In this latest roundup of the best ecommerce resources, we’re bringing you the most noteworthy updates to keep you plugged into what’s happening in the ecommerce community at large.
Think of this as a refresher of the best things that you may have missed as you were planning for the biggest holiday shopping season ever. And you have been planning for it, right? If not, we have some resources below to help!
As we head towards the back half of the fourth quarter, also known as the busiest season for the vast majority of ecommerce businesses, the volume and demand for great content and resources seem to have picked up in lockstep. We have plenty of resources to get you caught up for BFCM and the holiday rush.
In other news, the big blue Facebook rolled out Instagram Shopping and unsurprisingly picked Shopify merchants to be amongst the first to be able to take advantage of this new selling channel. Facebook also had many, many other updates on their ad platform. Not too far behind Facebook, Google Adwords launched their new user experience to all advertisers, and Snapchat, well, came out with “Context Cards.”
As with all our roundups, we also include what we think are the best guides and posts to help you improve your ecommerce business. Scroll down to our resources and find some handy guides and ideas you can implement into your ecommerce business. And if you missed some of the resources featured in our previous roundups, you can check out the April, May, June, July and August roundups here.
Enjoy this ecommerce review and roundup and leave your comments and suggestions below!
Shopify Rolling out Instagram Shopping Feature to Thousands of Merchants
Large ecommerce brands and retailers have had the coveted options of selling their products directly on Instagram for a few months. Now, that capability has been expanded to allow more merchants on Shopify to do the same. If you haven’t setup your store through the Facebook Channel and created your Instagram Business Account, you’ll need to do these two steps before you can apply. Jump on this opportunity, get ahead of the pack and apply right away.
Facebook is Adding New Custom Audience Options to Improve Ad Targeting
Anyone that has been on the Facebook Ads platform knows one thing – the platform is constantly evolving. In October, along with other improvements, Facebook revealed new custom audience options for “dwell time” and “link sharing.” The former lets you retarget those who have spent time on an ad based on the users’ scroll speed, and the latter lets you create an audience of people who’ve shared your ads. Though these features may or may not be available to everyone right now, it does give you a peek into what’s to come. Check it out.
Inside Evan Spiegel’s Quest to Map Snap’s Future
This is a fascinating profile story about Evan Spiegel, the co-founder and CEO of Snapchat. Although the story is centered around Spiegel, it gives a glimpse into how he sees the future for Snapchat. Also mentioned in this post is Snapchat’s “Context Cards” which allow users to swipe up on Snaps to find more information and connect to other services. Although it’s limited to partners today, you can connect the dots to see that these “Context Cards” would one day be open to marketers and advertisers. If you haven’t been back to SnapChat for a while then check it out for a preview of what’s to come.
Introducing Google Autocomplete for Shopify: Less Friction at Checkout
Rejoice for ecommerce merchants on the Shopify platform. Shopify rolled out Google Autocomplete for address forms in the checkout flow. This reduces the friction for people to complete the checkout flow and makes it easier on mobile phones. Users type in the first few letters of the street address while Shopify + Google pre-populates the rest of the address from a drop-down menu that the user can confirm. The best part: you don’t have to do anything, it should already be live on your site if you’re reading this now!
ICYMI: Domain Improvements, More Reports, and a BFCM Update
This post is a bit meta – a post about other posts that you may have missed! But seriously, Shopify also provided a nice central repository of all the resources for BFCM, and their latest product updates and features on the platform including updates to Shopify Pay, Shopcodes, and free stock images within Shopify Themes. And if you’ve read all the way down here, you may have realized that we didn’t make a roundup for September, so we’re making it up to you by sharing this post!
Free Webinar Series: How to Create a Buying Frenzy on Black Friday Cyber Monday 2017
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are imminently close and if you *still* don’t have a plan for it yet, this resource is a quick way to catch-up. All the past webinars about Black Friday and Cyber Monday best practices, strategies and action items are listed on this page, including the final one that’s coming on November 10th. Get caught up and get going on your BCFM planning!
How to Build Hype for the Holiday Season as an Ecommerce Brand
If you want even more ideas for the holiday season, read this post that breaks down some interesting insights on different ways you can maximize your holiday campaigns. Although doing a “Flash Sale” or discounting is an obvious approach, other ideas that Neil suggests are more subtle. Neil gives some other methods to think about your pricing strategy, your customers’ mindset, and creating a sense of urgency for your prospective customers. If you still haven’t done some of the basics yet, now is the time to go all in and plug in any gaps in your marketing plan.
How Ecommerce Can Increase Conversions with AMP
Google’s “Accelerated Mobile Pages” project – or AMP has been out for quite a while since its introduction early in 2016. Although it may appear that AMP is more appropriate for media and content publishers, this guide shows how you can leverage AMP for ecommerce. Although this article is a bit technical, there are now many third-party plug-ins and software to make your website “AMP” ready. If you are a developer, this article will walk you through some of the basics of the limitations and methods to implement AMP. If you’re not a developer, make sure to share this with your developers to plan an AMP implementation into your future roadmap.
[Shopify SEO] The Ultimate Guide to Skyrocket Your Traffic
We’ve shared many posts about SEO in the past, but this one is truly the “Ultimate Guide.” Giles gives you a “crash course” in learning all the specifics of SEO for Shopify merchants and walks you through all the concepts, starting with the basics. I especially loved the screenshots of the tools and examples he shares so you know exactly what software to use and how to use them.
Facebook Dynamic Ads: How to Get Started
Yet another Facebook Ads feature, but this one is for those of you who have a large spend and do a lot of testing on creatives. Facebook now allows you to give it a mix of ad elements like the image, video, titles, descriptions, CTAs, etc., and Facebook will mix/match and test them automatically. This used to be a feature that big ad agencies and brands could only do with more sophisticated ad management software (typically called “multivariate testing’) but now it’s available for anyone to use natively within Facebook Ad Manager itself. Try it the next time you want to test your creatives; you may be surprised which combination yields the best result.
New Report: Abandoned Cart Benchmarks
As an ecommerce merchant, you are familiar with this: Shoppers who abandon their cart, or simply don’t complete their checkout, is something that happens to every day. But, you may wonder, how much does it happen to other businesses compared to mine? Do I have a high or low cart abandonment rate? How many emails should I send to follow up with a cart abandonment? Klaviyo put together a really good benchmark report that looks into their vast customer data to find out the truth. This is a really interesting read to see the stats behind cart abandonment!
Featured Apps & Services
MXED – Sell Official Pop Culture Merch
Our post from A Better Lemonade Stand featured a new app that lets you sell officially licensed pop-culture merchandise from brands like Harry Potter, Pokemon, Marvel, Disney, CapCom and – my personal favorite – Rick & Morty! That’s only a handful of the brands that they offer, too! The best part is, the app connects directly to your Shopify store and it syncs all the products, inventory, and orders. When an order comes in, they fulfill the order and ship it to your customer – you never have to carry any inventory! If you think licensed pop-culture merchandise is a good addition to your ecommerce site, check out this app and explore the wide range inventory that they carry.
Buy Moretti – Website For Sale – Fashion and apparel Business
Each month we bring you an interesting opportunity to buy an ecommerce business. This month’s featured ecommerce business is Moretti Watches in the “Fashion and Apparel” category. Currently, it is listed at $19,985 although the seller mentions it’s their suggested list price, so the final price may vary. According to verified Shopify analytics, the site received 60K sessions in the last 8 months and generated over $38K in gross sales revenue.
The website has striking product photos, is built on Shopify’s Debut Theme, and includes a handful of pre-installed and configured apps such as SounDest for email marketing, and the Sales Pop Beeketing app, among others. According to the listing, the seller generates traffic from paid Facebook advertising and has an impressive email list of 16K subscribers and 2K Facebook Messenger subscribers. The products are drop shipped from a supplier so no physical inventory is available as part of the transaction.
If you’re interested in the opportunity, reach out to the seller and read the listing carefully. Although this site is listed on Shopify Exchange, every sale is unique and we always recommend proper due diligence with every opportunity.
Thanks for checking in with us on our latest news, updates, tools, and resources for the month of October. We know this is a busy month, so don’t be apologetic if you have to just bookmark this page and come back to it on your breaks!
Until next time, what are your favorite bits of news, resources, and tools you found interesting in the last month? Put it in the comments below and I’ll see you next month!Check out the latest roundup of the best news, tools and resources in the ecommerce industry!Click To Tweet