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9 Ways to Improve Personalized Product Recommendation in eCommerce Website

eCommerce is my favorite subject and when it comes to conversion optimization, I enjoy working on usability testing part to increase the conversion rate of the website. Recently I privileged to participate in EcomChat which is an ecommerce & digital marketing networking group comes together every Monday for a live twitter chat. Last Monday, the topic was about smart product recommendation and the discussion was very insightful. As always @JamesGurd has nicely concluded the Ecomchat by sharing important takeaways from the event. In this article I will be talking about all different takeaways from the Ecomchat with detailed explanation and live examples. Here we go!

According to this infographic released by Monetate, the smart product recommendations can increase your revenue by up to 300%, improve the conversions by 150% and it also to help boost the average order value by 50% .

infographic product recommendation
But the biggest question is, does it work for everyone? Does it gives same result for all eCommerce business? Obviously the result is totally depending upon how you are implementing personalize product recommendation and the type of your business. As same strategy may give different result to different businesses, first understand and test the feature best suited your audiences and accordingly make the implementation. Lets go through each of those takeaways and see which one (or more) can work for your eCommerce business.

#1 Promote The Accessories

As done by various Ecommerce websites, the related accessories must be promoted along with the products. As shoppers mostly purchase relevant accessories or the recommendation like this will remind them to buy those accessories. Promotion of right accessory with a product on Sale is an important tool to gain more profits. Do mind that only relevant stuff should be promoted to attract the buyers. It is very common product recommendation practice being followed by most of the popular ecommerce websites. Amazon like others, displays its products using models who are styled with a range of other products available on the site. This not only shows the customers how the product actually look on a real person, but is also a useful way of suggesting other related items the customer might want to buy.
amazon-suggested-productsI recently searched for Dell Laptop on Amazon and at the end of product specifications, I found products depict in above screenshot. Look at the products and its title closely which refers to – “Customers who bought this item also bought”. This way eCommerce portals can push their customers to buy other stuffs as well.

#2 Match The Business Needs

Using the search related data a shopping website should try to match the business & customer needs. According to Dan, one should recommend the relevant products with very high margin. It serves two main purposes one they introduces closely relevant products with high profits on sale, second they provide a variety available in the budget of a shopper. In this way they earns both the profit and a buyer for their products. This thing can be easily noticed on any small or big eCommerce websites or on their application.

#3 Matching The Activity To User Needs

This is very common in regular shops hence in the Ecomm sites this thing is equally effective. In this type of personalized product recommendation, the website search related data will do the job. Display the products on the main page when it is the right time to attract the buyers. Currently Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Holiday Sales is going on, so all eCommerce flooded their home page design with banners and huge discounts.

Let’s find out how Amazon, Macys and QVC – 3 giant ecommerce retailers showing black friday banners all over the website.

black-friday-amazon

black-friday-macys

black-friday-qvc

#4 Social Proofs Are Must

Use of verified reviews done by verified customers can make you earn more money. Almost every Ecommerce website is using this method and it is must to have it on a portal. So go social and share the reviews to assure the customers for a genuine and a quality product. Shoppers trust other shoppers up to 12x more than the brand or marketing messages. A review done for a verified purchase makes other shoppers to try new brands and it makes them easy to shop from internet. ecommerce-verified-purchase

And also be well stocked or else your shopping site will be used only to read the reviews and the shopper will go for another website which will affect your business.

#5 Test To Find What Works

You can’t predict everything but you can go for testing the trend and minds of your shoppers. Never afraid of trying new things, try to go with some genuine test results. According to Tim, you can bundle multiple products in one group and highlight the discount / sale / offer price on that bundle. This way, you can sell multiple products to same buyers.

First understand your target audience and visualize their buying behavior, that will help you to start with your experiment to acquire those audiences. Just take an example of Amazon prime, providing shipping in 2 days and 30 minutes early access of thousands of deals. This will definitely attract buyers to place orders which are available to only prime members (even if they don’t require those products) will directly increase the sales.

amazon-prime

Testing is a good practice as you never know what works best for whole audience. Keep it simple and try to make the segment to give unique experience to your website visitors & don’t shy to take suggestions of your users. The data based on your user’s experience will helps you to acquire more business from the smart product recommendation. Start simple and go further as lot of small businesses don’t have access to right AI tools, so bundles and fixed recommendations are adequate.

#6 Try To Understand And Isolate Gift Purchase

Amazon using “This is a Gift” and other websites like QVC also do manage the gifting related purchases as special recommendations. A good understanding can fetch you more bucks and more visitors to your website. Currently many ecommerce portals providing detailed gift guide for every category which helps users to buy most popular gifts for someone. Apart from that they also provides the list of trending gifts in various categories that directly impact the buying decision of your users as no one want to spend time on reviewing 100s of products to make a gift.

qvc-trending-gifts#7 Improve The Relevance

Merging the data sources will give great result when implemented smartly, for example – Understanding what do they buy in stores? Or which items gets more returns / complaints etc. Including the product gets more orders and excluding the products get more returns will greatly impact the overall performance.

#8 Increase Your Sales With Personalization

Sending personalized product recommendations to your customers increases the sales. If you are using smart personalize product recommendation engine, within a few clicks you can detect the purchasing patterns of your visitors and buy recommending relevant products, you can encourage them to make an orders. This will help you to target right people with the right products. And you can learn more about each customer’s individual purchase history and recommended items by viewing their subscriber profile. Every E-comm website regularly sends the offers and deals related to the recent searches done by a user to there respective e-mail Ids.

amazon-personalization

We recently bought some books from Amazon and next day while surfing Amazon again, it started displaying  products with title – “Inspired by Your Shopping Trends”. This kind of practice will make your ecommerce website unique and will help you to increase the sales.

#9 Go For Product Research and Right Pricing Strategy

For an eCommerce website, site search data is very helpful to know what are the latest trends and demands from the users. Use this data to go for quality and the quantity apt for sale. Keep your stocks according to it as the requirements changes with seasons and festivals. By using site search data one can identify the price ranges the customers are looking for; If your customers are searching for low-priced products, offer suitable range of products. Also work on price comparison with your competitors selling same products to reduce the bounce rate and users will only buy after comparing the price from multiple sellers.

Each strategy has its own benefits and if implemented rightly, it will not only improve your website user experience but also will help to increase overall sales. If you already enjoying the benefits of this personalized & smart product recommendation, do share your experience here by comment.

 

5 Reasons to Vouch for Mobile Apps Against Mobile Websites

“Which one is better? Mobile application or Mobile website” This is one of the most debatable topic in technology era and answer may be vary depending upon requirement. Mobile website is a website which specially optimized for mobile device browsers which is responsive and load faster on smart phones. Mobile website also accesses some mobile specific features like GPS, click to call etc. In other hand mobile application requires to install on mobile devices from relevant app store. Both the platform offers various benefits to users and here we will discuss which one performs better.

Smartphone owners are spending about 86% of their mobile-time on apps. Mobile applications have not just become the source of daily updates/information but are also driving engagement through shopping, gaming and other utilities. Brands have consequently been migrating to applications to ensure that their products and services are offered in a platform that the end user seeks for.

For businesses and organization, it is high time to cater services and business processes via mobile apps. Apps have been the way of several top companies engaging with their customers and employees. As opposed to mobile websites, apps bring in a lot many advantages that will help your brand operate more efficiently. Obviously each has its own benefits and drawback and few features works best for some business where as few will not work the best. Here all scenarios are discussed by considering the majority of the businesses and its operations.

#1 Driving engagement

The smart phone generation is all about convenience. Now, each one of us knows the difference in convenience when it is about accessing a mobile application and accessing a mobile website. With the later, you will have to manually enter the URL (or search it up in Google), before you expect the products to be loaded. Apps on the other hand are highly purpose focused and the home screen isn’t necessarily about the brand’s history and its values.  Another disadvantage with mobile websites is their dependence on browsers – its speed and other functionalities.

app vs mobile webComScore released one report in 2015 which describes better stats of mobile app and mobile browser usage. According to ComScore 87% of all time which is spend on mobile in the USA was spent on mobile apps. People are almost spending 9 out of 10 minutes on various mobile apps and this number increased to 90% since 2013 compares to 54% in mobile browser.

#2 Better security

Mobile applications provide a higher amount of security as compared to websites. Applications can further integrate device management software that doesn’t just help in locking down apps but also retract them, allowing enterprises, a greater degree of control on devices and their functionalities. Apps are continually audited to review the security standards but websites always depend upon the browsers readiness to such events. While mobile websites too are secure, the advantage with apps is related more to the control part of it.

#3 Improved productivity and cost cutting

Mobile apps, especially for enterprises, can help employees communicate, train and access information and resources faster and easier. Apps have been reported to increase employee productivity by more than 40%. In some cases like OLA or UBER, apps have been the only way the company manages its employees and caters to its customers. Mobile websites on the other hand are slow to load, hard to optimize and complicated to access, thereby inhibiting productivity and costing more.

Some ecommerce businesses also shows “Install App” banners on their mobile site while any visitors opens their app. We are experts in paid marketing field and lot of ecommerce business runs Google & Facebook mobile app ads campaigns too to drive traffic and boost sales via their mobile apps.

#4 Accessing offline information

In most cases, mobile apps update themselves whenever there is an internet connection available. Taking the case of maps, apps allow navigation to be saved offline. On the other hand, if you would have sought mobile websites for the same, it would have required contact internet availability. Offline availability and saving of information also ensures that quality time isn’t lost and users get things done. Sometimes your internet connect might be low then Google chrome will load your page accordingly in browser and it won’t give better user interface for sure.

Also Read – Key Advantages of Running Shopping Ads [Google and Bing]

#5 Other important features

Mobile apps come with several extra features that aren’t possible with a website interface. Applications use the devices hardware features including address books, push notifications, camera, gallery, recording, vibration, cloud and cache to enable several useful features that make the apps more interesting and useful. Mobile websites on the other hand are just plain and simple pages that just allows you to interact in the traditional manner. It’s just like accessing information on your laptop, but on a smaller screen.

If user regularly deletes browser history then he/she might need to login to your mobile site every time they open it. If your business has an app then user don’t need to worry about it. They can view/track/book order anywhere and anytime without worrying about log into it every time.

More than 102,062 million mobile apps have been downloaded on Android and iOS phones and this number is projected to rise to 286,692 million by 2017. Today, mobile apps account for as much as half the time spend by users on digital platforms.

statista facts

Stacey Rudolph describes beautifully about mobile app usage stats in an infographic where she describes that 42% of all mobile sales came through mobile apps for the top 500 merchants across the globe.

mobile sales

Understandably enough, mobile apps have been overshadowing mobile websites in all areas. Though mobile websites aren’t yet useless, apps have become the common means to information, for both the consumer and the employee. If you have been running an organization, regardless of the industry, you should be thinking in the lines of investing in a mobile app. It will definitely make it easier for your consumers to stay updated and there is a higher chance of increase in traffic and revenues. Specially tailored and customized apps offer benefits that are beyond competition. IF you haven’t already, now will be the time to begin.

Simple Yet Effective Content Marketing Checklist to Boost Your Content Outreach

Content marketing is very broad subject and thousands of articles, guides or books have published depicting various strategies. But when it comes to implementation part, only few get success despite of building amazing content by following all those content marketing strategies, Why?

Neil has nicely explained the most common reasons why the content marketing strategy is failing, those are:

  1. Specific: You haven’t defined the precise content tactics you will use.
  2. Measurable: You aren’t measuring your ROI.
  3. Attainable: You don’t have a clear perspective on the eventual outcome.
  4. Relevant: Your content marketing strategy doesn’t actually target the business’ goals.
  5. Time-bound: You don’t know when you’ve succeeded.

I talked with many businesses who recently started blog and complaining about poor performance of their content marketing strategy. After studying their process in detail, I found that the proper process was not in place and few points require lot of improvement.  Here I will be discussing all those points to boost outreach of all kind of content, be it business blog or individual blog.

Before I start explaining the checklist, let me share brief information about the importance of blog for the business in their online marketing strategies.

Content is the King in current marketing era and having blog is now almost mandatory for any business. Blog posts have the capability of bringing extremely targeted leads to the posted content and engage audience through all the stages of sales and marketing cycle. Each blog post you create has its own importance which starts from small idea and does not just ends on publish button. The procedure of publishing any article is not easy at all and it’s definitely time consuming process as it requires lots of effort. So if you think that you will publish an article within minutes and it will give you instant result then you are wrong. If you think, by copying from other popular blogs you will start gaining instant traffic, then wait! your blog might become a victim of Google Penalty.

Difference between pro bloggers and lazy bloggers

Blogging is an art and can be learned by experience and not by copying. And this is what makes the difference between a pro blogger and a lazy blogger. A lazy blogger will not invest much time and effort in researching for the right and relevant data. In-fact they hardly follows the proper format for the blog posting. Result? Such blogs do not make much impact with the audience and fail to achieve the targeted leads.

On the other hand, pro bloggers who are extremely serious about the content generation process. They carry out extensive research on the keyword or the topic and come with a post, which is highly relevant and full of interesting facts and information. This is the reason it might take almost a week for a pro blogger to develop a single quality content.

Importance of content marketing checklist

Once you have a content marketing checklist in hand you can be sure of not missing out on any important point. Before submitting the ‘Publish’ button, just go through the points in the checklist and see if majority of them have been covered. A pro blogger will try and make improvements with every blog post. Here we start with our first point:

#1 Research, research and more research

No blog post can be good without substantial research on the topic. Content marketer often research about new content on various sources such as other articles, videos, blogs, images, infographics etc. They also extend their research to Google Trends, geek friends ideas, self made tutorials or any research point during work on client’s project and gather all information at one place initially. Once you have decided the topic for the blog post, look for the keywords that match with the same and base your research on the above mentioned facts. Google keyword planner and SEMRush are the best tools for keyword research.

#2 Deciding on content flow

Now that you have the whole research material in your hands, it is time to frame an outline of the blog you intend to write. Try and arrange the blog in a manner so that there is a smooth flow in the content. Without the flow, no content will be readable. Another thing to keep in mind in this regard is the keyword density. Use keywords wisely in the content. The content on individual article might be short or long and for that you must add some interesting information in between the content which grabs your right audience throughout the article.

#3 Wrack brains for catchy title and meta-description

The title of the blog is the first thing that the audience will see on the web. Therefore it is here that you have to work the most. Think of creative and innovative titles that will compel viewers to click on the blog and read what is within. Try to include one important keyword in the title for added advantage. If you are struggling to write catchy titles by your own then use BuzzSumo or TweakYourBiz title generator tool which can gives you loads of ideas for catchy and creative title. The meta-description will be kind of summary about the blog with insertion of keywords. The length of the meta-description matters and should be kept in mind.

Check out below title suggestions for the keyword “Social Media Marketing

title generator

One most important thing for blogger is that the meta tags length should not be too long. The optimal meta title length should be 40 – 69 characters long. Anything shorter then this might not be descriptive or catch attention of the readers. Meta description length should be between 135 -160 characters which is good for any article.

#4 Relevant images, graphics for better representation

To make your blog post all the more interesting and eye-catching, it is recommended to select relevant images, graphical representations, Infographics and other creative resources and use them at the right place in the blog. The images and other graphic contents should have appropriate titles as well. Adding creativity to the blog will only enhance its value manifold times. Some times data or user statistics and facts images also work in between the content.

The popular blogger Harsh Agarwal from ShoutmeLoud has nicely explained the importance of images in blog which generates more social media visits, google image search traffic and also increases the length of the article.

Below screenshot depict the penetration in social media users which is going to reach by 2.55 billions in 2018. You can easily reach to those audiences with properly optimized blog post containing engaging creatives for better social media reach.

statista users

Make sure that images, graphics or any other infographics should be specifically designed for your niche and must grab readers attention. High resolution and meaningful images always makes strong impact on users. If you are not able to purchase stock images then there is plenty of websites for free images available online. My all time favorite websites are Pixabay and Flickr (check for usage license before you use). As per experienced bloggers GIF’s are also best way to communicate with readers and lots of viral content blogs are using this technique.

Featured images are also more important when it comes to make first impression of any article on your blog. Amateur bloggers often spends more time to design featured images on Photoshop or other design tools but here we recommend you to use online tools like Canva to design featured image in just few minutes.

canva tool

#5 Internal linking is important

If you are a serious blogger, you will want the audience to be glued to your blog site to a longer extent. And for that, there is no better way than resorting to internal linking. Through this process, one page of the blog can be connected to another page in the same blog. This helps in smooth navigation within the site. Internal linking should be on targeted keyword and targeted page so it will not mislead the readers. Internal linkings are also beneficial to reduce the bounce rate of the website.internal linking structure

#6 Concentrate on proper and effective external linking

External linking to relevant sites help in providing the search engines an idea of the niche to which your blog belongs. Getting outbound links to highly trusted sites from the same niche helps your blog in gaining prominence with the search engine successfully. Other bloggers likes it when someone mentions their name in particular article so we recommend you to give external link on particular link followed by writer’s name. This way you can also build professional relations with fellow bloggers.

#7 Appropriate call to action options

While creating the blog, your target will be attracting more and more people to the same. More importantly, you would want to know what people think about your blog by posting their valuable comments. So keep options for ‘call to action’. Keep the ‘comments’ section ready. You can also offer chance of ‘subscribing to newsletter’ or ‘getting alert for a new blog post’ for more audience interaction.

Call-To-Action

Call to action often builds your number of audience and sometimes it can generate you the good business as well. So don’t miss this opportunity while setting up any article on your blog.

#8 Where & when

Now you have successfully written your blog and is ready to publish but, before that you have to choose the right day and time for publishing the blog post. There are varying opinions on the web as what is the best time for blog publishing as other factors like social media sharing, email marketing and other techniques are integrated with the same. Understand where and when your target audiences are active and accordingly plan your publishing. Before you hit the ‘Publish’ button, see if the above points are met with and go ahead!

#9 Outreach

It is just half the battle is won when you hit publish button; here timely outreach to target audiences is very important. Here are few steps to follow after you publish the content on your blog:

  • Email – Send email to your readers with catchy headline and proper content. If you are not building email list from your blog, you are missing lot of opportunity to build customer trust by sending different types of emails that can increase the audience engagement with your brand.
  • Social Media – You can run organic and paid content marketing campaign at social media platforms to increase the outreach of your published content. Facebook ads is the best platform to start with.
  • Influencer Targeting – During step 1 (research), you must have found influencers who already published various research and content in specific niche. Drop an email to influencer or connect with them at social media platform with clear information on how your content can add value to their existing published work. As they are very busy and receiving 100s of emails a day, you should have strong strategy to attract influencer to share your content.

I am sure, this checklist will help novice bloggers or businesses to get best out of their content. Do you have any query or suggestion related to this topic? I would love to interact with you.

Happy blogging!

Have You Tried Facebook Canvas Ads? If Not! You Should Check This DIY Guide

We have been managing paid advertisement campaigns for many clients and Facebook ads is one of the most effective source of paid traffic. Recently Facebook has launched Facebook Canvas Ads, the new ad type with some amazing visual facilities. To test the performance of this ad type, we created and optimized few campaigns and the result was very impressive. By end of this article, you will learn to create Facebook canvas ads and some amazing optimization techniques.

If you are already familiar with Facebook ad features; skip this paragraph. For rest, read on. Facebook offers various paid marketing features helps small & medium businesses, ecommerce business, individual professional and other advertisers to advertise their business and services for specific audiences. Facebook ads allows you to advertise individual pages to boost likes, mobile app install ads to increase your app downloads, content marketing ads to boost your post reach and the most important dynamic product ads for e-commerce businesses. You can also run re-marketing campaigns on facebook which I found very effective in eCommerce business marketing.

Facebook’s Canvas Ads is one of such ad type come up as a pretty amazing mobile experience for end users, especially when it comes to checking out ads. Quite similar to the Instant Articles tool, it allows publishers on Facebook to share their posts and content instantaneously, thereby cutting down on the time end users have to wait for the posts/ads to load. Further, you are allowed to create a unique ad experience by the use of texts, videos, images, product feeds, carousels and more.

Canvas Ads are also optimized for smaller mobile screens and users will find it quite easy to get done with the process. The easy and self-explanatory publishing tools by Facebook ensure that your compilation is instantaneously ready to be uploaded and shared. Finally, the Canvas also offers a link to the advertiser’s website where and interested audience can expect to know more about the product and service.

Overview of Facebook Canvas Ads

According to Mary Meeker’s Internet trends 2015 published at SlideShare, mobile digital media time in USA is 51% as compare to desktop which is 42%. On an average, each mobile user spend 2.8 hours on their smartphone which is very high as compare to 2.4 hours on desktop devices. Here is the chart depict bigger picture.

mobile internet trends
For advertisers, it’s one of the top platforms to generate lead and expected conversions by targeting this ever increasing mobile audiences.  There have been several reasons why Facebook’s Canvas Ad feature is being fast accepted into the advertising realm. As a game changer, it offers faster engagement on mobile device while ensuring that the personal space of the end user isn’t intruded upon. Further, with content taking a pivotal role in marketing, Canvas Ads provide the perfect answer. Finally, Canvas Ads easy enough to setup and doesn’t take a lot of understanding and brainstorming. You might have various business strategies to boost your online business but you shouldn’t miss the paid advertisement of Facebook. Below image demonstrate one of such Facebook canvas ad running on mobile device.

canvas ad example

#1 Benefits to brand

With Canvas Ads, brands can hope to portray their personality onto the content the end user sees. Engagement has been a priority in modern day marketing and Canvas Ads seem to provide that “much needed” fresh platform to get the audience curious and respond. With virtually zero load time, Canvas Ads fit right to the demands of the impatient ‘mobile’ user.

#2 New design and good engagement

With Canvas Ads, Facebook has opened up the opportunities like video and carousels to give advertisers, the much needed creative space. Slow loading pages have been the top reason why potential customers have abandoned websites in the past but Facebook Canvas changes it all.

#3 Loads Faster

Canvas Ads are perfectly optimized for mobile usage. As already said, there is a virtually ‘zero’ load time for the ads. It could be understood as a mini version of mobile websites but effective enough to get in the leads that would have otherwise switched to a different seller/brand/website.

#4 Pricing and auction is the same as other Facebook ads

Finally, and not the least important is the pricing. Advertisers on Facebook can expect the same charges as had been with other Facebook ad streams till this point in time. So, if you have been operating on Facebook, it’s time to try this new interesting ad platform!

How to Setup Facebook Canvas Ads

Beginning to tell you story in a more engaging way doesn’t ask for much! All it takes is a Facebook Power Editor tool. Needless to say, Power Editor makes the story telling even more customizable and this is yet another advantage with Canvas Ads.

To create a Canvas Ad through Power Editor, follow these steps:

  • Login to your Power Editor Account (You can find one from above link)
  • Go to your account and click on “Create Campaign”
  • Choose your objective
  • Compete the Ad Set procedure (Optimization, Placement, Pricing, Interests)
  • At the Ad Level select the page and choose Canvas in destination section
  • Click on + Sign to open the builder tool
  • Edit Untitled Canvas field and give new name to Canvas
  • Click on > Sign and choose theme you required for your Ad

Pro Tip – Kindly optimize your ads for your target audience by adding right placement & interests to increase the CTR of your ad.

You can also create a Canvas from your Facebook Page directly. Just unlock the Canvas Builder and go to the Power Editor. Follow these steps:

  • Go to the ‘Publishing Tool’ on your Facebook page
  • Click “Create” when you locate the option for Canvas
  • Click “New Document” to start with a new Canvas Name
  • The “>” sign would take you through the rest of the process of choosing the background, theme, etc

Once you created Canvas from publishing tool then you just need to choose canvas in power editor at the time of setting up Ads.

Facebook Canvas Ads Builder Tools

The most important part of the Canvas Ad Power Editor is the builder tools and they come in several forms. Note that whatever you changes in builder tools you can see the live preview of your ad on the right side.

Header: The Header would be the image that will remain fixed on top of your ad. Invariably, you will have just a single header. For a brand, this could be the company logo. For best result the recommended image should be 882 x 66 pixels. You can also set background color and opacity in your header image.

canvas header image

Photo: They are images that can be added to your Canvas and Facebook allows as many as 20 photos for each canvas created. You can choose how these imaged would be displayed and how the audience interacts with them. You can also set the display image scale as Facebook provides 3 different settings for it.

Note – You can only set destination URL if you selected Fit to Width (Linkable) option from Image Scale section

canvas photo image

Button: The button Link would contain the URL of the website that you would want your customers to navigate to. It could be the link to your ecommerce store or even an event that has been created on Facebook.

canvas button section

Call to action is really important while setting up any Facebook Ads. Jennifer Beese explained detailed Facebook Ads stats on Sprout Social where she also described the importance of call to action text and how it is important to boost CTR.

facebook cta buttonsNote – Kindly click on Add Component to add other components to canvas ads.

add component

Carousel: This would be an image series and subsequent links that the audience will be able to swipe across as they interact with your ad. The carousel ads can contain a maximum of 10 images. However, ensure that they are uploaded in either of JPEG or PNG format.

carousel ads

Text Block: This would be a blank space that can be used to enter a text to provide more information to the audience. The text block can be customized according to the desired font, size, color, alignment and styling.

text section canvas

Video: Facebook Canvas allows for a video to be embedded into your ad. However, it should be less than two minutes and with a minimum resolution of 720 pixels. The first frame of your video would also be its thumbnail. A good video can make a lasting impression here!

video section

Product Set: For ecommerce marketers, this would be a catalogue of products that can be displayed in your ad. The products that you add to the canvas will be randomly displayed and you can choose a maximum of 40. This can be best way to promote your product catalog and drive most relevant and engaging traffic to you eCommerce website.

product set canvas

Pro Tip – Once you set up the canvas ads, you can manage and optimize it directly from the Power editor or your Facebook Ad Manager account. If you are setting up canvas ads for long term, make sure to set good budget along with wide interest areas to boost clicks & conversions.

Bounce rate is also important factor to understand the ad’s performance. Append URL parameters to your ad’s landing and regularly check the bounce rate of your Facebook Canvas Ads campaign from Google Analytics. This strategy will help you to improve Ad design and landing page experience.

Facebook Canvas Ad Demo

Below is the separate visual sequence of Facebook canvas ad we created for travel community portal TheIndia. (Actually it will run in single window but to show you different frames, we took this screenshot).

theindia fb canvas ads
Benefits for eCommerce businesses

As easily understood, Facebook Canvas Ad will maximize the potential of your outreach using the top products that your website sells. Brands that have been able to create a thoroughly interactive and unique video get the advantage of more shares and reach. Facebook Canvas Ads also allows you to show dynamic product ads by setting up the product set in builder tools. Further, the property of Facebook Canvas to take the customer directly to the website would be a huge plus for all kinds of ecommerce businesses.

Facebook Canvas has been a recent addition to the platform’s advertising outreach. Several advertisers have already signed up for it and enjoying huge growth in leads and sales and its your turn now!

If you stuck anywhere or need any help related to Facebook ads, do write me at jignesh[at]OLBUZ.com or visit our contact page and send your query. I will get back to you withing 24 hours.

Key Advantages of Running Shopping Ads [Google and Bing]

Are you an eCommerce business owner and looking for some extra push on generating revenue? This article is for you.

E-commerce is a highly flourishing business off late where millions of customers across the globe are shopping via internet sites rather than hitting stores physically. With increasing demands, more and more numbers of e-commerce sites are being created and launched on the web. As per the research, eCommerce sales in US is expected to grow more than $400 billion by 2018. Forrester research estimating $414.0 billion and eMarketer is estimating $491.5 billion eCommerce sales in 2018.

ecommerce sales 2018(Source: eMarketer, Forrester Research)

Does your eCommece marketing strategy is ready to acquire this ever increasing sales? To acquire this growing market, it is very important to implement few basic yet effective and new marketing channels. Product listing ads is one of such channel having various key advantages over other marketing channels we will discuss in this article. Search engines like Google and Bing are few of the top places from where you can start promoting your products through shopping campaigns. As per Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report for Q4 2015, Google PLA clicks has increased by 62% & Bing product ads clicks are increased by 91% Y/Y.

Paid search click data
While managing paid marketing campaigns of big brands and controlling around $4K daily budget, I found Shopping ads are more effective for an eCommerce brand as compare to other type of ads.

On an average, cost per conversion of shopping campaign is around 30% down as compare to search ads campaign.

Though running PLA ads might need some technical expertise on the part of the marketer, yet it is more effective for the business when ROI is considered. As I have already discussed more about PLA, in this article we mainly focuses on advantages and will share what expert has to say about product listing ads. Here we go!

Main Advantages of Running Shopping ads on Google or Bing

As we all knows, Google and Bing are the two most widely used search engines across the globe has over 85% market share combine. Keeping this fact in mind, initially we should focus on these two platforms. Each has its own advantages but here we will discuss few common advantages their shopping campaign offers:

#1 Multiple Campaign Management with Better Control

Managing shopping campaigns is an art as all products will be fetched in shopping campaign simultaneously. Here you can categorize products by adgroups and labels depending upon your requirement. Even you can create different campaigns for different set of products and control the campaign specific ad serving. When you are running a business campaign, you are doing the same with some purpose. Therefore it is obvious that with better control of the campaign, you can do better. With the Campaign Priority setting, which is available in Google as well as Bing, it is possible to set preferences as which campaign should precede the other. Ads from high priority campaigns will get priority during serving. With custom labels, tagging of products can be done in a structured manner.

How to set campaign priority in Google shopping campaign?

Adwords shopping campaign setting

Follow below steps to set priority for shopping campaign in Google adwords:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Go to the Settings tab of the campaign you want to edit.
  3. Select Shopping settings (advanced).
  4. Next to “Campaign priority,” click Edit.
  5. Select the priority setting you want: “Low” (this is the default), “Medium,” or “High.”
  6. Click Save.

Mostly the steps will be same for Bing shopping campaign too.

#2 Highly Optimized for Product Specific Marketing

With Google or Bing Shopping campaign, it is possible to have specific performance information on every product. When complete product inventory is provided directly in Google AdWords or Bing ads account, the campaigns can be structured as per categories and product groups (that can be managed while creating shopping feed file) so that marketers have higher control and focus on the bidding strategies. Great emphasis is laid on the products, which are categorized in different manners. Product groups can be created based on custom labels, brand, type of product, condition and so on. A single product group might have a Shopping Campaign running against it.

See below screenshot from Google adwords shopping campaign where product groups are devided based on Custom label 0. You can control negative keywords, bidding or even targeting for each adgroups that can be categorized by specified product groups you create.

select product group

#3 Better Access to Competitive Metrics

The main target of running Shopping Campaigns is not only to increase sales of the products, it is also helps to get a thorough insight into the competitive market. With Google and Bing shopping campaigns; marketers have clear insight into the competitive market and landscape. It is possible to understand competitive data like benchmark CTR, benchmark CPC, search impression share etc.

Here is the brief about each competitive metrics mentioned above:

Benchmark CTR: The benchmark clickthrough rate (CTR) tells you how other advertisers’ Product Listing Ads for similar products are performing based on how often people who see their ad end up clicking on it.
If your PLA ad CTR is much lower than benchmark CTR, you can work on optimizing title, description, image and other visible data to improve the CTR of your ads in Google search result.

Benchmark Max. CPC: The benchmark maximum cost-per-click (max. CPC) tells you how other advertisers are bidding on similar products.

Search Impression Share: Search impression share is the impressions you’ve received on the search network divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive.

Based on various data it displays, it is easier to create better strategies and take vital marketing decisions.

#4 Easy to Integrate with Your Adwords or Bing Shopping Campaign

Few years back when PLA was introduced, product extensions were needed so that the campaign could be linked duly with the product catalog from merchant account. But after implementation of Shopping Campaigns, there is no need of any kind of product extension. This is because in Shopping Campaign, the catalog is automatically linked as a part while the campaign is being set up. You can create separate shopping campaign (which is already available in both Adwords & Bing Ads account) and link your merchant account directly from there. Here is the brief information on setting up Google & Bing shopping campaign.

Bing Shopping Campaign:

Bing PLA setup

Official guide on setting up Bing shopping campaign: http://advertise.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/33581/how-to-set-up-a-bing-shopping-campaign

Google Adwords Shopping Campaign:

Checkout below official video guide on setting up adwords shopping campaign.

#5 Advanced Reporting Capabilities

Performance data is the crucial part for any marketing strategies. Both the platforms provide nice reporting facility to view the performance of your campaign. You can view performance data by product attribute or directly the product depending upon your requirement. Performance metrics are generally associated with an individual item and not with a product group. It is possible to segment and filter data as per product attributes. These are inclusive of Google product type, product brand, product category, product condition, custom labels and product id.

Checkout below official video by Google adwords explaining advanced reporting feature of their shopping campaign:

If you found any product not performing well in shopping campaign then don’t panic, you can change that products bid individually too. Yes, it is possible for large catalog too. First identify and list out the products along with its product group which are not performing well. Later go to that product group and sub-group the products which are not performing well and increase or decrease bid depending upon your requirement.

product group Google adword

Apart from these, shopping ads also offers various advantages to sellers. To discuss this point in more details, I approached few experts from digital marketing industry having good experience in managing shopping campaigns for their clients or their own eCommerces business. Here are their views on shopping ads advantages:

Jane Dizon (Digital Marketer)

Jane Dizon is a digital marketer at RoadHolland.com and having vast experience in selling stylish cycling apparel and accessories online via Shopify.

One advise I’d like to give to vendors using shopify is using a manual feed instead of the Google Shopping app. The app, in fairness, is easy to use but has a lot of limitations especially to product variations. If you sell single items, you could give it a try, but if you sell products in varying colours and sizes, then stick to the manual feed. BUT if you’re dealing with thousands of products, then it wouldn’t be realistic managing that manually, so I recommend investing on a great data feed management service like GoDataFeed. Basically, one of the advantages of doing Products Listings Ads on GShopping is you’re exposing your products on users with the intent of purchasing. With the comprehensive attributions, the search results are tailor-made to what the user is looking for. You are targeting and catering the right audience for your products.

I sent few question to Jane and here is the feedback i received:

You mentioned about hurdle; according to you, which is the most challenging hurdle while setting up shopping campaign?
For me, it’s always the initial stage. When you start doing Google Shopping, you don’t see much results at first. That’s discouraging. You should be patient and keen to experiment on different strategies because it takes time before you see the results you want

We have seen, mobile bids adjustment is the crucial part to control ad spend. How do you manage mobile bid adjustment?
We follow a formula:

(Value per mobile click/Value per desktop and tablet click) – 1 * 100

Where value is total revenue per device/total number of clicks on that device.

Do you use any tools to manager and generate shopping feed? Which is your favorite tool?

Currently, we don’t use a tool since our product catalog is small and can be managed manually. But before, when I had a client that has thousands of products, we used GoDataFeed and it worked wonders.

According to Vipin who is digital marketing manager at Acodez, the key advantages of running shopping campaign are:

#1 Retail Centric Campaign Management

Shopping campaigns are retail centric that means you can place your top selling product in-front of online customer as we do in retail store. If you are using Google Shopping you can easily review and manage your own inventory. You can bid for specific product, sub categories or even categories. with Google Shopping campaign you can avoid highly manual process.

#2 More Advanced Reporting Capabilities

Shopping campaigns provide you highly accurate reporting capabilities, which you may not get through you store reporting. You can track how well your products are performing based upon size, sku, color, etc.

#3 Track Your Competitors at Every Turn

You can see benchmark data, CPC and CTR of other advertisers for similar products so you can make your own competitors analysis and act according to it.

#4 Analyze the Future

You can check out the bidding rates at which your ads will performs you can use Bid simulator to track your performance based on your bidding amount. By this you can get some extra clicks by applying a small amount of increase in your bidding.

#5 Re-marketing Campaign

Re-marketing is one of the best options for shopping campaigns; here you can re-target the person who has searched for a particular product with best available price for this same product and can display ads with similar product. This feature is known as dynamic Re-marketing.

For those who are not aware of re-targetting / remarketing can follow this step-by-step guide by Neil Patel.

I also got a chance to speak with Pamela Wagner, a former Googler and now owner of an agency. According to her, the key advantages of shopping campaign are:

  1. Easy to set up in Google AdWords
  2. Especially good for branding purposes: being seen counts almost more than being clicked on.
  3. Once you set it up and have crossed the first hurdle, it basically runs on its own. One only needs to adjust the negative keywords every now and then, and eventually work with the mobile and ad scheduling bid adjustment. So, this means there is very low maintenance if you have set up the right updating system for the feed.
  4. Great optimization opportunities in terms of ad groups and sorting products in many different ways: brands, types, custom label, etc.

Then I asked few specific questions to Pamela and here is her reply:

According to you, which is the most challenging hurdle while setting up shopping campaign?
Getting the feed right. A lot of people really struggle the feed and don’t know that Google actually offers a really good instruction on their support page.

Do you use any tools to manager and generate shopping feed? Which is your favorite tool?
My favorite is still a simple excel sheet. (Though I haven’t worked yet with too complex feeds)

As you can clearly understand from their reply, shopping ads offers great advantages for an eCommerce brand and one should definitely go for it. Before i complete the article, here is my conclusion i compiled based on my research and feedback received from experts.

Conclusion:

In the ever dynamic world of internet marketing, strategies keep on changing. Marketers also keep on implementing one strategy after another and check out which work best for the business. As per the research I shared at beginning of the post clearly revealed that among the different online marketing strategies, product listing ads played vital role in eCommerce business promotion and its click share continued to outpace search in January 2016, accounting for 52% of total clicks versus search at 48%. And this is because we should never ignore this opportunity that may change your business forever.

The implementation of Google and Bing shopping campaigns might seem little difficult in the beginning, but once you done with the set up; they are sure to bring exceptionally great results. The e-commerce platforms are sure to leverage the new marketing tactic to get best results.

For any help or assistance, you can always write me here by comment or contact with your query. I will get back to you withing 24 hours for sure!

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