Markestic Monthly | 2020-11

The article was written by Markestic

2nd November 2020

Winter is coming, and so is the most wonderful time of the year! It’s been a challenging year to say the least, and with some countries facing lockdowns and strict regulations, the last two months don’t seem to be taking it easier on us than the rest. We know how hard it must be for you to navigate a business during these uncertain times. To help you stay up to date and make the most out of your business’ possibilities, we have collected the latest news in the world of e-commerce!

 

Every news starts with a short summary with the key points, however, if you are willing to dive deeper into a certain topic, you can always find an additional link for further reference.

1. GOOGLE UPDATE: NEW FEATURES OF SMART SHOPPING ARE INTRODUCED

Google

With Christmas knocking on our door, Google rolled out some Smart Shopping updates that can help your business stay on top of the competition in the rush of the holiday season! From now on, you can add a conversion value target, thus helping Google optimize your ads. There’s an update in the lookout of Display Shopping ads as well: there’s a new, modernized look and feel, it also displays your logo and you can add videos as well (and Google helps you with this with automatically generated videos). They updated the performance section, too: with the Target and Budget simulator you’ll be able to calculate how different changes in your ROAS will impact your metrics. Under ‘Auction Insights’, you’ll be able to see new metrics for your Shopping and Search campaigns in Google Ads Reporting Editor. What’s more, these new metrics will also be available in Google Merchant Center, and they have reduced the requirements for a Smart Shopping campaign – there’s no need for a conversion and remarketing tag at the beginning. Google is really helping marketers navigate in the e-commerce world this Christmas!


Find out more about Google’s new features.

2. GOOGLE UPDATE: NEW FEATURES TO HELP YOUR CAMPAIGNS SUCCEED

Google

To help you set up a new campaign, Google has introduced some new features and alerts. First things first: you’ll receive real-time updates about your campaign – if there’s something wrong with it (e.g. invalid URL) they’ll let you know immediately. Creating drafts is also a new addition, so you can save your campaigns and pick up where you left off.  In addition, you can create campaigns from the Overview tab as well!


Learn more about these new additions to Google Ads.

3. WHAT IS AD FATIGUE AND HOW CAN YOU DETECT & TREAT IT?

Hubspot

As a business, ad fatigue is something you have to be really aware of and keep an eye on . To simply put, it happens when your audience becomes bored of your ad and they are no longer engaging with it. You can realize it by decreasing CTR, impression rate or engagement of your followers. To fight this, you can simply update your visuals: just a change in the background color can be highly effective as well! Customizing your ads real-time can be handy to fight fatigue, and creating multiple visuals and A/B testing can create a sense of ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ to your audience. Facebook’s dynamic ads can be a lifesaver as well in this situation.


Find out more about ad fatigue in HubSpot’s article.

4. IS YOUTUBE TURNING INTO A SHOPPING SITE?

Search Engine Journal

A report indicates that Google is testing out different possibilities to turn Youtube into a shopping site. There’s no need to worry, your videos are not going to disappear, but eCommerce features might pop up on the platform. According to research, Youtube, and watching videos in general (e.g.: reviews, unboxing), is an important step in the buyer’s funnel – 55% of customers watch videos before making a decision, but up until now, they had to leave the site to actually complete the purchase. Google is testing ways to put different ‘product tags’ in the videos, so that the creators can tag the product they are talking about, and customers can buy that product instantly, without ever leaving the site. According to us, it’s something similar that Facebook did with Instagram Shopping. However, there’s no information about the financial aspects of the whole idea: will Google have any profit from it, or just the benefit of more information about users? Will Youtubers have incentives, a specific percentage of the product price? If so, then this would compromise their authenticity, but if not, how will they be motivated to tag the products? While we’re waiting for more information, we have to give kudos for Google trying to shorten the buyer’s journey.


Read more about Youtube’s upcoming shopping feature.

5. FACEBOOK UPDATING WHATSAPP WITH SHOPPING FEATURES

Tech Crunch

After focusing on Facebook and Instagram businesses and helping them with Facebook Shop and Instagram Shopping, the social giant has introduced updates to its popular messaging app, WhatsApp. While WhatsApp is popular among businesses mainly in India and Brazil, these new add-ons might motivate retailers from other countries to start using the app for business purposes as well. Marketers are able to link their catalogs to their customers via WhatsApp starting this summer, and now a ‘buy’ button was added so that customers can complete the purchase – however, it’s not ‘WhatsApp pay’ yet. It is also possible to link a business page’s Facebook catalog in the conversation as well. A plan to introduce Facebook Hosting Services was also announced, however, no further info has been revealed about that. Though using WhatsApp for business has been free up until now, these new features may come with additional fees – however, it is yet to be announced for which services and how much will be charged.


Click here to find out more about WhatsApp new features.

6. DO YOUTUBE VIDEOS HAVE ADVANTAGE IN GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS?

Moz

When searching in Google, you might have noticed that when showing video results, it’s mostly filled with Youtube content – but is it really like that? In Moz’s research, they have examined over 2 million desktop searches in Google and they were able to extract 250 thousand video results. According to their findings, in the top 3 position available for video results (out of further 10, that can be accessed with an arrow button) 94.2% of them were videos uploaded to Youtube, the further ~6% is split between sites like Khan Academy, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Facebook, Twitter, to mention a few – and analyzing data shows that this isn’t a temporary trend. We’re not going to go into details how fair this situation is, since it’s a fact that Youtube has the ‘lion’s share’ of video content (but still, 94% seems like a pretty big portion for the lion) we have to note that Google’s ranking might include video speed – and since Google can access Youtube videos at a lightning fast speed (friendly reminder: Youtube is owned by the search engine giant), there’s no way to beat that. Conclusion: when it comes to video content, it’s better for your business to upload it to Youtube (but of course you can upload it to multiple sites as well, boosting reach).


Click here to read more about Moz’s research on Google’s video ranking.

7. FACEBOOK UPDATES FACEBOOK GROUPS TO IMPROVE USER EXPERIENCE

Search Engine Journal

Groups have been an important part of the Facebook platform for a long time now (it’s about to celebrate its 10th birthday!) and they have been at the core for some marketers’ strategy – both on owned and shared channels, having a high influence on customers’ buying decisions. Thanks to the new features, an admin’s job will be easier, since with adding specific keywords, Facebook can automatically ban a post, and branded content will be a possibility in Groups as well. 

If you want to dive further into the new features of Facebook Groups, click here. 

8. MUST-KNOW TIPS FOR BOOSTING YOUR VIDEO STRATEGY

MarketingLand

There have been many studies about the effectiveness of video ads: you can drive customer engagement and you can simplify their experience as well. The best channels for your videos nowadays are CTV (connected TV – like Netflix, Hulu, etc.) and online pre-roll ads (for example, before a Youtube video). If you are worrying about the quality, don’t! Studies show that it’s more important for the viewers to see authentic content, so don’t stress about the quality – but pay attention to engage them in the first 10 seconds of the video, that is the crucial part! Once you’re done, don’t forget to analyze metrics – but go deeper than the usual impressions, views, etc. – find the metric that is really important to you, and optimize for that!

Read more about video strategies here. 

9. HOW DID PEPSI IMPLEMENT ONLINE TOOLS INTO THEIR ADVERTISING STRATEGY?

Think with Google

Pepsi is one of the world’s most known companies, and they were used to mass communication – but in a world where people are more connected to their mobile devices, consumers have a limited attention span and they are bombarded with hundreds of messages each day, even a giant company has to stop and rethink their usual strategy. They realized that they needed to create a personalized and valuable experience for their customers. Developing a customer-first approach started with implementing machine learning – which was exceptionally hard for a company with traditional marketing tools and goals. Then they were able to understand their customers’ needs better – they know when and how to reach them to drive the biggest conversion. A good example for this is the introduction of Bubly – they created 3 highly personalized ads, and were able to increase awareness by 30%! They have built an in-house customer insights engine, and have created products based on search and social media insights, and analyzing online shopping demand. But they know that this journey has just begun, and learning and development never stops.


Read more on Pepsi’s story here. 

10. PREDICTIONS FOR THE CHRISTMAS SHOPPING SEASON IN 2020

Click Z

As a marketer, preparing for the holiday season can be extremely stressful in a ‘normal’ year as well, but now there is a global pandemic going on that makes the situation even harder. Click Z collected Unruly and Tremor Video’s recent study, to help you prepare for the unpreparable. According to predictions, holiday shopping will peak in November – they say that around as many people will leave shopping for December, as did it early on, before October. Statistics show that people will prefer ‘mostly online shopping, with some in-person shop visits’ or splitting the two equally. If you are wondering about the atmosphere of your Christmas campaign, here’s their advice: consumers priority list goes as follows about how do they want Christmas ads to make them feel: warm (40%), happy (57%), inspired (36%), nostalgic (30%), amused (21%). 50% of people under the age of 55 say businesses should reference COVID-19 in their ads. Popular products as Christmas gifts include: clothing, beauty & personal care, toys, electronics, food, alcohol.


To find a detailed description of the study, click here.

11. THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN THIS YEAR’S CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGNS

Smartly

With digital being the new normal, social media will be at the core of every business’ holiday campaign – or at least should be, research suggests. 37% of consumers have already purchased holiday gifts from social media ads, and another roughly ~50% is hoping to find inspiration on these ad platforms. According to their findings, customers really want to see personalized ads – their other preferences are discounts and testimonials. Long story short: you may not see a definite conversion from your social media ads, but don’t forget that some people use these platforms to get inspired and they don’t always shop instantly – so use your presence the best way you can to activate and engage your followers!


Read more about Smartly’s research.

12. FACEBOOK UPDATES TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES

Facebook Business News

Besides Google, Facebook is trying to help small local businesses in the digital world to reach their customers more efficiently and basically to stay alive and get through this uncertain time. They have introduced some new additions – some of these are only available in the US, but it’s good to know about them since maybe in the following weeks they might add more countries to the service. These include grants for small businesses – to help them with other fees, they are offering cash grants and ad credits. They also introduced gift cards and fundraising possibilities – you can add your gift card to your Facebook Page so that your customers can buy them, and you can start fundraising for your business among your most loyal customers. You can also add temporary changes in your service to your page.

Read more about these new additions here.

13. EMERGING TRENDS IN RETAIL FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS

Think with Google

To help businesses stay up to date, Google has conducted research in 10 developed markets and analyzed trends to forecast some important trends in the digital world. Although moving online is getting more and more important, by 2024, most purchases will still be offline – although it’s a fact that marketers with a strong digital offering will gain additional sales. Don’t know about you, but to be honest, we’re not surprised. What’s more interesting, is that in 4 years, more than 50% of retail revenue will go to businesses with digital offering as part of their business strategy! Furthermore, multichannel and marketplace formats will drive 86%of sales growth in the next 5 years. Here are some further takeaways from the article: provide useful and relevant information about your products and services to your customers to help them make decisions. Focus on integrating online and offline experiences.


Read the full article here.

14. SOCIAL COMMERCE: WHAT IS IT AND WHAT ARE WAYS TO IMPROVE IT?

Ad espresso

You may be familiar with the term ‘ecommerce’, and social commerce may sound a bit weird to you, so let’s start with an explanation. Ecommerce is mainly focusing on driving traffic to your website, where the transaction happens. In social commerce, retailers use different social media platforms that let the customers shop without ever leaving the application – these applications include Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. This type of commerce is mainly popular among the younger generation, usual ages between 18-34. A general truth might be that lower-priced items sell better- with orders averaging around $79 – this might be because of the fact that purchases happening on social media are usually impulse purchases, since it’s not the place where you go with definite buying intentions (yet?). Additional tip is to use chatbots – it’s a great replacement for IRL customer service experience, for example it helps your customer stay focused on the purchase. You don’t need to worry, it’s really easy – and highly recommended! – to integrate your social commerce into your ecommerce platforms. Furthermore, influencers might be a great way to boost your social commerce sales!


Read more about social commerce.

15. HOW TO PREPARE YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY FOR THE WINTER

Think with Google

Christmas and winter will be a lot different than the ‘normal’ this year. With increasing COVID cases, a lot of countries are facing yet another round of lockdowns. In Search Engine Watch’s article, they summarize everything we’ ve learned from #stayathome in the spring and point out possible trends that can reemerge – like increasing demand for video content, especially for tutorials and DIY videos. They also remind us that some companies, like Nike have completely diverted their budgets and content strategies in order to meet demand. They also highlight that with the most emotional time of the year coming, and with the uncertainty around Christmas (will we have the chance to gather together with our families) you might want to spice up your Christmas marketing efforts to make it more emotional.


Read more about Search Engine Watch’s suggestions and predictions.

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