The Rise of Google, Facebook, and Instagram As An Ecommerce Platform

Online shopping is a booming industry. This growth is attributed to the fact that many Americans now prefer shopping online than in the actual store. According to a 2016 study by Pew Research, 8 in 10 Americans are now shopping online. This represents 79 percent of consumers who shop on the web or on their phones. The study also revealed that 51 percent bought something from their mobile phone and 15 percent purchased after clicking a link on social media.

Ecommerce has become even more exciting with the addition of Google, Instagram, and Facebook as online shopping channels. While Amazon is still considered as the “king of ecommerce,” these three platforms has given consumers an alternative platform for shopping online. They have given ecommerce brands an avenue for promoting their products. In this article, we shall take a closer look at the growth of Google, Instagram, and Facebook as an ecommerce platform.

Google Shopping

Google Shopping is powered by two platforms – AdWords and Google Merchant Center. AdWords is where the actual shopping campaigns reside. It is also where you will set your budget, manage your bids, gain insight, and optimize performance. Google Merchant Center, on the other hand, is where your product feed lives. It is where the details of your product is organized based on Google’s preference.

It is worth noting that the setup of Google Shopping is different from that of traditional text ads. Unlike in text ads where you assign campaigns and ad groups based on your chosen keywords, it is Google that assigns where your product listing will appear in Google Shopping. They look at your feed, site, and your bids to determine which search queries will trigger your ads. In a certain sense, shopping in Google has some similarities with search engine optimization.  To become successful with Google Shopping, there are three things you need to consider:

  1. Feed Creation and Optimization. This includes product data, product images, and price.
  2. Bidding. This can be a complicated process.  There are several ways you can create a successful bid. Shifting your bidding strategy can deliver a two-fold increase on your ad spending for various campaigns.
  3. Monitoring and Optimization. When done properly, monitoring and optimization can turn a good campaign into a great one.

Facebook E-Commerce

With over 1.4 billion users monthly, Facebook can be an important channel for creating brand awareness and strengthening customer interaction. There is a wrong assumption that Facebook marketing is limited to increasing exposure and engagement in the News Feed. Facebook algorithm changes the limit in the number of commercial posts in user feeds, increasing visibility gives your brand valuable real estate. Here are some tips on effectively using Facebook for ecommerce success:

Enhance User Experience

In order to make Facebook marketing more effective, you need to focus less on generating sales and instead setting your sights on creatively blending into user experience. Your aim should be to provide clear benefits for your users. Create posts that informs and entertains customers to get higher engagement than others. According to Hootsuite, the key to successfully marketing in Facebook is to develop an intimate understanding of your audience. As much as possible, you should know the nitty-gritty details of your potential customers. You could be tempted on getting vanity metrics like getting as many Likes possible. However, unless it is a part of a comprehensive marketing plan, Likes will not deliver the return of investment you desire.

Keep your posts succinct

You may become easily tempted to post long content on your Facebook feeds. However, this is a wrong move. While people check Facebook an average of 14 times a day on their devices, they still have a short attention span, as reported by NBC News. Successful brands keep their status updates short and compelling. Use striking images and videos to capture the attention of users.

Share content from other brands

Your readers would love not just to hear about your company but what is going on in the entire industry as well. Sharing content from other brands can boost the content you post on your feeds. As a result, users will see you as an authority in the subject matter you are posting. The end result is strong customer relationship who may become your loyal patrons in the future.

Keep fans engaged

Posting is not enough you need to engage with your target audience. By commenting and replying to posts, your readers will see that you care about them. They will see your company as human and not just some bot. In the end, they will become interested in getting to know your brand more.

Facebook Marketplace

The Facebook Marketplace is a haven of more than 800 million people who buy and sell things on a monthly basis. It is designed for eCommerce retailers who work with partners who list their inventory on Marketplace. If you are a retailer who work with listing partners, you can apply and have your inventory listed as well.

Instagram E-Commerce

Instagram is the sixth most popular social media platform in the world. To date, it has over 500 million worldwide profiles active on a daily basis. 8 out of 10 Instagram users follow at least one business page. Lately, Instagram has developed an ecommerce feature in collaboration with BigCommerce and Shopify. This allowed retailers to offer their products using their Instagram accounts. Through Instagram, retailers were also able to gather feedback, retain customers, and draw them directly to their website where they can purchase products. By offering ecommerce solutions, Instagram is able to generate website traffic. Here are some Instagram ecommerce features that you can use to sell your products through the network:

Product Tagging

Launched in the United States in October 2017, the product tagging feature is now available in 44 other countries. With this feature, e-commerce businesses can now tag item prices and special offers on the photos they publish on their business profiles. The photo can be linked to the item page on their website. The product tagging feature also allows the retailer to add a product description that is different from the main text content in the post. This will appear after tapping the price.

With this feature, you can tag up to 5 prices in one photo and up to 20 prices on a carousel post. On your Instagram feed, you can identify these posts with a tiny basket icon. To activate this feature on your Instagram account, you need to have a full catalog with a similar range of goods on your Facebook page. Your products should be compliant with the Facebook Commerce Product Merchant Agreement and Commerce Policy. Instagram shops are available through Facebook Business, Shopify, or BigCommerce accounts.

Saved Stories

Saved stories are only limited to Instagram accounts with more than 10,000 subscribers. With this feature, account holders have the opportunity to add direct links to their stories making them an effective sales channel for many retailers. These stories can be saved into different folders which e-commerce store owners capitalized on creatively by creating new folders related to their products. A study by SEMrush involving 30 Instagram accounts of the most visited UK e-commerce stores revealed that 14 categorized saved stories provided links to a desirable product.

Filter Tags

Filter tags is suitable for sales or special offers. When you offer discounts for a specific group of products, you can create individual hashtags for each post containing your offer. By clicking on the hashtag, this will allow the customer to see all discounted products for the tag. The tags are “editable” so you can easily remove irrelevant hashtags anytime.

Features to Watch Out For

Instagram is continuously evolving and is spicing up new features that can contribute to making it a major player in e-commerce. Let us take a look at these new features that will be launched in the near future.

Booking and Native Payment System

Slowly but surely, Instagram is working out a payment system for ecommerce. Developers are stealthily adding a native payment feature into Instagram. The new feature will let users register a debit or credit card as part of their profile, set up a security pin, or start buying things from the app itself. With the new feature, you can now book a cinema ticket, apartment, or restaurant without having to be redirected to another website. Instagram is planning to expand their payment system to allow purchasing an item at a retailer’s online site inside the app. From Instagram, the user will be directed to a separate pop-out page and following online checkout processes.

Shoppable Video Ads

Starting February 2018, Instagram initiated testing “collection” campaigns on Instagram. Brands and companies will be able to post campaigns with attached catalog of products in the video ads. This will reduce customer time to purchase.

Instagram Storefront

One effective venue for promoting products to your online shoppers is Instagram Storefront. With 70% of online shoppers relying on the social network for product discovery, there is no reason not to take your business to Instagram. By tagging your products, videos, and stories in the network, you can create an opportunity for your followers to shop.

airisX e-commerce

Being successful in the Ecommerce space is more than just listing some products and hoping the sellers arrive. airisX solutions brings together a comprehensive suite of services to cover all aspects of operating and growing an Ecommerce business. Successfully helping clients meet their goals requires having in-depth knowledge and experience in the Ecommerce category in which they operate. This allows clients to achieve more, faster, and with less resources so you can transform your business for the future.

Summary

With more people now on social media, online shopping on Facebook, Instagram, and Google has become an excellent alternative for business owners. Getting started with online shopping on these platforms can be daunting, airisX can help set-up your ecommerce business.

 

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