What to Know About Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories

So, you’re just ramping up your ecommerce stores Facebook business page or your page is already well-established – what’s next in your ecommerce social marketing strategy? Facebook offers various options to drive more traffic to your Facebook page, and consequently, to your website. Two options that are common and many small businesses to large corporations use are Facebook ads and sponsored stories. Both are viable and inexpensive options if you are looking to drive traffic to your ecommerce store.

You’ve likely heard that “social ads” are the future of advertising, and they are certainly on the rise. With Facebook ads, you have the opportunity to approach exactly the target group you want. Because Facebook users fill in information about themselves, including their basic demographic information and interests, you can be specific when deciding which audience to buy Facebook ads for. Facebook also incorporates users’ search inquiries into ads. For example, if someone was searching for cabernet wine glasses on Google, related ads will be displayed in that person’s Facebook ads column. Continue reading What to Know About Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories

5 Ways to Get Your Facebook Posts Noticed

You’ve just posted your ecommerce stores new product line to your Facebook page, but only a small fraction of your fans actually will see it. We all know that Facebook is the most influential social media site, and with its various options for engagement, it’s a great way to interact with your customers, learn about your fan base, and find new leads. However, because there are so many posts a user could want to see in their newsfeeds—posts from friends, businesses they’re fans of, etc—most people don’t have enough time to see all the posts. Additionally, 90% of the people who click on your Facebook Page often don’t come back to your Page. They are more likely to read your content in their own Facebook newsfeed. That is, IF you know how to make sure it shows up there.

As you may know, Facebook implemented a new algorithm that “listens” to user feedback, which essentially allows people to decide who and what to connect with. For example, when a user likes something, that tells Facebook newsfeed that they want to see more of that kind of content; when they hide something, that tells Facebook newsfeed to display less of that content in the future. With over 30 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook each month—it’s imperative for ecommerce stores that use social medial to make sure your content gets seen. Below are a few tips on getting your Facebook posts noticed by your fans: Continue reading 5 Ways to Get Your Facebook Posts Noticed

Why You Need a Retargeting System for Your Ecommerce Page

If you have done research on marketing for ecommerce, chances are that you have run into the term retargeting. Say that a person went to your website, browsed some products, and failed to make a complete checkout. If you don’t make any further efforts to win the customer back, that lead is probably gone for good. Retargeting exists to give you a chance to get that lead back and successfully convert him or her. In a study conducted earlier this year, Criteo found that using retargeted ads for your site can raise your conversion rate by nearly 70 percent. This marketing technique is also great at further exposing your product lines. Retargeting is pretty powerful stuff that can help your bottom line in the long run. Here’s how retargeting can boost your ecommerce presence.

How Retargeting Works

Most standard retargeting systems work using Internet cookies, which are little pieces of data that store your online browsing habits, passwords, and other miscellaneous details. If you head to a site that employs retargeting, the retargeting program will put a cookie into your web browser folder and track what you do. So going back to the abandoned cart example, if you put some items into a cart and don’t make a proper checkout, the cookie will take note. Continue reading Why You Need a Retargeting System for Your Ecommerce Page

The Rise and Fall of Flash Sales

This past week, Fab.com made news once again after its co-founder Bradford Shellhammer stepped down. The departure is a bookend to the ecommerce store’s pivot away from flash sales and into the territory of standard online retail, a la Amazon. In its flash sale heyday, the company raised over $150 million in funding and was valued at around $1 billion dollars. Since the beginning of the year, Fab.com has been going through some rapid downscaling in an effort to be profitable. Flash sales used to be the next big thing in ecommerce, but somewhere along the line, the business model’s wheels started to fall off. Surprisingly enough, Zulily, an ecommerce flash sale store for apparel designed for kids and mothers, is trying to launch an IPO north of $200 million total value. This seems to be an outlier though, as there’s a lesson to be learned from the Groupons, Fab.coms, Totsys, and the others out there. How did the flash sale business model fall apart? Continue reading The Rise and Fall of Flash Sales

Gamification and Ecommerce

Gamification

Whether you’re into video games or not, you cannot ignore the behemoth known as the video games industry. In last year alone, the gaming industry saw over $63 billion dollars in revenue, and trends suggest that there is nowhere to go but up for the future. Many non-gaming companies have already noticed the power of gaming and are using gaming experiences to build their brands. Hence, the term gamification was born. You don’t have to be a true video gamer to participate in gamification. There’s a good chance that you have played in a game constructed by one of the many brands you interact with.

To step back a bit, let’s define gamification. Gamification takes typical video game mechanics and applies them to user engagement. Theoretically, this strategy works because it plays towards human beings’ competitive drives and desire for rewards. Do you check in to restaurants and buildings on Foursquare to receive badges you can display across your social media channels? Do you rack up points at the local coffee shop in order to get a free latte? Do you submit posts to online forums for badges that come with hitting certain posting milestones? If you said yes to any of these things, gamification has touched your life. In a recent Gartner study, the firm projects that 40 percent of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification some way in their business operations by 2015. Gamification is here to stay, and here are some approaches to using gamification for your ecommerce store. Continue reading Gamification and Ecommerce

5 Common Mistakes Ecommerce Businesses Make with Social Media

Social Media

Ecommerce businesses have much to gain by integrating social media channels into their general web presence. We all know that Facebook and Twitter serve as general hangouts, but they also help build your brand, strengthen your community, and generate quality leads to your website. While social media is a great way to keep a constant conversation with your customers, it’s also a convenient venue for customers to rant about poor experiences. How your business responds to complaints on social media should be taken seriously. One wrong move can cost you. Below are five social media blunders that are commonly made by businesses and how to overcome them:

1) Making the conversation a one-way street

Facebook and Twitter are great channels to create dialogues between your brand and target consumers. However, you need to make sure that the conversation is a two-way street. In other words, you need listen to every bit of what your customers are saying. You need to speak to your customers’ concerns (and quickly!) and not just talk at them. This means closely monitoring your direct messages, comments, mentions, and wall posts. By doing that, you will gain a better understanding of what types of content will appeal to your customers and show them that you truly care. Continue reading 5 Common Mistakes Ecommerce Businesses Make with Social Media

How to Use Vine to Gain Social Media Exposure

Vine

If you are an avid social media user, chances are that you have noticed an explosion of Vine videos on your feeds at some point. For those of you who don’t know what Vine is, let’s step back a second. Purchased and owned by Twitter, Vine was initially released in January 2013 and is a video making app that is available for iOS, Android, and (unofficially) Windows Phone. All you need to do is go to the app store and download it for free. The program captures sound and video with its in-app camera, and a user is limited to six seconds (it doesn’t have to be a consecutive shot, however) when creating a video. Given its simplicity and ability to create content quickly, companies of all sizes have already started using Vine to jumpstart advertising campaigns. These are big name companies, too—General Electric, Gap, Calvin Klein, and the list goes on. If you haven’t already, now’s the time to sign up your ecommerce store for the Vine express! Here’s how you can use Vine to support your online store. Continue reading How to Use Vine to Gain Social Media Exposure

Why Social Media Advertising Makes Sense for Every Online Store Owner

eCommerce is a vehicle driven by visibility, and social media is the fuel that powers it.  Need proof? Consider this. According to study conducted by eMarketer, nearly 1.7 billion people around the world will use social media in 2013, a figure that’s up 16% from 2012. Of those 1.7 billion, nearly all of them will make at least one online purchasing decision that’s been influenced by what they see on, and how they interact with, social media.

Like it or not, our hyper-networked society is addicted to the Internet, and in order to be a successful online store owner using and advertising on social media (Facebook in particular) is essential.

Continue reading Why Social Media Advertising Makes Sense for Every Online Store Owner

eCommerce 101: PPC for Beginners

eCommerce 101: PPC for Beginners

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is a very strong segment of online marketing and is used in eCommerce to drive traffic and convert visitors into customers. With that said, it is only effective when done properly with the right goals and strategy in place. The most common error I often see merchants make in PPC is disorganized, chaotic campaigns. When merchants begin to dabble in Search Marketing, business owners are typically working with a small budget, with the end goal of driving more traffic, leads and revenue to their online store. If you’re not already using PPC to your advantage it’s time for you to understand the fundamentals and how to successfully (and continuously) convert traffic into customers. There is more strategy involved in crafting ad campaigns and building out a channel on the web to meet business goals than one might think.

This post is written for beginners who want to get started with PPC. I’ll detail the basics with a few tips along the way to help you maximize your budget and the success of your campaigns. Continue reading eCommerce 101: PPC for Beginners

Maximizing Marketing Strategies for an Ecommerce Newsletter

Email Marketing

After reading our recent post, “Advanced Email Marketing Strategies for Your Ecommerce” perhaps you know that email newsletters are possibly the least effective of all email marketing strategies. But that certainly does not mean they have zero effect on conversions or bringing traffic to your website. After all, newsletters are ecommerces’ most utilized means of communication with consumers, so there is merit to it.

There is strategy to master to crafting and sending email newsletters and garnering click-throughs. A well-written e-newsletter can gather new leads for your company, offer an avenue of communication between you and your current customers, as well as give an impression of authority and expertise in your industry. Newsletters also nurture leads that may not have purchased from your online store before but may very well convert. E-newsletters serve as a direct open line of communication between the customer and your company. Continue reading Maximizing Marketing Strategies for an Ecommerce Newsletter