In our second ecommerce monthly roundup, we continue along the path of providing you with noteworthy news, updates, resources and interesting tidbits that you may have missed throughout the month. With each of our monthly roundups our intention is to help you improve your business by keeping you informed with what’s going on in the ecommerce world.
May was a month full of announcements following major updates from all the main advertising platforms. Including everything from Pinterest to Google to Snapchat, it seemed like every platform had something new to offer to help you reach your customers in unique ways.
One of the biggest updates also includes Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends of 2017 – a great way to catch up with all the macro-level and global insights going on with the Internet at large.
As we mentioned in our previous roundup, the blog posts and resources we include in this post are too good to miss or only read once. The ecommerce world is constantly shifting and in order to keep growing with it it’s important to stay in-the-know with latest news and updates. The purpose of our monthly roundups are to provide a curated selection of the best news and resources so it’s a one-stop read for you.
Enjoy our second monthly ecommerce review and roundup of the best ecommerce news and resources.
Internet Trends 2017 – Code Conference
If there is one trend report to read each year, this is it! Mary Meeker from the legendary Kleiner Perkins venture capitalist firm publishes her annual analysis on the state of the internet. If you don’t have time to look through the entire 350+ slides, the first section on Online Advertising + Commerce is a must-read portion of the presentation for ecommerce merchants.
Snapchat Launches Self-Serve Ad Manager
Since their IPO, Snapchat has seen Facebook copy and replicate their features down to the “t.” Taking a page out of their playbook, Snapchat returned the favor and launched their own self-serve ad platform. I know what you’re thinking, do I need a huge Snapchat following to make this works? Surprisingly, no! You can serve ads that drive users to your website even if you don’t use Snapchat regularly, however, there are a few caveats: Snapchat requires ads to be in their unique video formats to make it effective, so understanding what type of ad creatives would be compelling is important. Keep tabs on this one and see if it can be part of your advertising mix!
Key Takeaways From Google’s Marketing Next Event 2017 Story
Following Google’s big annual conference, the Google I/O conference, is a little less well-known but important event for marketers: Marketing Next. Instead of focusing on the consumer experiences like Android, Virtual Reality and Google Assistant, Marketing Next is geared for – you guessed it – marketers! This post really summarizes the key takeaways on what to expect in the coming year for advertisers. Look out for the new Google Attribution, AMP landing pages for ads, and a new Adwords user experience.
Picture This: Advertising That Goes Beyond Words
Yet another ad platform and channel, this time it’s Pinterest. Pinterest announced a new way to advertise – not by keywords or audience, but by images. Pinterest now lets you target users who are looking at images that visually look like your ad. It’s an interesting new perspective of how to approach advertising and it’s based on their proprietary Pinterest “Visual Search” technology that leverages machine learning and artificial intelligent to match search results based on an image rather than by keywords or a user’s profile information.
Facebook Improves Customer Acquisition With New Offline Conversion Solution For Lead Ads
Do you run a brick & mortar store, pop-up shops, or even a small regional chain of storefronts? Or else do you have sales or customer agents that sell on the phone or in person? Well we have good news! If you ever wondered how to attribute offline sales with your Facebook Advertising, Facebook just launched a way to provide conversion data into Facebook Ad Manager so you can see how your ads convert to sales if the conversion happens offline. What does this mean? With conversion data you can better optimize and test your ads to get the desired objective you want. This is a big update to help you measure your Facebook ads for the sales you do offline.
New Report: Ecommerce Email Marketing Benchmarks
If you’ve been running an ecommerce business for any significant length of time you’ll know that email marketing is probably one of your primary drivers to get customers to buy. Klaviyo, an email service provider, put together an ecommerce industry benchmark report aggregating the data from all the merchants that send emails on their platform. There is some interesting takeaways that you can glean from this report – and the best part is that it’s free with no sign-ups or opt-ins required. Check it out!
Designing Rewards Programs for Customer Segmentation: Reluctants
Smile.io (formerly SweetTooth Rewards) put together this awesome resource to help you design a reward program for the most challenging customer segment – the “reluctants”. As they define it, “Reluctants are individuals who are hesitant to explore new brands and prefer to remain outsiders unless otherwise forced to engage”. Their guide breaks down both the theory and practical tactics to reach these “reluctants” whether you use their platform or not. This is actually one post of a series of posts regarding reward programs, so do take the time to check out the other customer segments including pragmatics, connoisseurs, savvy opportunists and brand loyalists.
The Power of Popup Design: 6 Rules to 10X Your Subscription Rate, and an App to Do It For You
They’re inevitable and everyone seems to hate them, but they work. Here’s a really good guide to various ideas and options to help improve your email capture rate. They do feature a specific popup vendor, but most of the ideas and suggestions can apply to the one you’re currently using. Pop over and check it out.
101 Best Shopify Stores For Ecommerce Inspiration (2017)
It doesn’t matter if you currently happy with your website design or just starting out, it’s always inspiring to get a look at other ecommerce website designs. This handy post lists out 100 well designed websites to get inspired for your next design update. The websites vary across all major categories including Food/Beverage, Gifts, Consumer Goods and Accessories, Print/Media, Pets, Clothing, Sports/Recreation and Home/Home Decor.
The 2017 Guide to Ecommerce Keyword Research
If you’re just getting started with Keyword Research either for Google Adwords, SEO, or product/niche discovery, our comprehensive guide can help you learn the ins and outs of keywords research so you know how to apply it properly. Learn the various tactics and tools you can employ to help you find ideal keywords and implement them appropriately.
Instagram Influencer Marketing: Three Steps to Unleash the Power of Social Celebrities in Ecommerce
Building on last month’s guide on creating quality content on Instagram, this post from the Shopify Plus community expands on the realm of working with Instagram Influencers. This special post from Jonathan Chan of Foundr Magazine brings credible experience where they built over 1 million followers on Instagram for Foundr.
How to Use Facebook Ads to Drive Growth at Different Stages of the Funnel
There are plenty of guides that show you how to conduct Facebook Advertising and marketing, but this one goes through the full life cycle of your customer’s sales funnel. The biggest mistake that new advertisers make when they first begin their online advertising is assume that all traffic is the same. Experienced advertisers know that the traffic quality varies by the intent and buying stage of each customer. This guide shows you how to use Facebook Ads at each level and how to set it up step-by-step.
E-Commerce Smart Home Accessories
With the advent of the Internet of Things (IOT) industry and rapidly accelerating adoption of consumer products to enable “Smart Homes”, this ecommerce business has a lot of potential for expansion and growth. Launched in 2015, this ecommerce business has a yearly revenue of $110,000 with a net profit of $22,500 – yielding you a yearly profit of $22,500. As new platforms like Amazon’s Echo, Google Home and Apple’s HomeKit take hold in consumer households, they will be looking to add smart home accessories and products to complement their investment.
This concludes our curated compilation of relevant news, updates, tools and resources for the month of May. We hope you take the time to indulge in these highlights of the ecommerce community as many of them discuss the future of ecommerce as it shifts and grows into new territory. Take the time to consider how your business can evolve with the changes that are being made so you can provide the most up-to-date and relevant products and services for your customers.
What are your favorite bits of news, resources and tools for the month of May?