there didn't have any gigs. Maybe they just came to try out the platform, which might be fine, but it not, put up something. And be sure to offer services people actually want. And as much as you can, offer several services, which shouldn't be too hard. For example, someone who offers logo design services ideally should be able to make business card designs too. So why not include that as a service alongside, consider it an up-sell. In my opinion, the more gigs you have, the better your chances.

4. Get good reviews and provide good customer service

I'd tell you exactly what I do on Fiverr when looking for a freelancer. I search for my task, e.g. "intro logo animation", then I go ahead to mouse over every gig in the search results, looking for the one with the highest ratings first. Once I find a few, I click on their profiles, then go click on the "contact me" button, just to check their average response time.

Anyone above 4hrs doesn't cut it for me. And anyone without a review is obviously not an option. And if you do have reviews, 3 stars and below and I'm questioning your quality of work. I think this gives you an idea of how people will find you. Get good ratings, respond as quickly as possible.

And that's it! I'm writing about this because the freelance community in Nigeria is growing now, and we all need a place to sell our stuff. So try out Fiverr. And if you already do, let me know in the comments section, will be excited to hear your experience.


professional-product-pictures

DIY Great looking product pictures with a phone camera [VIDEO]

One of the most important aspects of ecommerce is product visualization. The down side to not being in a physical store is not being able to ogle the products you've fantasized about for months and feel them in your hands. But there's a way to take care of that. Provide beautiful product pictures so your customers get "almost" the same experience as in store.

But almost all fo us know that right? That's not the problem. The problem is that we can't afford to take pictures that good. You were probably advised to get a "professional photographer". And I think we all know how expensive that gets.

So today, in an effort to help us all become awesome product photographers ourselves, @_tidola will be telling us a few things. Watch the video below to see how you can take product pictures as good as the one below with just a phone and cardboard. And if you have some PhotoShop experience, you can make them look even better.

 

product-picture-with-samsung-s7

UNEDITED PICTURE WITH SAMSUNG GALAXY S7

 

product-picture-with-samsung-s7-edited

SLIGHTLY EDITED PICTURE WITH SAMSUNG GALAXY S7

Here's the video, it's just about 8mins long, so I'd advise you watch it in one sitting. You can also use it as a guide when doing your next product shoot.

 

Product Shoot Results

 

Be sure to try this out and send to us! You can follow Tidola on Instagram and Twitter.


google adwords campaign groups

AdWords Click-To-Message ads now live for advertisers

For a lot of clients, your typical AdWords campaigns don't cut it. I learned that during my time at a digital agency. Take an FMCG that wants its customers to enter a competition by calling a number for example.Which happened on more than one occasion. In those cases, we had used the AdWords Click-To-Call campaigns and seen good uptake. Although the downside to that was the lack of conversion tracking for Nigerian numbers.

In a blog post last week, Google officially announced the Click-To-Message extension. Which I'm certain will have so many use applications. According to Google

Nearly two thirds of smartphone owners use messaging more than five times a day to communicate with others. And people aren’t limiting their use of messaging to social communications - 65% of consumers say they’d consider using messaging to connect with a business to get information about a product or service, or to schedule an in-person appointment.

The messaging extension will now be available just like the call, location and callout extensions. Here's an example of what the extension will look like in your ads

 

And the best thing about this extension, is that you can enter a default text in the message that's sent! Clicking on the message CTA opens up the users message app.

Possible use cases in Nigeria

 

Basic services, like food (Chicken Republic)

Lets take Chicken Republic as an example. The company already has an online sales platform. We've seen the company push their express meal for just ₦1,000 right? And they take orders from multiple areas in Lagos. Here's a simple campaign I could run to test out this functionality

chicken-republic-call-to-text

And here I'd include a message extension with the copy "SMS Your Order for delivery". Which could easily be designed to auto-fill the message "I'd like an express meal. My address is [insert your address]". This can then trigger a call to confirm the order.

There are a million and one other use cases for this. Only thing that'll get in your way is your imagination.

And don't forget, this is a new feature, so you'd want to try it out to see how your customers respond to it. If you do and you get any interesting feedback, let me know in the comment box below


delivery-companies in Nigeria

20 companies that make deliveries for your Nigerian online store

If I didn't already mention it, I always wanted to start an ecommerce website. Funny enough, its what got me into digital marketing in the first place. At the time, I was in 400 level in college. This was a time when the only popular websites were guys like 3stitches and Taafoo. I had a grand dream, after watching 1,000,000 videos from Zappos and reading delivering happiness. I knew I could succeed at this stuff if I put my mind to it. And I was ready to take on the world.

Among my many ideas was this grand plan to work with UPS. Why? because Zappos worked with them in the US. Yeah, I was that sold on Tony Hsieh and what he had built. So I sent the cutest mail to UPS Nigeria, with a cute presentation (it was cute in retrospect). The one line I can remember from the mail was something like "We love UPS because we think you'd make our customers happy". *smacks head*

We did get our meeting with an account exec, went weird, I won't go into details. But I knew I couldn't use UPS that afternoon, after spending 10k to and from the meeting. Which was a whole lot of money then.

It's almost 7 years later now, and the dream is just that now, a dream. But the problem is still as real today as it was then with logistics. And the truth is, ecommerce thrives on logistics, but it's such a flipping pain in the behind in Nigeria. It's sad. Imagine that one day you'd be able to order something today and get it tomorrow before 5PM. That's the dream both customers and SMEs look forward to, and we hope, really hope, that it happens soon.

But in the mean time, we still need as many options as possible for ecommerce logistics solutions, and that's what I hope to address in this post. So here's a list of logistics solutions I could find online. And just incase you know one that's missing or have one, let me know, I'm going to keep this sheet updated.

PS: I left out the (very) obvious logistics & courier companies like UPS, FedEx, DHL and the likes.

List of ecommerce delivery companies in Nigeria

I'd suggest that you go through each website and see what services they offer. Once you settle on a few, send some emails to start negotiations based on volume. Please let me know in the comment box if I'm missing out a few

SN Company Website Email Phone Pay on Delivery?
1 Push http://www.push.ng/ team@push.ng NA Yes
2 MSF Delivery http://mfsdelivery.com/ NA 08030785155
3 Gbelo http://gbelo.com/ hello@gbelo.com 08159611353 Yes
4 Mr Shopper http://www.mrshopper.com.ng/ hello@mrshopper.com.ng 08023234914 Yes
5 ACE Logistics https://www.ace.ng/ info@ace.ng NA Yes
6 Courier Plus http://www.courierplus-ng.com/ enquiries@courierplus-ng.com +234-1-2793170
7 City Run http://www.cityrunng.com/index.html info@cityrunng.com 07052278056
8 Max http://max.ng/ info@max.ng 08072030834 Yes
9 Nationdelivery http://www.nationdelivery.com/index.php NA 09099900250
10 Qick Delivery http://www.quickdelivers.com/ help@quickdelivers.com 08090667663 Yes
11 Tranex http://tranex-ng.com/ tranex@tranex-ng.com 07046182356
12 Tranzit http://tranzit.ng/tranzitit.php mailus@tranzit.ng 0700-1000-100
13 Drop Buddies http://www.dropbuddies.com/web/ ask@DropBuddies.com 0909 999 1652 Yes
14 Zippy http://www.zippy.com.ng/ info@zippy.com.ng 0700-2255-94779
15 KOS Delivery http://kos.ng/ enquiries@kos.ng 08180092233 Yes
16 EMS Speed Post http://www.emsng.com/ csu@emsng.com 09087100300
17 Errandboy http://errandb.com/ NA 08111173668
18 Red Star Express http://www.redstarplc.com/ enquiries@redstarexpress-ng.com 01-2715670
19 Ekesons Parcel Services http://epsng.net/ info@epsng.net 07088685149
20 ErrandEx http://www.errandex.net/ cs@errandex.net +234-1-8183256774
21 Delivery Bros http://deliverybros.com/ howfar@deliverybros.com 08156796295

 

The important thing to keep in mind about most of these companies is that they offer business rates. So while they might try to keep some rates upfront on their website, it doesn't guarantee that the rate applies to you as an SME. Most will come to reduced costs once you negotiate shipping volumes.

And if you're just going into ecommerce without prior experience, here are a few things to look out for in a delivery company.

Do they offer business rates?

This is a no brainer, if they do not offer competitive rates for businesses, they're not ready for SMEs. This will only be acceptable if the courier only focuses on SMEs, in which case the standard rates should apply. But be sure to at least try to negotiate a deal

How is payment made?

It'll be operationally difficult to pay for every delivery. having a payment schedule helps you best. For example, paying up at the end of every month, or when you get to a certain amount. And in rare cases, like with ACE, paying upfront. I'd advise against the upfront schedule though, you don't want to be tied to a company in case they turn out crappy

Cash on delivery services?

Cash on delivery or pay on delivery is a popular payment option in Nigeria. Especially for small businesses that haven't exactly built trust with their customer base yet. So check to see which company offers cash on delivery and what the service fee for that is like

Handling returns

Like I mentioned in a previous post on returns/refunds, returns is an important part of ecommerce too. You don't want to wait till you get your first return request before you figure it out. Try to confirm if your delivery company caters for that before hand

Opportunities to scale

As a small business you're probably looking for a service that can give you cheap costs. However, never compromise on scalability. Can the company that currently delivers 2 products a day keep up with 10? Can they keep up with 100? If no, what's your plan for a company that can deliver at scale? Always be sure to have a backup plan if your current or soon-to-be partner won't be able to keep up with increasing scale.

These are some of the major points to think about before going ahead with a delivery partner. Get in touch with a few today and start your selection process. And if you need help, you know where to find us ;)


Handling returns the right way for Nigerian ecommerce businesses

I once read about a Zappos customer who had ordered clothes for a relative's wedding. And I might not be telling this story exactly as it happened but this is the general gist of it. The delivery guy who dropped off the order didn't meet the customer around, so in a very clumsy move, he left the order at the door. Before the customer got home to pick up the order waiting for him, it rained and the items got damaged.

Soon enough, a Zappos customer support employee got a very angry customer calling and cursing. And understandably so too. But the one thing I admire about Zappos is their unending drive to deliver great customer service. The employee got the general gist of the man's plight. And the annoying part for this customer was the fact that he didn't know his size so he had ordered it early to have it mended to suit him. Now the wedding was only a few days away and he was in deep poop.

The employee apologized and resent his order to him, with a free upgrade to overnight delivery. And the delightful part of this story, is that the employee sent different sizes of the same product, so the customer could select his best fit, significantly reducing the need to have them mended, and send all the rest back.

That's an example of going above and beyond for the customer. And while Zappos might be an exception with a truly shocking 365 day return policy, every business needs to look for ways to ensure customers feel safe when they shop with you. And one major way is through your refund and return policies.

Here are a few best practices to follow when structuring yours

Make your returns policy easy to find

Perhaps one of the biggest faults in Nigerian ecommerce websites is the fact that you don't find their return policies easily. And for the few that do try to put it out up front, there are flaws in the execution that don't really help. Lets take a look at a few examples from websites you know

Konga.com: The Konga return policy is quite visible on the shipping details tab. The only problem here however is that the icon isn't clickable. Because there are more details on the policy in a different page but the customer doesn't get to see it. Not until they check for the return policy link at the bottom of the page.

 

konga return policy

 

Payporte.com: Here's an excerpt from the Payporte website from their returns policy page "White apparels, Swimwear, underwear, sex toys, earrings/ accessories and cosmetics/beauty products (including perfumes & Fragrances) cannot be returned or exchanged.". Now lets look at the details page on a bra. ANY customer that gets to this page without looking into the refund policy (and almost no one would) will assume they can return this item.

payporte return policy

 

Use plain English, not technical jargon

Good thing is that you're probably a customer reading this too. Ever got in touch with technical support about something and the dude on the other end of the line is just trying to throw you off balance with terms and acronyms? It's just as bad when you spell out your refund policy in words people don't get. And sometimes it's just so obvious its worrying. Take a look at Jumia's policy summary for example

jumia-return-policy

I mean, who can make sense of this please? What's the grand idea? Feels like we're back in school all over again and I'm trying to steal the multiplication table answers off the back of my school book.

Compare that to the returns policy on a website called Lovehoney

Return policy from lovehoney

Difference is clear as day. And after reading a refund policy like this, truth is that you smile a little and you gain just a little more confidence in the brand. Your customers are human too, not little witches trying to steal from you. Be nice to them, speak their language

Your customers are human too, not little witches trying to steal from you. Be nice to themClick To Tweet

Try to subsidize your return fees

This one is a little tricky, especially because even the big guns haven't led in the right direction. And understandably, logistics in Nigeria is a little cumbersome. But just before you go ahead to behead me for suggesting such a thing, lets think about a business case for this.

Assume you're a small business, not like Konga or Jumia. Assume that you have about 10,000 customers on your ecommerce website where you sell female shoes. And 8,000 of these customers live in Lagos. Typically, ecommerce thrives on repeat business and Word Of Mouth marketing, so these 8k customers will talk to their friends (in Lagos) about your website.

Even though these guys had friends refer them, they'd still have trust issues using you. What if they come to your website and see that to return an item they don't like to you is just N300 (or free if you can afford it). Especially for the - now growing - customers who don't mind paying with their card.

Again, a few of you are still killing me, but this doesn't have to be an absolute disaster. Get data driven about the results, for one month, put it out there on every page that returns cost so little or nothing, see if it affects your order rates and make a business decision. Risky yeah? Yes. But if it does boost confidence and boost sales, you win!

Indicate time frame limitations for returns

Not everyone can be like Zappos or Lovehoney. Actually, I'm not sure if it'll work in Nigeria, it might, but it'll be a stretch. Either way, you need to let customers know how long they can wait to return these products. If they don't know upfront, and they miss the deadline, you'd have an angry human knocking at your door soon. Konga and Payporte, along with a few other websites, do this well.

konga return policy

 

Let customers know if they can exchange for credit or cash

Some stores let you get cash refunds when you return an item. Some insist on exchanging it for another product. And others give you store credits.

I had an experience on DealDey once on the same thing, made an order that wasn't able to be fulfilled. And even thought I explicitly mentioned it that I wanted the money back in my account, I got a follow up mail saying I had been given store credits. Is that a bad approach? Most likely yes. But the real problem is in the fact that I had no idea they wouldn't want to give me cash back. On another day, in another situation, that could have led to a whole new story.

Be sure to let your customers know if you give them cash in exchange for returned items, or if they just get store credits or another product.

Provide enough product information

Although a lot of what we have addressed have talked about how to deal with returns, there's one way to prevent it. Provide all the right information the customer needs to make a decision. This will include things like the product description, title, color information, technical specification, product images... All of these things could easily mislead the customer into ordering for something they don'e want.

This is especially true if you run a third party seller type store, or if you use drop shipping, you need to be sure that merchants provide as much correct information as possible.

Lastly, be human. In some cases, before a customer returns an item, they call your store up to make clarifications. If you or your staff are polite and human enough, they just might make do with what they received. Or in some cases, they realize they made the mistake and they don't need to return the item.

Keep these things in mind as you plan for your returns/refund strategy.


google analytics demo account

Google Analytics is getting a complete makeover

For those of us who are "not so new" to Google Analytics, we've always seen some of its flaws. I've used the platform for over 4 years now, and I always secretly wished it looked a little better. And acted better too. With almost 40 accounts tied to my mail, my biggest frustration is always when I log in, then you'd have to scroll through all these account to find just the one.

But Google Analytics, GA, as most of us have come to call it, is getting an overhaul. One of the first things being the new Material Design approach. Which is now mostly a standard with all Google UI. It is important to note though that key functionality still stays the same. The only changes we'd be seeing are design related. Lets get into them

Renewed, simpler navigation

Using Material Design standards, the top navigation menu (Home, Reporting, Customization, Admin) has been taken out. The Admin bar is now pinned at the bottom, and the left pane is now re-sizable so you can get more space on the canvas.

New Google Analytics navigation

 

Better switching between views

This one already kicked in (on my account at least, not sure if it's a full roll-out). Before now, you had to go all the way back home then select a different property you wanted to view. But recently, I noticed you could now do that from anywhere on Google Analytics. Simply by clicking on the top left of the page

Easier view switching in Google Analytics

 

Log into your last viewed profile

Like I mentioned earlier, it can be a pain in the butt when you constantly have to scroll through tens of accounts to get to your most frequent. Thankfully that is changing. Now when you log into Google Analytics, the view you're shown is your last viewed profile. Which makes all the sense in the world!

Set your own default date range

At the moment, Google shows you a 30 day data range when you get into analytics. But with the new changes, you'd now be able to set your own default date range in User Settings. The new default range has been changed from 30 days to 7 days.

Taking out a couple of pages

Intelligence events have now been removed from Google Analytics to be replaced by Automated Insights from Google Analytics Assistant. While the In-Page Analytics report has been removed from the UI too. However, you can still access in-page analytics through a dedicated Google Chrome Extension.

Those are the major changes that we'd be seeing in a few months from now. Along with other new products coming out which we should talk about here. Do you use Analytics often? What do you think of these?


stranger-lagos

Stranger Lagos - Free shared work space in Lekki with a twist

I've always fancied working remotely every once in a while. There's a sense of peace when you're away from the visible pressure of work. And also a sense of pride when people see your laptop for the first time and can't take their eyes off it :) . So I've always been interested in shared work spaces. I feel like they contribute an important factor to freelancers and startups, somewhere to just sit and get shit done.

So when my friend mentioned Stranger Lagos, I was keen to see what it looked like. Coincidentally, at the time, we were also looking for a venue to shoot the first Localized Digital video. So we needed a win-win. And it was spot on.

First Impressions

My first thought of stranger Lagos was "nice lighting!". I've always loved a room with an ambiance, and Stranger delivered spot on with that. First thing you notice is the mini-bar to the right, with a weird assortment of drinks. And then the open space with wooden chairs and tables filling the center of the room. On this day *and here's the twist* they were having a meetup called the "Maker Culture". Because Stranger is not just a work space, it's an arts / culture / literature type setting, which makes it even better for some of us.

books at Stranger

There are a lot of interesting books at Stranger, I even saw the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen!

Melancholic / introverted freelancers with a taste for art will feel like heaven here, a quiet work space and beautiful aesthetics are all we can ask for. Especially for those days when you just look forward to being alone.

Work space arrangements

Admittedly, I didn't actually use the shared work space when I visited Stranger. But I did get into one of their "Maker Culture" sessions, which is basically a session hosted by different artists, the day's topic was photography.

From my discussion with the admins of the work space, using Stranger is free as long as you buy something from the premises. The only downside is that you have to provide your own internet for yourself. Which isn't really a bad thing considering most of us already have modems in today's world.

The Stranger Lagos workspace is open Tuesdays to Sundays (but not Mondays, be sure to keep that in mind). And I'd say it's one of the coziest work spaces I've been to in Lagos. Here's a few pictures from our visit.

open-roof patio Stranger Lagos

A picture of the top view of the patio

patio-shelf-stranger-lagos

Konko, one of our Subject Matter Experts about to make a yoga pose on the Patio

selfie-time localized digital

Bukky, our editor, and Konko doing some dual selfie pose, apparently the lighting from the roof was good for selfies. That's @tidola, judging them in her mind, I judged them too, you just can't see me :)

Stranger is located at 3 Hakeem Dickson Street, Lekki Phase One, Lagos. There's a giant "Suffy Travels & Tours" sign outside and a neat number three. You can't miss it!


chrome-https-errors

Non-HTTPS pages will soon be marked Not Secure in Chrome

The need for an SSL certificate on your website has always been debated. And for those of us that are unsure of what this is, an SSL certificate simply makes transferring data over the internet secure. Which is good for ecommerce websites that collect user card details. But for things like blogs for example, the average marketer doesn't see the need.

If you have a website, there's a 30% chance your developer mentioned this to you. There's also a good chance you said "Nah, I don't think I'd need it". Heck I told a student at one of my trainings she didn't need it. Looks like all of that is about to change.

Chrome's drive for a more secure web

According to the Google Chrome blog

Studies show that users do not perceive the lack of a “secure” icon as a warning, but also that users become blind to warnings that occur too frequently.

And the plan to counter this is to clearly label non secure pages as such. Like in the image below

non-secure page chrome

This will start by first marking all pages that request for passwords or credit card details of HTTP as non-secure pages. Starting from January 2017, which is in a few months time. Here's how there pages will look

non-secure password pages chrome

Still think this doesn't affect you? After all you don't collect card details right?

But do you run a tech startup that requires users to log into their account? Or a WordPress blog that allows user registration/login? If yes, you're still busted. But maybe users wouldn't notice the little attention seeking circle in their browsers for now. In a few years time though, a huge red triangle will start to make your website look like a phishing site.

It is also important to note though, that this update will only be effected from Chrome 53 upwards. Which is the most recent version of Chrome in circulation as at the time of this writing.

I guess this means you'd need to start selling SSL to your clients as a developer, or consider using it as an SME or startup. At least you'd need to soon enough. What do you think of this update? Let me know