In the past month a lot of updates have been announced in the digital world – a lot of exciting features are coming for ecommerce businesses! Both social giants, Google and Facebook have introduced many new features in order to help small and medium businesses navigate in the online world, and also to help users have a seamless customer experience in the digital world – and their trending competitor, TikTok has announced similar updates. Let’s dive into them!
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’s upcoming eCommerce updates
Google The Keyword
Google has been eager to help customers and brands in the digital world with various social commerce updates, and recently they have introduced various upcoming updates. No official date has been announced yet, and we’re not exactly sure that all of these will be available in every country – but maybe it’s just a matter of time. The updates are the following
- ‘Black owned business’ was an attribute introduced not that long ago, in order to help customers in the decision to buy according to their values – and soon, ‘women led’ attribute will be also introduced.
- They have implemented AR solutions to help customers with their beauty product-shopping experience online – and soon, they will be able to try on clothes with the help of AR!
- Loyalty programs and promotion updates are coming to Merchant Center!
- Businesses will also have the opportunity to highlight all the options a customer can buy from them:: in-store, curbside pickup, pick up lantern and/or delivery.
2. Shopify integration coming to Google!
Google The Keyword
Google has been really eager to give ecommerce businesses new features and updates in the past month! From now on, Shopify merchants will have the possibility to integrate their online shop with Google in just a few clicks – with WooCommerce, GoDaddy and Square solutions coming soon! Besides this, they are eager to help shoppers with their online shopping experience: since taking notes is an important part for most users, Google Photos will now help you with your screenshots, helping you where you can buy that sneaker that caught your eye! Furthermore, in order to reduce cart abandoners, Google Chrome will let users know when they have an open cart on any site when opening a new tab. Loyalty programs (e.g. Sephora) will also be available in Google Shopping as well.
3. Neighborhoods are coming to Facebook!
In the past year, people have become dependent on their local communities – neighbors have been there for each other when they needed to stay home and people have been supporting local businesses during lockdowns.
To support this movement, Facebook has introduced Neighborhoods, a new interface on the application, where people can get to know people in their area, share tips on places to eat or go out to – they can even create their own neighborhood profiles with short introductions and local favorites. For now, it’s only available in Canada.
4. Facebook is introducing Live Shopping Fridays
Until July 16, 8 brands will have the possibility to showcase their products to their followers in a Facebook live – and their followers have the possibility to ask about the products, and even buy them, without leaving the app.
Although in-app shopping is currently not available in Hungary, this is yet another endeavor of Facebook to boost their presence in the ecommerce industry – and we’re sure there’s more to come!
5. Community Content is Coming to Instagram
Business of Apps
User generated content, being a very strong social proof, is at the core of many companies’ marketing strategy. From now on, it will be easier to highlight these – the feature lets business profiles post content created by fans onto their product pages. This is a great way to show off good feedback and to verify the business and product itself. This feature is available in the US and the UK only.
6. Giving people more control on Facebook and Instagram
Hiding the like counts on Facebook and Instagram have been a long term goal for Facebook, and they have started testing this feature for various users. In a recent announcement, while this feature was beneficial for some, it was annoying for others – since they don’t have a feeling of what’s trending and popular. Therefore the social giant has decided to give its users the choice whether they’d like to see likes or don’t – they can have this option for all the posts in their feed, and separately for their own (whether others see like counts or don’t) and can turn it on and off anytime they want. These updates will be coming to Facebook really soon as well.
7. TikTok is ‘pulling a Facebook’
Facebook rolled out its in-app shopping feature just a year ago, and TikTok is reportedly testing out similar features in various European countries. TikTok has made some ecommerce-friendly moves previously (like its integration with Shopify), however, this move is very similar to how Facebook has integrated Shopping into Instagram. TikTok’s content type may fit perfectly with a shopping feature, and it’s very young user base might be a perfect target audience for this type of feature.
8. Google’s updates this month:
- Performance Max campaigns
Google is introducing and testing its brand new campaign type, Performance Max. “ It’s designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find more converting customers across all of Google’s channels–YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps.” All it needs is your specific marketing goals (e.g. CPA, ROAs) and then its uses Google’s automation technologies to maximize return.
- Image extensions are coming to Google Search Ads
From now on, advertisers will be able to add keyword-relevant creatives to their search ads in order to drive performance and catch the eye of the users. Creatives have to follow strict requirements in order to be eligible – check out the link to learn more about it.
- Introducing Customer Match
Customer Match lets you use both your online and offline data to reach and re-engage previous customers or visitors. It’s available across t Search, Shopping, Gmail, YouTube and Discover in order to maximize conversion. With the help of Customer Match, you will be able to maximize bids according to how much you know about the certain customer.
9. How to supercharge your Search Ads?
Think with Google
Google has run more than 96 thousand simulations with 12 thousand shoppers across 12 products in order to understand what makes an ad (and a brand) stand out from the crowd on the Search Engine Results Page. One of the key takeaways from the article says that it doesn’t matter which ad result your ad places in, ‘showing up’ is just enough. It’s also important to highlight the power of behavioral science principles (e.g. social proof) when it comes to search ads – and when it’s the messy middle (of the customer journey) we’re talking about.
Read more about how you can elevate the result of your Search Ads.
10. How the pandemic prepared 5 companies for a more customer-first future
Think with Google
Covid has turned our lives upside down, many businesses were forced to change their usual habits, customers needed to adapt to a new normal, and with more time spent online, they became more aware of their personal data – and this was another thing businesses needed to look out for: a more private and personalized experience. Walmart has introduced new services – besides focusing on its delivery service, they have started their new membership program, Walmart+ and in order to provide a customer-first experience, they have started hosting drive-in movie nights in their parking lots. In Google1s article, representative of Hyatt Hotels, Ford, GoDaddy and Sqaure share their thoughts on how the pandemic has shifted their business’ focus. Read more.