Shopping Cart Software

 
 

March 2014

Introducing the Ashop Marketplace – more traffic and sales for merchants

 by sinan on 27 Mar 2014 |
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We’re really excited to announce the beta-launch of Ashop.me, our brand new Marketplace showcasing our merchants’ products. One of the main bits of feedback we’ve been hearing from eCommerce merchants is how challenging it can be to generate quality traffic and boost sales. Meanwhile, sellers on marketplaces like eBay and Amazon say they’re fed up with skyrocketing listing fees.  So in response to this, we developed the Ashop Marketplace. The Marketplace puts merchants’ products in front of targeted customers that are looking to buy. Since the Ashop.me Marketplace went into beta, we’ve seen a significant boost in merchant sales and we’re tweaking and refining our efforts all the time. The team has also had a lot of fun looking through some of our merchant products already listed online – so much so that we’ve even put together a little Tumblr showcasing some of our favourites. :)   We’re not a typical marketplace Ashop.me has one of the best teams of online marketing experts behind it. They’re putting real media spend and optimisation behind the listings. So our merchants’ products appear at the top of critical online marketing channels. Completed sales made through the Ashop Marketplace incur a straightforward 9.95% commission fee. We invest this revenue straight back into advertising and marketing to keep driving more traffic and sales. Merchants, you can list your products on Ashop Marketplace by ticking the ‘List on Marketplace’ box in the ‘Product Details’ page.  (And if you ever need help with this, just get in touch with our Support team) . You can see which of your completed orders are Marketplace sales under the ‘Referrers’ in your ‘Order Details’.   Ashop.me is still in beta - and we’d love to know what you think. Whether you’re a shopper or seller, we’re eager to know what you think. Drop us a line.  

Content marketing for ecommerce: 3 Common Pitfalls

 by ryan on 21 Mar 2014 |
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Content marketing for ecommerce is often very difficult for those who are just starting their businesses, as there a lot of things that can go wrong and derail their efforts. However, knowing these pitfalls and how to solve them even before they happen will certainly come in handy later. Here are some of these for you to keep in mind of. Pitfall 1: Publishing only when you like it Okay, so being the owner of the blog or other content outlet guarantees that you can publish anytime. However, doing so based only on your whim is not the proper way to go. For one, your readers will likely lose interest, since they don’t have all the time to wait for your next post. And you will eventually fall behind competitors who have a more frequent posting schedule. Here, you are probably saying “But I don’t know what to publish on a regular basis.” This is where Liz Goodwin says that having an editorial calendar is handy. For those not familiar with it, an editorial calendar is a schedule of potential content that you will be publishing for a given period of time. By having an editorial calendar, you can plan out ahead when to release a particular content for maximum effectiveness. This way, you don’t have to worry whether or not you have something to release on a frequent basis. Pitfall no. 2: Making it all about you Content marketing for ecommerce is often concerned with selling your goods or services to the audience. However, as explained by Debbie Williams, what you actually write shouldn’t be just all that. In fact, your content is going to go a greater mile with your readers if it isn’t all about how great your brand is, but rather how readers can make the most out of it. Potential customers will more likely make their purchases if they find something of bigger value to convince them. And to step up with the “it should not be all about you” idea, feel free to mention other brands in your content. This might sound counterintuitive, but doing so opens the opportunity to do cross-promotions with other businesses, as these other businesses will be more than willing to mention you in return. This will give you some extra mileage for your promotions. Of course, make sure to carefully select only those brands that are closely related to yours. Pitfall no. 3: Not knowing if it actually works. Moazzam Adnan explains why this particular mistake occurs quite commonly “Because just producing the content can feel like enough of a challenge, companies often focus more heavily on output than on the effectiveness of their efforts. “ Even if you have a captive audience, that doesn’t guarantee that they effectively receive your content. Thus, it is important for you to come up with metrics to help you measure how well it works. Also keep in mind that content marketing for ecommerce is no “build and leave” affair, you have to constantly be on top of things to make sure it does. Image Source

Social Media for business: 5 new channels to explore

 by wai on 13 Mar 2014 |
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  Social Media is a great way for business owners to build a community around their customers and products. It lets your customers stay up to date with important information and allows you to show a ‘personal side’ to your brand identity. There are of course, so many social media channels out there and new ones popping up every day. For most business owners, they’ll have an idea about which channels will be most effective in communicating with their target audience. Facebook and Twitter are quite common and some of the more popular channels to start with, while a B2B provider will usually opt towards Linkedin to connect with potential clients. Meanwhile, if a company regularly produces video content,  a YouTube channel is a must-have. But what about other channels? Instagram, Pinterest, even Snapchat - can businesses really use these new mediums in their social media strategy – you bet they can! Here are some ideas that other brands have tried for your inspiration. The Snapchat ‘sneak peek’ SnapChat lets users share photos that ‘self-destruct’. Popular with teens (not just for the potential of ‘racy’ photos like many adults think!), Snapchat allows its younger base to experience more private moments – that snoopy parents can’t infiltrate. So how are businesses capitalizing on this medium? By offering teens ‘sneak peeks’ of upcoming products. Taco Bell did this with a peek at its new ‘secret taco’ before it hit stores. Through Snapchat, Vine, Instagram and a few other visual social media channels, they shared varying degrees of information about their latest product. Nothing is more enticing than exclusive access! Vine Videos Meanwhile, short, snappy videos have become the latest form of shareable media. Vine, especially, capitalizes on the simplicity and effectiveness of animated gifs and stop-motion animation, with just 6 seconds of video to communicate an idea. We’ve seen short and sweet how-to product videos from the likes of Cadbury UK and some quirky little captures like this one from Ford. Pinterest Inspiration For creative based businesses, Pinterest offers a world of opportunity to showcase their products in stunning collections. Creating boards is one of the easiest ways to visually personify your business and brand. But in addition to showcasing products, there are a number of other ways to use Pinterest for your business, even if you don’t offer physical or beautiful products to show off. Oberlin College in the US uses fun themed boards that showcase a little bit of quirkiness about its students, school and location. It helps potential students get a better idea of what life at the school could be like. Instagram #hashtags Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012, although the two still work as two separate platforms – for the time being. Instagram, with its beautiful collection of retro filters, has become the go-to application for sharing ‘moments’ – from travel snaps to foodie pics and more. Like Twitter, hashtags have become the popular way to ‘tag’ and ‘share’ photos with wider audiences. Brands have leapt aboard the Instagram frenzy with their own accounts. Many, like Australia Tourism, have set up their own #hashtag communities, where users can tag photos with the brand #hashtag. A moderator goes through and selects photos to feature which are then ‘liked’ by the broader community. With its 520K strong followers, the brand has created a strong community of amateur and budding app photographers, coveting for that featured spot. Meanwhile, Instagram videos (released last year) allow for a slightly longer video capture or 15 seconds. So they’re a great way to produce some quickie story-telling commercials like fitness brand Lululemon.   Wanelo and other targeted niche communities There are also an abundance of apps that target users interested in a specific niche audience – and they offer plenty of potential for creative social media. For example, Wanelo (Want. Need. Love), is a thriving online community for fashionistas and designers to showcase visually stunning products, so it’s a fantastic targeted avenue for retailers and design businesses to explore. *Remember, it’s always better to do a few things well than many things poorly!* When it comes to social media marketing, a good rule of thumb is to be selective about the channels you choose to use. Know where your target audience is and think of ways to engage them in that space. You don’t want to stretch your resources too thin or be labelled a spammer! Which social media channels have you tried?

Facebook for Online Stores: 2 New Developments in Facebook Advertising

 by ryan on 06 Mar 2014 |
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Facebook has recently made great strides in sharpening its advertising options and better targeting its ads. Eager to compete with Google for precious online advertising dollars, Facebook is working hard to use its tremendous wealth of personal information to help businesses better reach potential clients. Within this general theme, there are two specific ways that businesses can now better target their advertising. 1. Custom Lists Facebook Ads can now be shown exclusively to a customized list. This list, created by the advertiser, can simply be a list of email addresses or phone numbers. Once this list is created, Facebook allows your to target advertisements to the Facebook accounts associated with this information, even if their email or phone number isn't publicly available on Facebook. This has created a situation in which companies can input contact lists, lead lists, email subscribers, or even cold leads, and then constantly check in on them with a Facebook advertisement. This obviously allows for a highly targeted ad campaign, in which you spend money on clicks from the right communities and you don't waste your budget on mismatched advertisement impressions. 2. Retargeted Ads One of the reasons that Google had previously pulled so far ahead in advertising revenue was due to its sophisticated Remarketing ad options. With remarketing, Google display ads could be shown to anyone who had previously been on the advertisers website. This meant that an entire ad campaign consisted on ads that appeared only for those who were already interested in or exposed to your product or service. Facebook has caught up in this regard. Facebook Retargeting allows online marketers to place a line of code on their website, thus using cookies to compile a list of everyone who has been on the site. Facebook then advertises to the corresponding Facebook accounts of the people on this list. These Retargeting lists (essentially a particular kind of Custom List) can be made as sophisticated as you'd like. Some create specific ads for specific pages and products. Others stick to a general ad. This service currently only exists with Facebook Exchange and you need to go through a third party agency. This will likely change soon, but for now AdRoll, Perfect Audience Retargeting, and Triggit offer free trials. Facebook for online stores takes on a whole new importance with these two new developments. Using facebook custom lists and retargetting, online stores can advertise on social media with data collected outside of it. The opportunities for increased targeting and the management of your online advertising budget are immense. 
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