In this first ecommerce monthly roundup here at a A Better Lemonade Stand, we wanted to bring you some of the most noteworthy news, resources and interesting tidbits that you may have missed around the internet this month in order to help you better your business and keep you more informed about the ecommerce world.
First off, April was a jam-packed month of major announcements from Shopify and Facebook at their annual developer conferences with huge updates on both of their respective platforms. These developer conferences are a great way to get a peek into what’s coming up in the near future as developers are introduced to new tools and capabilities; so we wanted to cover a bit of what went down at these conferences.
We also wanted to share a bunch of news updates across all platforms and marketing channels. These are the quick highlights to help you get a grasp on what’s new in the ever changing world of ecommerce.
Finally, every roundup will also include resources and blog posts that are just too good to only read once. These are our favorites posts and some of them may include ones published here on ABLS. Bookmark these, these are the gems we think are worth revisiting.
Marijuana Goes Industrial in California
A consumer trend we’re highlighting this April is the quickly growing and expanding cannabis industry. Thomas Fuller from the New York Times gives us one perspective into the fascinating backstory of farmers and retailers in the state of California. Though the subject may be too taboo for some, the legalization of cannabis will present interesting and new opportunities for merchants who provide solutions for this new class of agricultural entrepreneurs – and not necessarily just those interested in selling marijuana.
Another consumer trend we’re highlighting in April comes straight out of TrendWatching’s quarterly update on consumer trends. This update is specifically on the topic of “Truthful Consumerism,” or another words, how do you navigate your business or brand in a world of polarized political headlines and fake news? The good news, that all the good things your brand may represent still applies: positive impacts, tolerance and empowerment.
Everything We Announced at Unite 2017 (And What It Means For Merchants)
The second annual Shopify Unite in San Francisco occurred with some big announcements for merchants on their platform. This post by Braveen Kumar summarizes the top 11 huge announcements that you may want to check out. Some of the highlights include: Shopify Pay, a new Chip & Swipe reader, more channel integrations (including Buzzfeed), a better discount system, and more. Check out the post to read about the other 10 announcements from the event.
Facebook F8 2017 – What Marketers Need to Know
Facebook’s big developer conference also happened in April and according to statistics, the two biggest platforms where most ecommerce businesses spend money on marketing is Facebook (and Instagram) and Google. This posts summarizes the announcements from Facebook F8 from a marketer’s perspective and shares the things you need to know as a marketer on their platform.
Facebook and Google Completely Dominate the Digital Ad Industry
Everyone knows that Facebook and Google are major platforms for advertising, but it wasn’t apparent that they pretty much took all the growth in advertising in the last year. In fact, according to this report, Facebook and Google captured a combined 77% of gross spending in 2016!
Snapchat Introduces World Lenses – Live Filters for Just About Anything
Since the Snapchat IPO, the company has seen some of its main features like stories and filters get copied by Facebook and Instagram. This is especially crushing for the company that stated that their main strategy is building new products. In align with their strategy, Snapchat recently announced “World Lenses” which is a 3D object you can place in their augmented reality camera. We’ll see if Facebook will copy this feature next!
UPS Talks About Its New Saturday Ground Pickup, Delivery
For the many merchants that use UPS as their carrier of choice, UPS recently did a test of Saturday deliveries to stay competitive with the likes of FedEx and USPS. If you use UPS, this conversation with UPS VP of Marketing, Jerome Roberts, is one to catch up on.
BigCommerce CEO on Amazon, Other Channels
BigCommerce has reaffirmed its strategic partnership with eBay and other channels like Amazon to help enable the merchants on their platform to sell in other marketplaces besides their own website. This interview with BigCommerce’s CEO, Brent Bellm, gives you some insight into his thinking of how you can approach selling your items in marketplaces, and most notably, how you should navigate in marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
How to Create a Facebook Ad Collection
This is an excellent step-by-step guide by Jon Loomer to help you start using the new ad format that Facebook recently introduced called “Collections.” If you’re not familiar with Collections, this new ad format is a combination of a feature image, slideshow or video overtop of a group of product images with direct links to each product. It’s perfect for ecommerce sites because it gives you the hybrid of a rich media experience but you’re still able to present product focused links related to the image.
Shopify App Review: Fomo
This review by Stewart Anderson on popular app FOMO, formerly called Notify until it was acquired by Justin Mares and further developed by his team, dives deep into the topic of social proof and how the FOMO app works to drive customers to make purchases. Have a read of this review and see if FOMO might be a good fit for your store.
Step-by-Step: How to Start 11 Different Types of Ecommerce Businesses
Not sure what kind of ecommerce business to start? This article by yours truly, A Better Lemonade Stand, introduces you to 11 different kinds of ecommerce businesses and more detailed information on how to start them. If you’re excited to start your own ecommerce business but haven’t decided on what to sell yet, read this post for both inspiration and detailed step-by-step guides to get started.
The Rules for Creating Quality Ecommerce Content on Instagram
For a lot of ecommerce businesses, Instagram is an important channel to master since the medium has over 700M users AND is a visual platform. It’s the closest thing to having a beautiful storefront display on a busy intersection. Jonathan Chan walks us through the mental thought processes he uses to approach marketing on Instagram with his four rules.
15 Ways Web Push Notifications Can Help Increase Your E-Commerce Conversions
Another powerful yet underutilized channel in digital marketing is Web Push Notifications. You have all seen push notifications on your smartphone, but the latest modern browsers also allow a similar experience for sites you opt into. Kaustuva walks us through the concept of push notifications for the web and 15 different ways to leverage them in your ecommerce business. Check this post out and explore some of their examples to test it out for yourself.
As an experiment, we decided to feature ecommerce businesses that are for sale. If you have more capital than time to build up an ecommerce business, or you already own an ecommerce business and are looking to expand, then this listing may be interesting to you.
Beauty & Cosmetics Ecommerce Business For Sale
Beauty and Cosmetics is one of the top growing categories in ecommerce so consider this listing on Empire Flippers. It has a few interesting opportunities: an average monthly revenue of $11,912 with $5,313 in expenses, netting you an average gross profit of $6,599. Being built on WordPress, there may be ways to improve the SEO and add additional selling channels. This business also appears to be an Australian website, so bringing this to a bigger market like North America may be worth investigating.
This concludes our first roundup on A Better Lemonade Stand and has brought to you what we’ve noticed as the ecommerce highlights for the month of April. The ecommerce space is constantly evolving so in order to evolve with it and make the best decisions for your business it’s important to stay informed. Have a read of some of these blog posts, check out the resources and learn more about what’s new in ecommerce so you can stay up to date and ahead of the curve.
What are your favorite bits of news, resources and tools for the month of April?