In our latest roundup of the best ecommerce resources we’re bringing you some of the most noteworthy updates from the biggest players in the ecommerce industry. As always, the purpose of these monthly roundup posts is to bring you news you can use to stay more informed, helpful resources and guides to improve your businesses and some interesting topics to think about or share with others. If you’ve missed our previous roundups you can read the April, May, June and July ones here.
August is a typically slow month for ecommerce, but that didn’t stop some major announcements across the industry. Shopify expanded their Amazon integration and will be going voice enabled soon while Pinterest and Quora have new advertising solutions for you to test and experiment with before the holiday season takes off.These tools & resources are too good to just keep them for yourself, share them with others!Click To Tweet
To help you improve your business, we’re introducing you to a new tool to help you find out what other apps merchants are using on their site and a selection of guides to improve your checkout flows, upselling opportunities, and a how to start planning a better process for managing your bookkeeping and business records.
As we head into the last month of the 3rd quarter, take a moment and look at your business and plan what you want to focus on going into the busiest quarter of the year. Let the first post about the global opportunity be a source of inspiration for you to realize that no matter how big or small your business is today the opportunity is vast because it’s growing at a rapid pace. Enjoy!
Global Ecommerce: Massive Opportunity Ahead For the Borderfree Business
Staring with this first post, we wanted to zoom out a bit to get some perspective on just how large ecommerce is on the global front. Intuitively we know that ecommerce (and the internet) has no physical border, if you look at the stats from this post, you’ll see how rapidly and quickly ecommerce is growing. Some of you may already be doing business in multiple countries, and some of you may still be starting out domestically, but it’s good to know how vast and how big the opportunity of ecommerce is in general.
Shopify’s plan to let 400,000 merchants run their business via Alexa and bots
Listen up – Shopify is investing heavily in bots and it shouldn’t be a surprise. Since the acquisition of KIT and then subsequently making it available to all merchants for free, you can bet Shopify has an eye towards the future in bots. With this announcement, it’s clear that not only are bots a major focus, but so are voice-enabled interfaces like Alexa. As these two interfaces start to converge, there’s no doubt merchants and consumers alike will be engaging with Shopify in new and exciting ways before you can say “Alexa, set a reminder for today to check out this link.”
Quora launches retargeting for advertisers
Retargeting, behavioral advertising, remarketing, sticky ads – whatever you call it, it’s painfully obvious that a warm audience who has been to your site will always perform better than someone who has not. Now Quora has an answer to retargeting ads as well. For merchants who have sophisticated products, answering questions on Quora is an effective way to demonstrate some non-obvious features or benefits of your products. And with over 200 million visitors a month, you can now target those audience who came to your website with a Quora “conversion pixel” on your site.
A patent that helped Amazon take over online commerce is about to expire
One of the most controversial patents in the ecommerce space is the infamous “one-click-purchase” from Amazon. Now that it has been 20 years since the patent was issued, it will expire soon which permits anyone to implement the same one-click-purchase process without a license from Amazon. Although it is been pretty trivial to implement a feature like this by programmers, Amazon got some good use of the process not because it was technically sophisticated but because they were able to defend it with a patent. The patent will expire on September 11, 2017 – so watch out for twitchy fingers as you start seeing it pervade the internet.
New Features, New Categories: Selling on Amazon with Shopify Just Got Easier
Speaking of Amazon and the one-click-purchase, Shopify has made it even easier for merchants to expand their product catalog and inventory management to Amazon with the new categories that Shopify now supports. If you have been waiting for your category to be opened up, check this post to see if it’s on the list. Additionally, if you are “Brand Registered” with Amazon, you can now manage that within Shopify directly, too.
Pinterest Unleashes Video Ads for All Advertisers With Third-Party Measurement Partners
Video ads is the format de juor for advertisers whether you’re on Facebook’s ad platform (including Instagram), YouTube, or on Snapchat. You can now put Pinterest in the mix of platforms that will now let you use videos in ads. When video ads were first available on Facebook and Instagram, there was a rapid rush as Facebook extended extra reach and users responded to its novelty. Now that it’s commonplace on Facebook, being early to do video ads on Pinterest might be an interesting experiment to try while others are still catching up. Give it a shot!
Get to know what shopify apps an online store is using
It’s ok, you can admit it. You look at other Shopify sites and even your competitors from time to see how you stack up. What apps do they use? How much traffic do they have? Well, there are plenty of tools to show you your competitors traffic, social media counts, and other vanity metrics but there wasn’t an easy way to know what Shopify Apps they have installed. Until now! This handly little tool lets you spy on your competitors or any Shopify site to see what apps they use. Paste the URL into the tool and it will dutifully report back the apps it can find – and it even links you right to the Shopify App Directory so you can install any apps if you want to!
How to Write High-Converting (And *Gasp* FUN) Copy For Your Ecommerce Checkout Flow
The great thing about all ecommerce platforms whether you use Shopify or others, is that they always come with default settings and standard placeholders for the checkout process. They certainly work, but could it be better? You bet. This resource challenges you to think within the context of your customers to add appropriate copy and enhance the experience for your customers. Yes, copy and messaging do matter – and although it’s great to fidget with colors, layouts, and imagery (which are all important) the copy is as much part of the “user experience” as the website theme. Lianna goes in depth in this post about where you can improve your copy, how to think from your users’ perspectives, and ideas you can use to test and improve your checkout flow. Naturally, it’s an easy read and quite funny too.
How We Created the Conor McGregor “F You” Suits in Ten Days and Made $23,000 in Our First Week
Well, if the last post didn’t get you giggling, then this one might. If you’re a bit squeamish about the 7-dirty-words crowd, you may want to skip this one. This is an amazing case study of how Nathan turned a viral post from the Conor McGregor vs Floyd Mayweather press conference into an ecommerce phenomenon. Let’s just say the project didn’t last more than 10 rounds at the end, but the process was interesting and you can draw some inspiration on how fast you can turn an idea into reality.
How Facebook Ads Really Work: Facebook Advertising Demystified
Ever wondered how Facebook Ads really work? Well, it’s so complex that no one person, not even Zuckerberg himself, may know all the intricacies since the Facebook Ad platform is based on machine learning algorithms and is constantly evolving. However, even some basic insight will make you a more informed advertiser on the platform. Michael presents his interpretation of how Facebook Ads work through his $25M+ in ad spend – a lot of it is intuitive and makes a lot of sense. If you do any Facebook Advertising, this is a must read.
How To Boost eCommerce Sales With Upselling
There’s only three ways to make more money as an ecommerce merchant: get more customers, increase your conversion rate, or increase the amount a customer spends. In the last category, you can increase the amount a customer spends by cross-selling, bundling, or up-selling – and yes, they are different. Upselling is convincing a customer to buy a higher priced item as opposed to selling something else or bundling it with other items. In this post, Tommy from ConversionXL illustrates the methods, mindsets, and examples of how to increase the average order value by upselling.
Small Business Recordkeeping 101: A Guide for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs
We get it, accounting and recordkeeping wasn’t the reason you started an ecommerce business. But as with any business, good recordkeeping can get you out of trouble with the IRS and help you operate your business efficiently – it can even save you money. This guest post from Bryce Warnes of Bench, the online bookkeeping service, is our guide to help you improve your recordkeeping hygiene and give you rules on what to keep and what you can toss out (and when). As with anything that pertains to accounting or taxes, make sure to consult a qualified professional in your local area as specific requirements may vary based on your particular circumstance.
The store that we picked for the “For Sale” category this month is in the food and drink industry and is listed at $15,000. Walk into any convenience or grocery store in Korea and you will suddenly realize that the vast selection of snacks and food are hard to find outside of Asia. This well designed site has not only proven that there is a demand for Korean snacks outside of Seoul, but that people will purchase them online and in a subscription box format. Take a look at the competition and variety of subscription boxes out there and see if this opportunity suits your taste.
This concludes our roundup of relevant news, tools and resources for the month of August. Take time to explore some of these highlights and share them with your friends or colleagues in the ecommerce community. We’re constantly looking for new updates and topics of conversation in this ever-changing industry so make sure to stay tuned for next month’s roundup.Share this roundup with other ecommerce entrepreneurs!Click To Tweet