Tag: ECommerce

How’s Your "Ecabulary"? Shifting Our Perceptions of Words in the Ecommerce World


Megan, a college sophomore at Indiana University, punched her credit card number into a website with a mailing address somewhere in China. She needed to buy a new $800, 36″ plasma TV with FREE DELIVERY for her Sorority House. Seems that there was an “accident” that found the old TV in the bathtub wearing a pink tee shirt and a happy face drawn on it with lipstick–the day after a weekend “study party.”

Megan’s dad at home in Park Ridge, IL meanwhile, shreds enough junk mail daily to stuff enough scarecrows to protect all of Iowa’s corn crop, and he melts old credit cards on the stove and burns every other document that list his name-even the bill from the lawn mowing service for raking leaves. He believes that punching in a credit card into a computer is like giving his cash to the devil to buy coal. Too risky.

Generational differences in how ecommerce and communication online is perceived, accepted or not is a hot topic and the biggest challenge for marketers to get Megan’s dad to pony up his credit card to buy online, trust the system or sign up for a social media site and get hip, man. Like any other technology, change is unwelcome when it involves a lot of reprogramming the mind as well as the remote control. Simply suggesting a shift in how to view a topic can be enough to get a new dialogue started.

One way to define these differences in generational views of the web is to use a invented word to describe this phenomenon. Here it is: Ecabulary. Yes, it sounds more like a medical term describing a part of your lower gastro intestinal tract, yet it’s a easy way to differentiate some subtle and big shifts in psychology of using the ecommerce more each day.

Psychology and the internet–how we buy, sell , research, learn, listen, talk, etc. is still less than 20 years old. Concepts of trust, intimacy, emotions and expectations are falling under different levels of personal adjustment and acceptance based on demographics, gender, race, culture, religion, education, geography, as well as the sophistication level of one’s employer and the technology utilized in daily work.

Here’s a list of some examples of old vocabulary expectations and new ecabulary realizations highlights differences and perception of consumers regarding ecommerce.

Relationship-Elationship: We think of relationships in a more emotional aspect of the human connection: see, touch, smell, hear. We’re able to use all our tactile senses to size up relationships as they grow. Elationships are fragments of data, we don’t always know where, what, why, how or who that “someone is” behind the font or even the picture. Their voice to us is words. No inflection, cadence, accent, pacing, breathing, laughter, sadness, etc. We begin to form opinions of this someone from only a few clues-relying on our bias, stereotypes and level of intellect to form judgments or rationalize the situation. Trust and commitment is a deeper concern and lingers on.

Intimacy-Etimacy: Intimacy is a highly charged word in humans; a word saved for special things, special people and rarely used by us in a casual context. Intimacy in ecommerce can be dangerous to our emotional balance because we want to believe the person’s expressions and sincerity in whatever dialogue we’re having, yet the lack of tactile clues and belief of a viable, validated/legitimate peer leads to perpetual suspicion for many people. Etimacy is much more restrictive and guarded than what would be described as intimacy.

Authenticity-Ethenticity: Authentic suggests a certain grounded-ness and genuineness to something be it a product, food, recipes, friendships and the like. Ethenticity relative to products, services and social network relationships are missing parts of human touch and the chemistry that goes with it. Fragmented conversations, days between twitters, tweets and postings creates inconsistent messages, raising doubts to the authentic intentions of the relationships. Delayed gratification becomes a lost art.

Deal-Eal: Doing business, making a deal on a handshake and a promise is not part of our web world. Enter ecommerce and the “Eal.” No face, no handshake, no voice-only a PayPal logo, a security firewall that “looks authentic” and we give our credit card number to a stranger because the website looks legitimate, or should we say “egitimate?” Either way we’ve become more conditioned, even desensitized, to giving away data we long held in total secrecy unless we say the eyeballs of the person we’re making the deal.

Emotion-Eemotion: Similar to intimacy, emotion can be based on words written, photos that could be real or stock photos from Getty Images. Graphs, testimonials, a video presentation, as well can be 100% truthful, yet because no physical presence, a slight doubt can linger. No voice inflection, eye contact, sweat on the forehead, the broken arm in a cast, the child standing next to you. For us primates that have been programmed for face recognition, ecommerce is a challenge.

Opportunity-Epportunity: Suspicion hangs over ecommerce as long as deceptive people and thieves live on earth. Risk is ever-present and we continue to seek more checks and balances the higher the price tag goes. Brand name businesses have the edge in the trust factor.

Reputation-Eputation: Social networking sites are getting better at dismissing the fakes. LinkedIn and others have filters and kill switches that will cut out those who are reported as liars or deceptive. Big companies have an easier time selling their brand as legit than the plasma TV folks online in China, but this is changing.

Voice-Evoice: Tones, pitch, timbre, baritone, tenor, nasal, bass, soothing, irritating, authoritative, dimwitted-all describe human voice. Evoices lack the human element of comparing/contrasting and reference points. Evoices can’t elicit memories or help us retrieve clues to help us make decisions or confirm impressions. Evoice is hard to create a brand called “individual personality” or humanness that helps ground us. A customer service tech named Steve, living in India, is hard to accept for some skeptics living in Omaha.

Identity-Edentity: Like the Second Life site of make believe for adults, our identity outside ecommerce is composed of experiences we’ve left with others, as well as the residue we take with from them. Identity, as defined as “you” is complex and ever-changing in our perceptions of self as we grow, learn, love, fail, or succeed. Edentity can be made to be magically perfect. Flaws, faults, blemishes and age lines can be erased liked the ecommerce video ads wipe soap scum way in two seconds. One’s edentity can be intentionally or unconsciously fabricated to fit our modified public self we choose to present and leave the wrinkles and bad stuff off the record. Like the weight stated on your driver license: it never changes for some people.

Peers-Eers: Credentials, accomplishments, press, media exposure, pages on Google can suggest more power, fame-even wealth than is actually the case. Illusions abound and smoke and mirrors are on sale now. Peers know you one way, but Eers only see the face of the public relations spin and marketing angle whether be your Facebook, LinkedIn, your alumni bio, or your company profile. What appears on screen can be distorted and presumed to be something more or less than what the real person behind the credentials is all about. Good or bad, the consequences of basing decisions solely on Eers words can last a long time.

Perception-Erception: Like reputation and Relations, Perception is based on combined experiences a person has to form certain biases, or heuristic devices to make fast decisions. Ecommerce affords more tools to the intended marketer to sway or dis-sway a person from doing something without more data, clues or time to decide. “If you don’t purchase these tickets in 2 minutes, they will be put back into the For Sale slot.” Decide NOW!

Attitude-Ettitude: Attitude is courted by intention and self-confidence status. Ettitude can be masked and distorted with phrasing and pictures to persuade based on guilt, fear, loss, authority, scarcity, social proof, habit, consistency, among other elements of persuasion theory. Attitude when turned to Ettitude takes time to sort and define all the messages and intentions.

Energy-Egerny: Personal energy is more than physical activities like gestures, fast walk/run, facial movements, rate of speech, etc. Energy is an aura that surrounds a person in ways we can’t always define. Intellectual, sexual, athletic, business energies are all different. Egerny is subjective, and, once again, be manufactured to be what the provider wants to present. Like edited video tapes, different messages can come from the same mouth.

Credibility-Eredibility: Longevity, loyalty, success, value-all part of credibility. Eredibility relies on ecommerce policies and others to police the web to sort through the bad product and swindlers. Credibility remains with compelling value, stayed products and consistent reviews. Longevity in business is not a ecommerce value due to its adolescence age. Value is the operant word.

Behavior-Ehavior: Bad behavior/Bad ehavior all get noticed fast and word spreads even faster. Fortunately, some things remain the same.

Believe-Elieve: One phrase describes the similarities: Trust from other sources to confirm our impressions.

If you’re selling products and services via ecommerce, ask yourself these questions as you constantly revise your marketing/branding/deliverables via the latest technology:

1. Does our product or service marketing tools point to strong trust and consistency in the vocabulary/ecabulary of ecommerce?

2. Do we allow/encourage/direct the customer to utilize as many human senses as possible to experience our product/service to make a decision faster and confidently?

3. What can you do to add one more emotional trigger for the customer’s sense of sight, sound, touch, taste, smell that will keep their attention longer?

4. Is there a way to allow the customer to become more interactive and experiential in the purchase or review as they shop?

These four questions allow you to consider not only all the tactile potentiality of a customer’s needs, but encourages you to look for other add-ons of experience and tie-ins/alliances to secure all the senses. For example, offering free music downloads, humor utilizing with video or clever ads, coupons, videos that instruct, etc. seek out alliances and successful outlets that generate that certain buzz that you desire. Ride their wave, rent their waves if you have to.

Lastly, watch for themes, traditional events/celebrations and current events to tie the customers present sensory states that are being bombarded in our 24/7 world of news updates and tie your story and products/services into their real need right now.

Follow these ideas and you secure more revenue, er, evenue for your business from Megan…and her dad.


7 Social Media Tips For Your ECommerce Website


Selling online has never been easier, and using social media marketing correctly can make it even simpler and more effective.

1. Create Valuable Content to Share

So that you have something to share on social media, create content that adds value to your audience. For example, create infographics, case studies, blog posts, and more, all designed to showcase your products to your audience.

2. Start Strategic Groups for People Who May Want Your Products

On Facebook, you can start a niche group for subgroups that might want to buy your products. For example, if you sell makeup, you can start a group for people who love makeup. On the group, you can do live events showcasing the makeup, showing how to wear it and even having a shopping network such as sales.

3. Work With Influencers on Various Platforms

A really great way to use social media is to contract with influencers on platforms that your audience loves. An influencer is someone who has a following that includes your target audience. They may unbox your item, use it in their videos often, or do a review.

4. Brand Your Social Media Platforms Properly

It’s very important that you find your brand voice. Some companies that have done a really good job of developing a brand voice for their products include Penzey’s Spices, Dove, and Dominoes. You can check them out for yourself to get ideas.

5. Engage Your Audience Often

Social media is supposed to be first and foremost a social interaction. That’s why it’s called “social media“. So many businesses make the mistake of making it a one-way thing. But, you should seek a conversation with your audience so that they feel as if they know you and you feel as if you know them.

6. Follow Your Customers Too

Don’t make it all one way. Be sure to like, follow, and reciprocate with your audience depending upon the platform. If you make it only one way, it’s not very friendly and isn’t a good way to use social media platforms. On Facebook, make sure you create a business page and possibly a public persona account so that you can freely follow your customers as your public personal profile has limits.

7. Integrate Social Sharing on Your Website

Let others do some of the work for you. Make it easy for them to share products by adding social sharing to multiple platforms on your site. Ask them to share and give them incentives to share, and they will.

It’s important to select the right social media platforms where you know that your audience exists and wants to see your information. That way they’re interested, will engage with you, and will respond to the things that you post.

Lyfeloop


Selling on an ECommerce Site Vs. A Social Media Marketplace


The Difference Between Social Media Selling & eCommerce

Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared some tips on improving your eCommerce website as well as some of the different ways to sell on social. This week, I’m going to help you choose whether you should focus on selling on an eCommerce store or opt for a social media marketplace.

But first, a quick refresher:

  • Selling on an eCommerce store means you’re selling products or services on your own domain. You’re responsible for everything from web design to creating compelling content and managing SEO.
  • Selling within a social media platform or marketplace involves utilizing the platform’s selling capabilities to actively market your products. Generally, if someone clicks, they’re driven back to your website to complete the purchase.

You’ll have to figure out how to process transactions either way and install shopping cart software or drive buyers to a third-party site like PayPal.

Here are some of the marketplaces you can sell on:

  • Facebook Shops: Allows you to add products in different categories, communicate with customers and get insights around data.
  • Facebook Messenger: While still a part of Facebook, this involves communicating with customers (either manually or with chatbots) to reach your target audience.
  • Shoppable Instagram posts: You can tag brands and products in organic Instagram posts, then your audience can tap to see more details and buy the product.
  • Pinterest (stats show that nearly half of all users are logging onto the site just to shop).

The Differences Between Selling on an eCommerce Store & Social Media Marketplace

Now, if you’re selling on an eCommerce store, you can use a combo of SEO, content marketing and paid ads to drive traffic to your products or services. Because you can use your branding and content to your advantage, this can offer a more authentic experience to your customers.

If you’re using an online marketplace, it’s less time-consuming. The platform is already there, and you’re populating it with your images, copy and products/services. It may be easier for some small business owners to engage with their audience on a site like Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram vs. growing visitors to their website organically.

However, the competition is high. You’re competing against many other brands, both big and small. Your company could get lost in the noise, so to speak.

You’ll also often pay a fee to sell. For example, the selling fee on Facebook Shops is 5% per shipment, or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.

So what’s a small business owner to do?

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READ: Your Guide to eCommerce Social Media Marketing

Your social media accounts aren’t just platforms for sharing content and engaging with visitors to accomplish those goals. From Facebook to Instagram, it can be a powerful way to market your products and services to your followers.

But despite these statistics, many small business owners still don’t understand the value of using these popular platforms to sell. That’s why I created this guide: to not only help you understand how important eCommerce social media marketing is, but to give you actionable tips to drive traffic, leads and sales.

Read more on our website.

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Sell on eCommerce First & Social Media Second

I recommend you start out with a website that allows people to buy what you’re selling on your own site. Then, as part of a bigger strategy, if it makes sense to your target audience, you can use a service like Facebook Shops to increase the size of your audience.

I don’t advise you to only sell on a third-party platform. Here’s why:

  • You have far less control over technical issues. If something breaks or the service goes down, it could create a negative experience for your customers-and you may not even know it.
  • If you are having a technical difficulty or issue with your online store, you’ll have to connect with the site’s third-party customer support vs. contacting your web development company.
  • There can be marketplace limitations around how your business can brand itself. Your own site allows you complete control over the visuals, content, coding, videos and of course, SEO.

4 Tips for Selling on eCommerce or on a Social Media Marketplace

While there are some important differences between selling on a third-party platform or on your own eCommerce store, there are some similarities in how you should approach things.

1. Build, don’t push.

Focus on building relationships, not pushing your products or services on people. You’ll have to spend time nurturing relationships and growing engagement, whether that’s through in-depth blog articles on your site or replying to comments on Facebook.

2. Know your customers.

There are so many questions that can help you understand your buyers. Who’s your target audience? What networks are they active on? Do they leave reviews? Do they prefer to consume video content or written content?

3. Understand your website weaknesses.

You’re driving potential customers to your site, so make sure it’s at its best. If traffic isn’t converting into leads or sales, it might not be your paid ads or product images.

Check your CTAs, look for broken links and take a long, hard look at your navigation. Also, check your Google Analytics data to learn what’s working and what isn’t.

4. Listen to your customers.

Whether you’re selling on social media or through your website, your reputation depends on how you treat your customers. Monitor your comments, answer questions and complaints promptly and keep tabs on online reviews on sites like Google My Business and Yelp.

So there you have it: if you can, take both approaches to connecting with your target audience! These two tactics can really complement each other and be a key part of your multi-channel marketing strategy.

However, there’s more to the process than buying a domain name and loading your site with products or services or creating a profile on a social media marketplace.

Hiring a professional marketing company can save you both time and money. Contacy us today to learn how we’ve helped many small business owners succeed.

To your business success,

Susan

Lyfeloop


How to Nail Social Media for ECommerce


Your Guide to eCommerce Social Media Marketing

Having a presence on social media is essential to building and growing brand awareness, driving traffic to your website and increasing leads and sales.

But your accounts aren’t just platforms for sharing content and engaging with visitors to accomplish those goals. From Facebook to Instagram, social media can be a powerful way to market your products and services to your followers.

Canadians are big social media users. A 2019 report found that 75% of women and 62% of men use it daily. And according to PayPal’s Social Commerce Trend Study, 47% of Canadian users are shopping on social networks, spending an average of $77 per month.

But despite these statistics, many small business owners still don’t understand the value of using these popular platforms to sell. That’s why I created this guide: to not only help you understand how important eCommerce social media marketing is, but to give you actionable tips to drive traffic, leads and sales.

Organic Social Selling

First, it’s important to understand that there’s a difference between social selling, using paid ads and actually using a platform as a marketplace.

Social selling means you’re organically connecting with sales prospects and nurture relationships to hopefully convert them into customers. It’s about building relationships and credibility naturally by getting to know your potential customers.

You can do this by asking them engaging questions, answering their questions quickly and always responding to comments or complaints. The more trust and loyalty you build, the better your odds of converting a follower into a paying customer.

For example, one of our clients, Rose Marie Swanson, asks engaging questions to connect with her audience.

Selling on a Social Media Marketplace

Actually selling within a platform or marketplace, however, is a little different. It means utilizing the platform’s selling capabilities to actively market your products. Here are two examples.

Facebook Shops

If you have a Facebook business Page, you can use Facebook Shops. This new feature lets you add products, organize them into different categories, communicate with customers and see data around things like views and clicks.

And because Facebook owns Instagram, customers can also access your store on IG. People can find your Facebook Shops on your business Facebook Page or Instagram profile, or via Facebook ads or Stories.

READ: Selling on Social Media Without Driving People Away

Social media is one of the best marketing tools out there: you can grow and reach a large audience with content and ads, and people who like and/or follow you are your fans, so they’re already your target group.

However, people can be resistant to selling on these platforms. You really have to approach this the right way or you could alienate your audience, causing them to unfollow or unlike you because they expect a two-way conversation and engaging content, not to be marketed to.

Read more on our website.

Shoppable Instagram Posts

Canada got this cool functionality in 2018, which enables businesses to tag brands and products in their organic Instagram posts. Your audience can tap it to see more details, and then click to buy the product.

To take advantage of this feature, you’ll need to set up an Instagram Business account. And, your business profile must be connected to a Facebook catalog.

Using Paid Ads

In addition to social selling and selling on a marketplace, you can also utilize ads to drive traffic to your account page or website.

Depending on the type of small business you have, you may choose to run paid ads on:

• Facebook


• Twitter


• LinkedIn


• Instagram


• Google Ads/display ads on the Google Display Network


• YouTube (and in-video ad placements)


Keep in mind that you don’t have to stick to static images when it comes to using these paid advertising options. When using social media marketing for eCommerce, you can integrate videos into your ads to make them more engaging.

Within each platform there may be multiple ad options. For example, on Facebook you can choose from carousel ads, slideshow ads, collection ads, Messenger ads…

One example is Canadian grocer SPUD.ca who combines social selling (offering valuable info) with product marketing in their Facebook ads.

It can be challenging to not only understand all the ad formats, but also to set up and manage accounts and budgets. That’s why it often makes sense to hire a professional marketing company for your small business.

No matter why you’re considering social media for eCommerce, it’s essential to put in the time and effort to ensure your communications are not only engaging, but empathetic. Learn more about using empathetic marketing on our website.

I hope my eCommerce social media marketing guide has given you some inspiration to effectively sell your products and services!

To your business success,

Susan

Lyfeloop