In Part 2 of this series, we introduce four more of the best channels for Ecommerce marketing: Google Local Inventory Ads, Social Media Ads, the newer trend in Social Media In-App Shopping, and the old tried-and true standby, Email Marketing.
Google Local Inventory Ads
Google’s Local inventory ads are designed to surface local product and store information to online users when the item they’re searching for is available nearby.
Google’s location-targeted search algorithm enables it to show local inventory ads on both computers and mobile devices. It happens whenever a user adds a location to a product search term such as Harry’s Razor Blades Scarsdale or the “Nearby” search feature, [Harry’s Razor Blades] Nearby.
With Location Detection turned on, the user only needs to enter the product name on Google or Apple Maps to display local stores where the product is sold.
Merchants participating in LIA’s,will see their locations displayed prominently in a sidebar, together with enhanced information like open hours, phone number, pickup or delivery options, etc.
Go here to learn about how to qualify for the LIA program.
Social Media Ads
When it comes to social media advertising, there’s still nothing like Facebook to expose your products to a mass audience of engaged users browsing in a place where they like to spend time and hang out.
However, be aware that Facebook’s user demographics have started to skew towards older users — think parents and grandparents. TikTok is now used by more teenagers in the U.S. than Facebook.
One of the reasons why social media is so powerful is because of how granular they can be with targeting. Facebook, for example, lets you target users on very specific lifestyle and behavioral patterns. Its Dynamic Ads algorithm goes one step further: the right product is always shown to the right user at the right moment.
All of the major Social platforms offer advertising opportunities. You know your products and (hopefully) your customers, so choose the one(s) with the most appropriate fit:
- Facebook for Millennials and Baby Boomers
- Pinterest for women and any creative types seeking inspiration
- TikTok for Gen Z’ers
- SnapChat for Gen Z and Millennials
- Instagram for creative types, mostly under 50
(New): Social Media In-App Shopping
Facebook has been busy the past year turning Instagram into an online marketplace. As we’ve described before, Instagram’s Shopping feature enables a user to click on a tagged product, whereupon they’re redirected to a product description page with the magic “Buy” button.
From there they’re taken to the merchant’s store, or, for some select brands, to a universal shopping cart mixed with items they’ve selected from other stores. This option happens through Instagram’s new Checkout feature, where Instagram stores the payer’s information for all future purchases and handles the merchant transaction for a small processing fee. It’s not available to all etailers yet but is expected to expand soon.
Pinterest has been busy monetizing with two new product listing features: Buyable Pins and Rich Pins.
For Buyable Pins, items you display that are available in your online store will feature a bright blue “Buy it” or “Add to bag” button. The price is listed right underneath the image of your item.
You can add Rich Pins code to both your Pinterest account and your website. They pull in real-time price information, photos, availability, location, etc., to help buyers interested in a purchase.
Buyable Pins are prominently placed, creating an easy path to purchase. A single Pinterest shopping cart can hold items from multiple sellers. Payments will be processed in a single transaction for the buyer, with payouts (minus commissions) going to each seller.
Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging app has just launched a catalog feature. There’s no Checkout as yet like on Instagram, but it’s coming soon. For now, transactions will still occur elsewhere. The main users of the free WhatsApp Business app are small businesses. WhatsApp provices them with a “mobile storefront” where they can display their wares with images and prices.
The WhatsApp for Business app for Android and iPhone is where you access the catalog feature. It’s only live now in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, and Mexico, but its global expansion is continuing.
Email marketing is a good tried-and-true strategy for getting former or current customers to buy more stuff from you, and it has yet to go out of style. It also works well as a coordinated strategy with retargeting campaigns where you were able to capture the customer’s contact information before they abandoned their cart.
Since these users have already provided you with their email address, they are much more likely to make a purchase from you in the future.
By segmenting your lists in email marketing, you can send different messages based on behavior-based triggers. For example, shopping cart abandoners may get a reminder, while shoppers who have a birthday might get a discount coupon. Take it one step further, and you can create a complete nurturing campaign to act as a funnel for turning browsers into buyers.
Many ecommerce operating softwares such as Magento, Shopify, and now Squarespace offer email marketing as one of their functionalities. If you need a standalone email automation platform, some of the most popular for Ecommerce businesses are MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and Omnisend.
How to determine which channels are best for your business, right now
Who is your target audience? What’s their preferred channel? Does the channel offer targeting flexibility?
Which channels are your competitors using? Think about why.
How big is your marketing budget? If your budget is tight, consider starting with channels that enable you to capture the lowest hanging fruits such as retargeting and search channels.
What are your available resources and what is your time frame? Text ads require fewer resources than display or video ads, but they still must be optimized.
Pulling it all together with less effort
Feed management software can help you manage a large number of channels, without spending excess time and resources on manual tasks or support from IT.
Shoppingfeed syndicates search-optimized product listings on all of the world’s most powerful marketplaces, syncs and refines inventory data, and eases fulfillment with automated workflows.