Tag: Ecommerce

#TheVoiceofSocialMedia – Facebook takes another large step in to the E-commerce space…

Facebook opens its own Shop window

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/facebook-opens-its-own-shop-window-h2qwqlwwt

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Why Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program Will Help You Reach New Audiences

For years Pinterest has served as a popular source of inspiration and creativity. As we continue to navigate through the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, and people around the globe continue to practice social distancing, even more are turning to the platform as a primary destination for shopping and discovery.

More specifically, over the past two weeks, Pinterest observed a significant uptick in the interest of areas spanning home, self-care, and kid-friendly food and activities. Keywords being used the most include “home organization” (+43%), “spa day at home” (+19%), makeup tutorial for beginners (+180%), and “kid-friendly recipes” (+64%)

In response to the increase in traffic and what the company is referring to as an “unprecedented change in modern retail,” Pinterest is offering retailers the opportunity to reach their audiences in the places where they’re most interested to shop.

THE VERIFIED MERCHANT PROGRAM

The Verified Merchant Program is officially open to all U.S. businesses but was introduced with a select group of retailers including Quay Australia, Ruggable, Filson, Coyuchi, and Lotuff Leather who were manually vetted against Pinterest’s criteria for high-quality customer service experiences.

Aside from earning a fancy blue checkmark on their profiles, verified merchants have the capability to connect their catalog directly to the platform triggering a ‘Shop’ tab, through which they can amplify all of their shoppable products in one convenient spot. In addition, these products will be displayed within dedicated shopping experiences like when users are browsing related products.

From a measurement standpoint, merchants will gain early access to Pinterest’s new Conversion Insights tool that encompasses both organic and paid conversion sights enabling you to measure the impact of your brand across site visits, checkouts, and sales over multiple attribution windows.

With background into the program laid out, the next question becomes, ‘how do I get my brand verified?’

  • To begin, upload your product feed to Catalogs. This is the quickest way to get your products on to the platform and generate Product Pins which will tell users key information such as price, availability, a brief description as to what the product is,
  • Next, install the Pinterest tag. An important benefit of tags is that they help streamline the tracking process regarding actions coming from potential customers. If you don’t wish to use Pinterest’s tag, you can opt to use a compatible tag manager.
  • Meet Pinterest’s Merchant Guidelines. At a high-level, these requirements emphasize accuracy, transparency, and high-level details usable for both Pinners and customer service providers.

PROGRAM PERKS & THE FUTURE OF E-COMMERCE

While each brand should do their due diligence of accessing the fit and viability of the program against their specific goals, there seems to be reasonable pay-off across the board. Pinterest receives more accurate, informative Pins, brands get a boost in exposure, and users can engage with personalized and targeted experiences compatible with their interests and needs as they quarantine.

“As consumers shift their spending to online channels, brands should inspire Pinners and create a shopping experience that feels more like ‘real life,’ bringing a sense of normalcy and delight to challenging times,” Pinterest reiterated in its blog. With the length of ‘stay at home’ orders still up in the air, this shift will continue to grow the longer we’re confined.

For more information on the program including how to apply, you can check out this page. Pinterest’s Head of Global Retail Strategy, Amy Vener, will also lead a global webinar next Tuesday, April 7 (2pm ET) with special guests to unpack insights surrounding the evolution of retail we’re currently experiencing.

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The post Why Pinterest’s Verified Merchant Program Will Help You Reach New Audiences appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2020/03/why-pinterests-verified-merchant-program-will-help-you-reach-new-audiences/

PODCAST: How Video Can Drive eCommerce Conversions with Rachel Tipograph, Founder & CEO of MikMak

This week’s episode of Social Media Week’s Leads2Scale podcast features Rachel Tipograph, Founder & CEO, MikMak, a next generation eCommerce platform.

Before founding MikMak, Rachel was the global director of social media at The Gap overseeing strategy, implementation and measurement.

During her career she has received a number of accolades including being named one of Forbes’ “30 under 30 Who Are Changing The World” and was one of AdAge’s “Most Creative People of The Year.”

During the conversation, Rachel discussed:

  • Her time at GAP and some of the strategic initiatives she led during her time
  • The journey between leaving GAP and starting MikMak
  • How brands are leveraging the MikMak platform
  • Her thoughts on Facebook’s recent announcements and what Instagram’s new checkout feature means for eCommerce companies

Listen to the full episode below:

Subscribe to Leads2Scale on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, Castbox, Overcast, or Stitcher.

If you have suggestions for who we should interview or what topics you would like us to cover, please reach out to us at leads2scale@socialmediaweek.org.

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The post PODCAST: How Video Can Drive eCommerce Conversions with Rachel Tipograph, Founder & CEO of MikMak appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/podcast-how-video-can-drive-ecommerce-conversions-with-rachel-tipograph-founder-ceo-of-mikmak/

Shop Now: Your Guide to Native Ecommerce on Social Media

As brands like Instagram and Pinterest have learned, it doesn’t take much to drive a customer from inspiration to purchase. And their growth has depended, in part, on making that purchase part effortless. Instagram took the latest step toward its transformation into your personal digital mall with Instagram Checkout. The feature will allow aspiring shoppers to make purchases without leaving the app. Over time, more brands will be added and new companies will be able to take advantage of this seamless shopping experience.

In honor of this announcement, we figured we’d provide a roundup of the many existing ecommerce options available on some of your favorite social media platforms.

Instagram

In addition to the forthcoming Checkout feature, brands have had the ability to “tag” products on Business accounts since 2017, with these tags serving as links to the product on an external site for purchase. Brands not selected for the Checkout feature will continue to have the “tag” option to fuel their own ecommerce, though it will direct users away from the app to make purchases.

Pro: For selected brands, Checkout will afford an opportunity to connect users to your brand without pulling them away from the Instagram app- keeping your feed in their sights through it all.

Con: At least for the time being, this immersive shopping opportunity isn’t available for all brands in equal measure.

Facebook

Businesses wishing to sell physical items on Facebook can set up shops on their business Pages. There is no minimum transaction amount to host this online store, and all transactions are conducted inside Facebook- so no worries about directing buyers away from your Page. And as with other features of the platform, there is ample support and guidance on how to run a successful shop- so be sure to take advantage of these resources, should you choose to host an online store here.

Pro: For small businesses, Shop for Pages provides a low-cost method to expose your products to a dedicated audience.

Con: For businesses with a more expansive inventory, it could become unwieldy or time-consuming to offer it all in this type of environment.

LinkedIn

Given the considerable bias toward physical products for ecommerce, it shouldn’t surprise you that LinkedIn doesn’t have a presence in this market at the moment. Their only sellable product, educational materials through the Learning collaboration with Lynda, can’t be sold a la carte, instead requiring a monthly fee which provides access to their full library of courses.

Pro: For organizations aiming to offer their teams training in an affordable and accessible fashion, LinkedIn for Learning is an affordable option.

Con: Obviously, it’s not an effective commerce option for anything else.

Pinterest

Prior to Instagram’s meteoric rise as a brand-booster, Pinterest wore this crown with bombast. And ahead of its IPO, it’s still hoping to maintain its hold on shoppers who so often use the platform for inspiration. Its latest shopping tools, announced earlier this month, utilize “product pins” to allow shoppers to buy many of the items inspiring their aesthetic. These product pins join their buyable pins (originally introduced in 2015), as well as the capability for all businesses to post Shopping Ads. For visually inspired shoppers, Pinterest is a natural destination that brands should take advantage of.

Pro: The platform is well suited to help “pinspired” shoppers complete their vision.

Con: While product pins allow seamless in-app purchases, buyable pins and Shopping Ads would pull shoppers away from the platform.

Tumblr and Twitter

While other platforms seem to be leaning toward making in-app purchases simpler, Twitter is leaning away.

Previously developed and deployed products like “Buy Now” buttons for individual tweets, Product Pages that would collate product-oriented tweets into an easily shoppable page, and Twitter Cards, have all been discontinued. The result? The rise of third-party tools like Shopify, which have stepped in to make shopping options on the platform more straightforward.

Tumblr is another platform that, while promising as a space to generate leads for niche products, has also declined to develop native ecommerce tools. Third party tools like Shopify and BlkDot have stepped in to fill in the void.

Pro: It’s not strictly impossible to sell on either of these platforms, and they are fertile for finding passionate and dedicated consumers.

Con: The methods to set up viable commerce experiences can be less intuitive with the help of a third party than they might be with a native tool.

A strong ecommerce presence on social media helps to grow your audience and build strong relationships with customers. Which ones are you using? Which ones have you not yet considered for your brand?

Mastering your presence is essential in a crowded marketplace, and we hope to help you do it at Social Media Week New York. Passes are still available, so register to join us today!

Join 100,000+ fellow marketers who advance their skills and knowledge by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.

WATCH OUR 2019 PROMO

The post Shop Now: Your Guide to Native Ecommerce on Social Media appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/03/shop-now-your-guide-to-native-ecommerce-on-social-media/

Shopify’s Future of Ecommerce Report Confirms: Sales Needs Stories

The death of traditional retail has been greatly exaggerated, according to Shopify’s latest report.

The online retail platform released its ten insights on the evolution of ecommerce this month, and revealed what many other industries have confirmed: stories matter. But rather than focusing on telling stories to attract customers, Shopify found that the most impactful shopping experiences bring brands and products into the consumer’s personal story. Here, we elaborate on three major findings in the report.

Take a Side in The Stories of the Day

A major through-line of Shopify’s report is the idea of empowering customer choice. Increasingly this choice isn’t solely about what options are available in the market; it can also apply to where their favorite brands are placing their attention and allegiance. In addition to serving smaller niches in that way, “brands can […] expand from a mission-centric foundation.”

Lingerie company ThirdLove had focused on product exposure and availability for several years, but spoke up in the wake of Victoria Secret CEO Ed Razek’s remarks about the “fantasy” of their annual runway show. In their open letter response, ThirdLove’s Heidi Zak was unequivocal about her brand’s openness to everyone:

We believe the future is building a brand for every woman, regardless of her shape, size, age ethnicity, gender identity, or secual orientation. This shouldn’t be seen as groundbreaking, it should be the norm.

Zak stands by her decision to take a stand, and consumers flocked to her brand in response. It could seem risky to speak up in times of controversy, but there’s a measurable reward at stake too: 62% of consumers want their favorite brands to take stands “on current and broadly relevant issues.” This means aligning your brands authentically with issues that matter to you and them, and conveying those values accordingly.

Make it Easy for Consumers to Compare Stories

While platform features like Instagram’s “Buy Now” options would have you believe that social media is driving online purchases, Shopify’s report reveals that isn’t exactly the case. While social is imperative for brand awareness and interest, “in terms of sources that influence purchase decisions, social media lands last and was rated half as effective” as the most impactful factor: customer reviews.

With that said, social can serve as a key stop on a customer’s journey to purchase. User-generated content that demonstrates unique or exceptional experiences with your brand or company can positively influence purchases. The same is true of campaigns that powerfully spark emotions, and evoking a sense of similarity through influencer and micro-influencer storytelling. Helping customers see themselves in the stories of others, can drive them to make these products or services a part of their own lives.

Make the Story a Lasting One

We’re seeing a rise in “pop-up” experiences that highlight a brand while feeling tailor-made for social media shares. And while we see the joy in our mentions, Google Canada’s Fab Dolan wants us to remember that such joy is fleeting. LeanLuxe’s Paul Munford expressed concern about the rise of these Instagram-friendly spaces, at the expense of a customer experience that prioritizes utility over optics. “I’m worried that some brands — those same brands who preach an obsession over knowing their customer, understanding how today’s shopper wants to shop, and of course owning that relationship — are losing their way a bit as they focus considerable time, energy, and money to launch ‘Instagram-worthy’ spaces.”

What’s the alternative? Munford praises spaces that serve multiple needs of their target consumer—think Capital One’s cafe concept or Rapha’s clubhouses that offer a space to work, bike repairs, and purchase points for gear. As he compares these photo ops to the multipurpose spaces, he notes, “There are life and meaning to the former; shallowness and transience to the latter.”

Phil Grano of NewStore agrees with Dolan: relationships built to last can offer more than one great post. “Never forget: the most important moment in ecommerce doesn’t happen online. It happens when brands deliver.”

When a customer has a great story about a brand they’re loyal to, they share it. They become storytellers who can carry the banner for your brand with excitement and pride. And they offer a promise of longevity that you can’t always guarantee on your own. By aligning your values with the world in which your customers live, help them find commonality in the stories of their fellow consumers, and set them up to tell longer stories over time, retail stands a chance of feeling both prosperous and personal.

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The post Shopify’s Future of Ecommerce Report Confirms: Sales Needs Stories appeared first on Social Media Week.

http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2019/02/shopifys-future-of-ecommerce-report-confirms-sales-needs-stories/

Interview: Kong – helping businesses to go global

E-commerce  is a much competitive field that requires businesses to standout and make a difference in the market. Kong is a perfect platform that provides everything you need to know, step by step, to set up a professional online store. Kong is definitely helping businesses to go global and this powerful tool has currently over 4,000 online shops signed up […]

http://midlandstrade.co.uk/2016/02/28/interview-kong-helping-businesses-to-go-global/