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Social Commerce: What It Is & How to Use It in 2021 | MarketScreener

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Recently, I set an iPhone time limit on my social media use to “45 minutes”.

I figured 45 minutes would be more than enough. Almost an hour? In between working at HubSpot, catching up with friends, and attending exercise classes, I had no doubt 45 minutes would be plenty of social media consumption.

Unfortunately, I learned pretty quickly that I actually spend 45 minutes on social media before I even get to work in the morning.

I know I’m not alone. In fact, the average daily social media use of internet users worldwide amounts to 145 minutes per day.

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With all that social media consumption, it makes sense that more businesses are turning to social media to market to their audiences. But marketing is just one aspect of the buyer’s journey — what about sales? Can that be done within social media platforms, as well?

It’s actually now entirely possible for businesses to sell products and services natively within social media sites.

Here, we’re going to explore that very concept — known as social commerce — and take a look at some impressive examples of social commerce, so you can consider trying it for your own company. Additionally, we’ll list some of the most popular social commerce platforms available today, so you can decide which one could give you the highest ROI.


What is social commerce?

Social commerce is the ability to purchase a product or service natively from within a social media platform like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or Twitter.

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Since many businesses are marketing on these social media sites already, it makes sense to allow users to purchase from within these platforms without leaving the site at all.


Should you leverage social commerce?

If you sell physical products online, leveraging social commerce is a great way to drive sales and revenue to your business. Users are used to the native purchasing experience at this point and prefer to be able to quickly make a purchase right on the social media app.


Social commerce examples

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  1. Social media checkout capabilities
  2. Social commerce plugins and apps
  3. Shoppable ads
  4. Chatbot checkout


1. Social media checkout capabilities.

One of the best examples of social commerce is the ability to click a product and checkout right from within a social media site, like Instagram or Facebook.

For instance, Instagram has a “checkout” feature on their app, which allows you to click on a product within a post, choose a size and color, and proceed to payment within the platform.

The first time you use Instagram’s checkout feature, you simply need to enter your name, email, billing information, and shipping address. Once your order is complete, Instagram saves your information so you don’t need to enter it the next time you shop.

Additionally, you’ll receive notifications about shipping and delivery right from within Instagram, so you can also track your purchase without leaving the app.

For instance, let’s take a look at what happens when I click the “View Products” button (bottom right) on one of @NikeWomen’s Instagram posts:

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Instagram immediately pulls up a page with all the details of every product included in the image.

Let’s say I’m particularly interested in the sneakers. From within Instagram, I can choose a color and size and then click the blue “Checkout on Instagram” button. If I’ve shopped on Instagram before, I don’t even need to re-enter my information. Pretty simple, right?

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Plenty of other social networks have these checkout features, including Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.


2. Social commerce plugins and apps.

As social commerce continues to rise in popularity, we’ll continue to see more plugins and third-party apps emerge to make the process even more seamless for businesses and users alike.

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For instance, one third-party app called Soldsie allows your followers to make a purchase on one of your products by simply typing “Sold” into the comments section of a post. Once they’ve commented “Sold”, the app takes care of the rest, emailing the user an invoice to complete.

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Soldsie notes — “As fans comment, your sales trend on Facebook as each photo is shared with your fan’s Facebook friends.” For instance, if my friend comments “Sold” on a Facebook post of a cute sundress, I’ll see the picture in my News Feed and might consider purchasing one for myself.

Ultimately, social commerce is a good opportunity to increase brand awareness while also increasing sales — a win, win.


3. Shoppable ads.

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Shoppable ads is another example of social commerce, and is currently available on both Instagram and Snapchat.

Simply put, shoppable ads allows businesses to tag products in an Instagram or Snapchat sponsored post, ideally creating a more efficient ad-to-purchase experience. Best of all, this type of social commerce helps businesses collect valuable data on which ads convert prospects into customers immediately.

The features you’ll find on shoppable ads within both Snapchat and Instagram continue to improve — for instance, Snapchat has advanced features on their shoppable ads, including collection ads, product catalogs, advanced pixel targeting, and 30+ new Snapchat partners.

Wish, an e-commerce app, successfully uses Snapchat’s product catalog feature to create different Snap Ads and Story ads to showcase a large variety of their products, as shown below.

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Shoppable ads are undeniably profitable if done well — on Snapchat alone, FabFitFun lowered cost-per-purchase by 36%, while American Eagle increased return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) by more than 3X.

With shoppable ads, you’re able to market and sell directly to your intended audience without causing friction in a user’s social media experience. For instance, 73% of Snapchat users are between 18-24 years old. If this is your ideal demographic, why not try including your products or services directly within the ads you’re creating on Snapchat? This allows users to find products of interest to them without needing to leave the app at all.


4. Chatbot checkouts.

One final example of social commerce that’s critical to point out is chatbot checkouts — the ability for a user to find and purchase a product by chatting with a chatbot within a social platform.

For instance, consider SnapTravel’s Facebook Messenger bot, which helps people find hotel deals and book rooms right from within Messenger:

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As you continue chatting with the bot, you’ll receive better, more customized deals based on your requirements. Additionally, you can click “Open Filter” to further modify your search based on your criteria, and a new screen will open up right from within Messenger:

SnapTravel offers deals only available in Messenger, incentivizing users to book with the chatbot rather than on their website.

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Using a chatbot to streamline your buyer’s journey is particularly helpful for mobile users who want to find and purchase products on an app they already have on their phones — like Messenger.


Top social commerce websites/platforms

  1. Instagram
  2. Pinterest
  3. Facebook
  4. Poshmark
  5. Shopee


1. Instagram

Between its checkout capabilities and shoppable posts tool, Instagram is undeniably one of the most popular platforms for social commerce. Many Instagram users are already using Instagram as an opportunity to discover and purchase new products — for instance, 80% of users use Instagram to decide whether to purchase a product or service, and 83% use it to discover new products. Since these users are already prepared to find and purchase new products, it’s critical that they’re given the option to buy them in-app.

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2. Pinterest

People often turn to Pinterest for fashion, home decor, or beauty inspiration, so it makes sense that Pinterest would be a viable platform for social commerce. In fact, 93% of active Pinterest users said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases, and 87% said they’ve purchased something because of Pinterest.

Pinterest’s Shop the Look Pins allows users to click on small white dots on various products within a post, and either purchase that product within the app or browse similar products. They can make purchases on both desktop and mobile.

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3. Facebook

With over two billion active users, Facebook is one of the most popular social platforms in the world, making it a good place for social commerce.

If you have a Facebook Business Page, you can set up a Facebook shop to sell your products and services directly within the social platform.

Facebook notes — “While any business can have a shop, this feature best serves merchants, retail and e-commerce advertisers. We recommend it for businesses selling apparel, accessories (including bags and luggage), home furnishings, and baby or kids’ products.”

To upload your inventory to Facebook and create a shop section, you can either use a third-party ecommerce platform like BigCommerce or Shopify, or you can upload and manage your products yourself.

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For further inspiration, try searching for major retailers and checking out how they’ve set up their Facebook shop. For instance, take a look at New Balance’s Facebook shop:

Facebook shop is a fantastic opportunity for your business to reach a larger audience — and, even if your customers don’t end up purchasing your products on Facebook, having these products listed on your Facebook Business Page is a good idea for making Facebook users aware of the products you sell in-store.


4. Poshmark

Poshmark is a social commerce marketplace that allows people in the U.S. to buy or sell clothing, shoes, and accessories, either new or used. Poshmark makes the experience even more social with features like “Posh Parties”, which are virtual buying and selling events that you can attend with friends.

Popular brands on Poshmark currently include Nike, Lululemon, and Chanel — to sell on Poshmark, simply download the app and follow seller instructions from there.

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5. Shopee

Shopee, reportedly the largest online shopping platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, is a social commerce marketplace that enables users to buy and sell products ranging from home & living to mobile & gadgets.

See also  Pinterest shopping is helping people to find what they actually love

Major brands on Shopee include Kleenex, L’Oréal, and Oreos. Selling on the app is easy enough — simply verify your phone number, ensure your products aren’t prohibited and click “Add New Product” on your Shopee page. With over 95,000 users on the app worldwide and a unique focus on the Asian market, Shopee is a good option for brands looking to expand their global presence.


How to Create a Social Commerce Strategy


1. Align the brand experience.

Before you can get started with a social commerce strategy, it’s important to consider your brand experience and target market.

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When customers make a purchase online, do they need to look at multiple pages on your website? Do they have a lot of questions? Do they usually get in touch with a sales rep?

If so, then your brand experience might not be suited for social commerce.

On the other hand, if your brand experience has a quick sales turnaround, from looking up the product to purchasing, then your product might perform well on social commerce.

It’s important to make sure the brand experience is aligned with social commerce before creating a strategy.


2. Consider your target market and choose which social commerce sites to use.

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Once you decide to move forward with a social commerce strategy, consider your target market and think about what social commerce sites they use.

Are your customers on Instagram and Snapchat, but not on Pinterest? In that case, you’ll want to make sure you focus your social commerce efforts in the right place.

To develop a social commerce strategy, you’ll first want to think about which sites you’re going to focus on.


3. Decide which products to sell on social media.

Next, think about which products are best suited to be sold on social commerce sites. If your products require more time and thinking before making a purchase, then those won’t fit well within a social commerce strategy.

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However, some of your products might work well while others don’t. This means you should consider which products you’re going to focus your social commerce efforts on.

Ultimately, social commerce has the ability to eliminate friction in a user’s online shopping experience, and catch users’ at moments when their excitement over your products is highest.

However, it’s critical you do market research to ensure you’re using the right social commerce platforms or apps to reach your audience in the social spaces they frequent the most.

Additionally, remember social commerce is fundamentally social in nature — if your business doesn’t also engage and communicate with its followers, then your company won’t get much out of social commerce as a long-term strategy.

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Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Originally published Oct 1, 2021 1:45:00 PM, updated October 01 2021


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HubSpot Inc. published this content on 01 October 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 01 October 2021 23:02:01 UTC.

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Social Media Marketing Trends To Watch In 2022

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social-media-marketing-trends-to-watch-in-2022-–-alist-daily

Marketers aren’t clairvoyant but they can keep a finger on the pulse of trends. To help brands stay ahead of the competition, HubSpot Blog surveyed more than 1,000 global marketers from B2B and B2C brands and a handful of industry experts to create a 2022 marketing trends guide, covering privacy and AI to social media and SEO. Ahead we break down HubSpot’s findings on social media marketing trends.

As HubSpot notes, 79 percent of Americans have some type of social media account while there are 3.7 billion social media users worldwide, making it a regular part of people’s lives and a critical tool in enhancing any marketing strategy.

Live Content Will Be A Leading Social Media Format

Among the social media marketers HubSpot polled, 68 percent reported that audio chat rooms such as Clubhouse are the most effective social media content while 59 percent report the same for live video.

Ninety-six percent of those investing in live audio content intend on spending the same amount or more on it through 2022. Live video, on the other hand, is reported by 9 percent of respondents as driving the largest return on investment (ROI) of all social media formats. These formats enable brands to connect directly with audiences in a meet-them-where-they-are context while discussions range from current issues and events to the brand’s stance on those issues to the products and services themselves. 

The authenticity and dynamic nature of this format can’t be matched as heart-to-heart conversations may be interspersed with expert opinions, Q&A-style discussions, how-tos and entertainment.

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TikTok Will Continue To Gain Brand Interest

TikTok began to go viral roughly three years ago, sparking a new medium through which brands can connect with audiences without sounding sales-y. The social media app now boasts 1 billion global users and caters to a vast array of audiences. Having recently launched a number of advertising and marketing features for businesses and creators, TikTok has positioned itself front-and-center in the race to secure the highest quality content, the highest number of users and creators and brands that will continue engaging with it for marketing purposes.

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Sixty-seven percent of marketers intend on increasing their TikTok investment in 2022 and 10 percent of marketers who employ some sort of social media into their overall marketing strategy intend on investing the most in TikTok throughout 2022.

Most Marketers Will Concentrate On Three To Five Social Media Platforms

Of those social media marketers polled, 64 percent use three to five platforms, 11 percent use one or two, and 7 percent use seven or more. Managing three to five platforms allows brands to expand their reach to a variety of audiences while allowing for their marketers to engage with each one without exhausting their bandwidth or producing low-quality content.

In order for a brand to determine how many platforms to be on, i.e., how able a social media marketing team will be at building an effective and engaging strategy, HubSpot suggests answering the following:

  • How many social media marketers are on your team?
  • Which social media platforms have audiences that best align with your brand’s targets?
  • How much time will it take to master a strategy on each of the platforms?
  • Which platforms, if any, will not benefit the overall marketing strategy right now?
  • Which platform’s content, if any, can be easily repurposed? (such as TikTok and YouTube Shorts)

Influencer Marketing Will Evolve From Trend To Common Marketing Tactic

When HubSpot asked global marketing professionals which trends they planned to invest in for 2022, 34 percent said influencer marketing, ranking it first and above other trends like mobile web design and short-form video marketing.

While 57 percent of respondents that currently leverage influencer marketing say influencer marketing is effective, 46 percent of them plan to increase their investments in 2022. Additionally, 11 percent say influencer marketing is the top ROI-generating trend they’ve tested.

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More than 56 percent of marketers who invest in influencer marketing work with micro-influencers, according to HubSpot.

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Video Marketers Will Keep Content Short

HubSpot found that short-form content is the second most effective trend marketers are currently utilizing. Short-form content requires less bandwidth and aligns well with the fast-paced attention spans of online audiences in a variety of demographics

More than 31 percent of global marketers currently invest in short-form video content, 46 percent of them consider the strategy effective when it comes to performance and engagement. In addition, next year 89 percent of global marketers plan to continue investing in it or increase their investment.

Permanent Social Media Posts Could Overtake Ephemeral Content

Brands have observed that permanent social media content—namely standard posts, videos and live events that live on a platform’s feed and can be viewed again days later—might be more effective than ephemeral content such as Instagram Stories and Snapchat.

HubSpot’s survey results show that 44 percent of global marketers plan to increase their investment in permanent social media content, while 8 percent say it generates the most ROI compared to other marketing strategies they leverage. Meanwhile, 25 percent of respondents cited ephemeral content as the “least effective” trend they invested in.

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Lastly, 37 percent of marketers said they plan to decrease their investment in ephemeral content.

However, HubSpot cautions against writing off ephemeral content completely as it can still provide other brand awareness benefits and unique content experiences.

According to Kelly Hendrickson, a social media marketing manager at HubSpot, Instagram Stories’ fleeting design and fun editing options give brands a new strategy for producing content that varies from their other social media content.

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“Instagram can organically serve up a wall post across a wide span of time, so there’s less of an opportunity for brands to be timely (who wants to see New Year’s post when they’ve already given up on their resolutions?!). Since Instagram users are more active on weekdays, during the standard workday, it seems users are looking for a break,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson urges marketers to remember that the combination of a running clock and a lively audience presents a big opportunity for brands to lean into quick, in-the-moment content that showcases the light-hearted side of their brand, adding that succinctness and clarity are key in content.

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Getting the Most Out of Shopify

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Getting the Most Out of Shopify

The growth of your online business in Shopify significantly depends on how well you use the e-commerce platform. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s a lot of competition in the e-commerce industry itself, and it requires patience, intentionality and transformational skills to move to the top right in the categories where you compete. Many marketers who use Shopify for eCommerce encounter strategic and tactical issues using the platform. At TopRight, we’ve studied the most common issues facing marketing executives and we provide tips and techniques to help you get the most out of Shopify. Here are a few of the most common marketing challenges you could encounter while using Shopify:

  • Mediocre sales conversion
  • Insufficient traffic to your site
  • Difficulty interpreting Shopify analytics
  • Unrealistic predictions of sales and traffic
  • Misalignment of inventory management
  • Failure to target and identify customers

Importance of a Clear Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy acts as a playbook for your business and how you make investments in you Shopify store. It helps keep your business pointed in the right direction and allows you to make informed decisions. Without a strategic marketing playbook, it’s easy to get lost and encounter obstructions. A stragegic playbook can help guide you to responding to challenges and navigating barriers you may encounter with your Shopify store. Specifically, it can help you:

  • Estimate sales potential
  • Promote your goods and services better
  • Attract new customers
  • Maintain good connection with existing customers

Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Shopify

Of course, understanding the analytics on your store isn’t sufficient to assure success. You need to turn data into insight and devise strategies to drive traffic and conversions. Here are a few tips to guide you through the development of a winning marketing strategy to get the most out of Shopify.

1. Invest in Your Own Shopify App

Most successful Shopify merchants have optimized their app to tell their brand story. A Shopify app is a powerful way to give customers a reason to care about your store and the products you offer. Your brand story also helps you build connections and engage with other prospects on other ecommerce platforms and social media sites. Making this simple investment enables you to connect, reach and engage more potential customers.

If building your own app is an obstacle, you can use tools like Pocketfied – an easy app builder that lets you conveniently manage your store. You can have your own published app within a day, even if you don’t have any design and coding skills.

2. Use Shopify Resources

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Shopify offers resources to help you become a more effective marketer and entrepreneur. It provides guides, podcasts, and even an eCommerce University to learn new skills. Use these resources to learn more about the Shopify platform and get ideas on how to work on the platform more effectively and efficiently.

3. Promote Your Store on Social Media

Social media networks like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter represent significant opportunities for you to boost brand awareness and drive traffic to your store. However, social media marketing is highly saturated – it take a lot to stand out from the crowd. Many Shopify merchants use social media to showcase their goods and services. You need to develop a good and structured approach to get an edge and drive results.

See also  Ifeoma Ozoma: US tech whistleblower helping others speak out
  • Make a business page or account on all relevant social platforms.
  • Follow accounts and market to users within your target audience.
  • Integrate your shop in your accounts so shoppers can easily buy without leaving the social platform
  • Post meaningful content regularly including: videos that showcase your products; special pricing promotions; new product launches; and private/ exclusive store events

4. Leverage Email Marketing

Email remains one of the best ways to connect and engage with customers. When properly used (not abused), emails can serve as the backbone of your customer conversion strategy customer conversion strategy. Here are a few tips on how to use it appropriately:

  • Be creative with your emails so you can easily attract interest and give people a reason to care
  • Send out cart abandonment details to remind customers about incomplete or unfinished transactions.
  • Be professional and respectful – don’t send too many promotional emails. Thoughtless interruptions drive customers away.

5. Create a Website and Start Blogging

Write compelling content that will attract and encourage readers to go to your store and check out your products. Don’t just focus on your products and services. Make content about related topics and issues where you can smartly and smoothly promote your products. Think about topics that would be of interest and value to your audience. Content can be a gift if it is positioned properly with your customers.

Advertisement

Research what your customers care about, what they want or what unmet needs they may have. Again, don’t overload your blog with sales messages and stories about your business. Instead, focus on the relevance of your products to your customers’ lifestyles. What can you do to make them the hero of your brand story?

6. Invest in Paid Advertisements and Affiliations

Depending on your budget, be sure to set aside some money for paid advertisements. Online advertisements, clickable or not, will drive traffic to your store and boost your store’s visibility. These are usually posted on online platforms like social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Additionally, you can use Google Ads to get your store to appear on the top page of search results.

You can also develop affiliations with other Shopify stores and businesses so they’ll help promote your store and products. For a small percentage of a transaction, an affiliate marketer with help will drive traffic and potential customers to your store. However, remember that you’ll be sharing your revenues or paying them for their cooperation!

The Takeaway

Story, Strategy and Systems alignment can be a heavy lift when you launch a Shopify store. There are many pitfalls and issues you may encounter. But if you focus on telling a simple story, formulating a clear strategy, and leveraging Shopify best practices, you can navigate these challenges and successfully give your customers a reason to care, listen, engage and buy from your store.

Advertisement

The growth of your online business in Shopify significantly depends on how well you use the e-commerce platform. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. There’s a lot of competition in the e-commerce industry itself, and it requires patience, intentionality and transformational skills to move to the top right in the categories where you compete. Many marketers who use Shopify for eCommerce encounter strategic and tactical issues using the platform. At TopRight, we’ve studied the most common issues facing marketing executives and we provide tips and techniques to help you get the most out of Shopify. Here are a few of the most common marketing challenges you could encounter while using Shopify:

See also  How Pinterest Uses Internationalization to Inspire the World - Slator
  • Mediocre sales conversion
  • Insufficient traffic to your site
  • Difficulty interpreting Shopify analytics
  • Unrealistic predictions of sales and traffic
  • Misalignment of inventory management
  • Failure to target and identify customers

Importance of a Clear Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy acts as a playbook for your business and how you make investments in you Shopify store. It helps keep your business pointed in the right direction and allows you to make informed decisions. Without a strategic marketing playbook, it’s easy to get lost and encounter obstructions. A stragegic playbook can help guide you to responding to challenges and navigating barriers you may encounter with your Shopify store. Specifically, it can help you:

  • Estimate sales potential
  • Promote your goods and services better
  • Attract new customers
  • Maintain good connection with existing customers

Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Shopify

Of course, understanding the analytics on your store isn’t sufficient to assure success. You need to turn data into insight and devise strategies to drive traffic and conversions. Here are a few tips to guide you through the development of a winning marketing strategy to get the most out of Shopify.

1. Invest in Your Own Shopify App

Most successful Shopify merchants have optimized their app to tell their brand story. A Shopify app is a powerful way to give customers a reason to care about your store and the products you offer. Your brand story also helps you build connections and engage with other prospects on other ecommerce platforms and social media sites. Making this simple investment enables you to connect, reach and engage more potential customers.

If building your own app is an obstacle, you can use tools like Pocketfied – an easy app builder that lets you conveniently manage your store. You can have your own published app within a day, even if you don’t have any design and coding skills.

2. Use Shopify Resources

Advertisement

Shopify offers resources to help you become a more effective marketer and entrepreneur. It provides guides, podcasts, and even an eCommerce University to learn new skills. Use these resources to learn more about the Shopify platform and get ideas on how to work on the platform more effectively and efficiently.

3. Promote Your Store on Social Media

Social media networks like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter represent significant opportunities for you to boost brand awareness and drive traffic to your store. However, social media marketing is highly saturated – it take a lot to stand out from the crowd. Many Shopify merchants use social media to showcase their goods and services. You need to develop a good and structured approach to get an edge and drive results.

See also  Why Clubhouse Media (CMGR) is a Bigger Story than You Think (FB, PINS, SNAP, CMGR, TTD ...
  • Make a business page or account on all relevant social platforms.
  • Follow accounts and market to users within your target audience.
  • Integrate your shop in your accounts so shoppers can easily buy without leaving the social platform
  • Post meaningful content regularly including: videos that showcase your products; special pricing promotions; new product launches; and private/ exclusive store events

4. Leverage Email Marketing

Email remains one of the best ways to connect and engage with customers. When properly used (not abused), emails can serve as the backbone of your customer conversion strategy customer conversion strategy. Here are a few tips on how to use it appropriately:

  • Be creative with your emails so you can easily attract interest and give people a reason to care
  • Send out cart abandonment details to remind customers about incomplete or unfinished transactions.
  • Be professional and respectful – don’t send too many promotional emails. Thoughtless interruptions drive customers away.

5. Create a Website and Start Blogging

Write compelling content that will attract and encourage readers to go to your store and check out your products. Don’t just focus on your products and services. Make content about related topics and issues where you can smartly and smoothly promote your products. Think about topics that would be of interest and value to your audience. Content can be a gift if it is positioned properly with your customers.

Advertisement

Research what your customers care about, what they want or what unmet needs they may have. Again, don’t overload your blog with sales messages and stories about your business. Instead, focus on the relevance of your products to your customers’ lifestyles. What can you do to make them the hero of your brand story?

6. Invest in Paid Advertisements and Affiliations

Depending on your budget, be sure to set aside some money for paid advertisements. Online advertisements, clickable or not, will drive traffic to your store and boost your store’s visibility. These are usually posted on online platforms like social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Additionally, you can use Google Ads to get your store to appear on the top page of search results.

You can also develop affiliations with other Shopify stores and businesses so they’ll help promote your store and products. For a small percentage of a transaction, an affiliate marketer with help will drive traffic and potential customers to your store. However, remember that you’ll be sharing your revenues or paying them for their cooperation!

The Takeaway

Story, Strategy and Systems alignment can be a heavy lift when you launch a Shopify store. There are many pitfalls and issues you may encounter. But if you focus on telling a simple story, formulating a clear strategy, and leveraging Shopify best practices, you can navigate these challenges and successfully give your customers a reason to care, listen, engage and buy from your store.

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Ifeoma Ozoma: US tech whistleblower helping others speak out

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ifeoma-ozoma:-us-tech-whistleblower-helping-others-speak-out-–-yahoo-news

Being a whistleblower comes down to careful preparation but also an eye trained for dirty tricks, said Ifeoma Ozoma, an ex-employee of several Silicon Valley giants turned revealer of tech world wrongdoing.

“I planned it like a program or product launch. Obviously the experience is something very personal, but I approached it like work,” she told AFP.

While Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen has become a figurehead for the fight against social media’s faults, there are others in the tech world, like Ozoma, who have also taken big risks to stand up.

An African-American, former policymaker relations specialist for Google, Pinterest and Facebook, she continues to work for ethics in tech, but from the outside, via her consulting firm Earthseed.

She has marked a first big success via the recent adoption in California of a law she co-sponsored, called “Silenced No More.”

Starting in January, this law will prohibit employers from using confidentiality clauses to prevent victims of harassment or discrimination in the workplace from speaking out.

In mid-October, she posted online a guide for whistleblowers.

“The difference with tech companies and other industries is on the power that they wield, but also they pretend they’re better for workers, consumers, society than more traditional industries,” she told AFP. “That’s just not borne out in reality.”

– Keep the emails –

A Yale University graduate in political science, the 29-year-old was born in Alaska to Nigerian immigrants.

She left Pinterest at the end of May 2020, with six months of salary, after months of making complaints internally and also to the state of California, accusing the social network of discrimination and racist retaliation.

See also  Pinterest shopping is helping people to find what they actually love

She said the company paid her less than if she had been a man, but she also complained about their lack of action after a colleague posted her personal details online to expose her to anonymous harassment.

In mid-June 2020, as the Black Lives Matter anti-racism movements were in full swing in the United States, her damning account on Twitter of her experience sparked a scandal for the company that had largely avoided controversy.

“Pinterest, told a number of reporters that the CEO had no knowledge of me being doxxed… and I was essentially making up a story about him being aware,” Ozoma said.

“I knew that it was something that would probably come up later. And so I had the emails,” she added.

The accused firms try to discredit whistleblowers by many means, said Libby Liu, the director of Whistleblower Aid which is working with Haugen.

“They will throw up against the wall every discrediting thing they can think of, through like every media organization on the face of the Earth,” she added.

– Losing their health insurance –

The whistleblowers that come forward often have a lot to lose.

“Just one example here in the United States — because our health care is tied to our employment — when you decide to whistle blow, you’re also making a decision for yourself and for your family to lose access to your health insurance,” Ozoma said.

“That is not a small thing to ask of people,” she added.

Whistleblower leaks and damning media reports have tarnished Big Tech’s image, but they have had limited tangible consequences for Silicon Valley.

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In fact, Haugen’s oft-repeated accusation that Facebook puts profits over safety is not entirely new.

“There are countless nonprofit organizations and reporters, who reported on the exact same thing for years,” said Ozoma. “It remains to be seen whether anything fruitful will come of it.”

But from anti-sexism protests at Google in 2018 to warnings from former top Facebook officials, the pressure for change is steady.

After Ozoma spoke out at Pinterest, other female workers did too.

The company paid $22 million in December 2020 to Francoise Brougher, its white, former COO to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit.

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