Customer Spotlight: Jon Allen Arts

Occasionally you meet a person that has a uniquely beautiful perspective paired with equally beautiful talent. Jon Allen is one of these rare humans. I was moved when I saw his online gallery of gorgeous metal sculptures. I knew he would have a wealth of good insight on how to monetize your passions and share joy. He is not only a brilliant artist but a hardworking entrepreneur. His simple and honest philosophy:

Art exists as an intangible theory when hands are idle; only an engaged hand can visually exchange the theory to others. – Jon Allen.

Q: What type of products do you sell?

A:  I sell my original metal artwork. Every piece is handcrafted. I make metal wall art in an array of sizes, colors and themes. We also have indoor-outdoor abstract sculptures that have been very popular as well as wall clocks. Recently, I’ve debuted some of my fine paintings as well and we’ll have a plethora of new items available in the new year that I’m really excited to share like beautiful jewel tone tables and fusions with wood & other organic materials I’ve been working with.

Q: What is your most successful Shoppost?

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 11.55.30 AMA: Shopposts are a great way to get instant feedback on an item so that in and of itself makes it successful for me. Regardless of whether those reactions happen to translate to sales instantly, I find value in the reaction itself. If something gets several likes and re-tweets, I know I’m heading in the right direction with something. My most successful Shoppost to date was probably a new gallery painting I debuted.

Q: How does social commerce fit into your overall strategy?

A: Social commerce is important to me now and I think it will only continue to be more so in the future. An online presence stopped being an option for me a very long time ago and I feel like social shopping is just the next logical progression. The marriage of social media and commerce has been a totally organic one for me and more importantly, for buyers. I think it’s as simple as us just delivering our message and content in the way that people want to receive it now and I will continue to evolve and adapt as technology and tastes do.

Q: What is your number one tip for successful social commerce?

A: My number one tip for successful social commerce is to always be yourself and remember that variety is the spice of life.

Red Ribbon Dancer from Jon Allen Art.

Q: How has Shoppost helped your success?

A: It’s an exciting new way for us to deliver information about and access to our items in a way that people are very comfortable receiving their information now. With Shoppost, we get to bring information to them in the social media channels our customers turned friends and potential new customers already finds their news, stay connected to their loved ones, and where they seek entertainment. Connecting with people on their turf on their terms is always a success because they’re a relaxed, open, and generally interested audience.

Q: What results did you see from using Shoppost?

A: We are relatively new at using Shoppost so I don’t have a lot of data to speak to the conversions, but so far it seems like an excellent way to attract more traffic. It’s an absolutely risk free way of potentially getting not just the piece at hand seen but my entire Etsy shop presented to a new audience.

Q: Any additional thoughts on social shopping?

A: What’s great about social shopping is that people can really get a sense of who they’re buying from. Purchasing art is already a unique buying experience by virtue of the fact that its art — it is obviously a very personal and subjective preference on the shopper’s end and it’s personal for me because I’m the one who conceived and crafted it. The potential buyer may already feel like they have a sense of something personal about me just based on the work itself. But beyond that, social shopping allows people to shop immersed in the context of who they’re buying from and I think that matters to people now more than ever before. You’re not just going to get to see a small thumbnail photo of me and get blasted with links to my work; you can also see how I interact with people and how I value those interactions. There are also insights and sneak peeks into my process on some of my social media posts that just seem so natural to have beside the opportunity to buy they very product you’ve seen me creating or working on. (And yes, you may also end up learning what my must see cat video of the moment is, but that’s just a bonus!)

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Analytics 101: Metrics Overview

If you are a one-person company or even part of a small team, then you could be under the impression that using analytics on your ecommerce website is a drain on one of your most-valuable resources: your time. But the reality is, investing your time to understand and maximize your results is one of the best ways to understand how your business works.

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Metrics Overview

If you can’t measure something in your business, then it doesn’t exist. If you can’t prove something is not working, you can’t fix it. And, if you can’t prove something is working, you can’t take credit for it.

Data and analytics run the business world and it will be in your best interest to understand what you are looking to understand. Let’s cover off on some of the key metrics and ways to measure them in your social commerce and ecommerce campaigns.

Demographic Data (Investment)

The first step with understanding metrics is having a keen understanding of who your customers is and the type of profile you can build about them. Customer data (or demographic data) can tell you everything from age, gender, and geographic location and other information you can use to help target your message. For example, if you sell a certain type of toy for young children, your customer demographic would mostly likely be the child’s parents. It will be absolutely essential to collect this data and information because it will help you in many important ways, such as telling you who is purchasing your products, where they are located, and their demographic information. It will also help contribute to the language of your branding, copy, and overall marketing campaigns. Listening to what your customers are saying and how they are acting is the most important way to reach success using analytics.

Measuring Engagement

EngagementEngagement rate is a simple metric used to measure how effective a brand or company is at engaging with their customers and audience. If you are running campaigns using Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, It can easily be used to compare how these different platforms are working for your brand. Maybe you are finding that more people will click on the ad through Adwords but aren’t sticking around, whereas those potential customers who click on the FB ad not only stick around, but are returning more often and even purchasing your products.You should probably have your analytics dashboard setup so that you can measure key events such as engagement rate. If not, doing so well help you accurately measure the type and quality of traffic coming to your ecommerce site. Maybe you are looking to reach out to a specific type of customer, but on further review, you are finding that those customers aren’t coming to your site as much as you had hoped.

Isolating specific customer segments and measuring the engagement rate with each one you are analyzing can bring to light who exactly is having a positive engagement with what you have to offer. If you feel comfortable building a custom segment, even though  it is a bit more advanced, it can easily be done. Google has some great instructions here.

Measuring the Process

The Click Through Rate (CTR) is an easy way to measure how successful your advertising campaign is by measuring how a customer clicked a specific link. That link could be in an email campaign or even on a branded advertising campaign. How it works is pretty simple: the higher the clicks on a specified link, the more effective the campaign was at getting people to the destination. The CTR also measures the number of customers who were reached, clicked the link and redirected them to the destination page where they can learn more about your products or services and, ultimately, make a purchase. This action is known as a conversion, which can more broadly be defined as a percentage of users who take a defined action, which, in this case, is a purchase.

Cart in FieldFinally, if you are able to reach out to the best potential customers, what happens if they don’t make it through the final step which is making a purchase? The term for this is the ‘shopping cart abandonment rate’ and it happens more often with ecommerce sites than brick and mortar stores. For example, if you see that 10,000 people loaded a basket, but only 2,500 made a purchase, your abandonment rate is 75% (7,500 / 10,000 = 0.75). The typical abandonment rate is between 60% – 80% for ecommerce sites. All of these measurements are great tools in the toolbox. If you don’t know them now, be sure to learn them. 

Setting up your toolbox

Being able to collect and analyze the data from the various sources you are sharing content is the next step in improving your conversions. Google Analytics is the first platform that should be learned as it is essential to understanding how people are interacting with your site, how much time they are spending there and if they are purchasing anything. There is an easy-to-use tutorial here. Also, both Facebook and Twitter have powerful tools to analyze what your customers are doing.  You can learn more about Facebook here and Twitter here.

Understanding how to read basic metrics from sites like Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, and Twitter Analytics are essential for running your ecommerce business successfully. Without all of these tools, you will be essentially shooting at a target blindfolded. Although it may take some time to understand how these tools work, learning them is absolutely one of the best strategies you can utilize to effectively run your social commerce business. 

In my next post on analytics, I will go over best practices for using the Shoppost dashboard so you can easily rule the social commerce kingdom and if you’re ready to experience Shoppost, sign up now!

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Best Practices for Using Shoppost on Facebook

Best Practice
Many of you have asked us about how you should use Shoppost on social media, with an extra emphasis on Facebook. We have found that with Facebook’s efforts to improve the “quality” of content its algorithm places in news feeds, ensuring that your page’s posts are as high quality as possible is essential.

With that in mind, here are several tips to ensure your posts have the most reach possible!

Post between non product sales post.

Remember folks are not always wanting to be sold to. Spread out your postings of Shopposts so that it creates a natural cadence of content. Don’t want to look like spam to your followers. That is the quickest way to lose fans.

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Add additional context or stories to your statuses.

If you are selling T-shirts, mention something about them in the post. People are more compelled to click on your post if you include something in the status. Otherwise they don’t know what the heck the shoppost is and it will get skipped over.

All about that action boss. 

Vector Round 3D click here pointer - button (call to action)

Don’t forget to add some sort of call to action like “click the play button to check it out” or “click on the play button to buy it now.”

Spend a little to get a lot. 

Mega explosive sale design, comics style.

Facebook has publicly stated it is tightening the amount of organic reach a page’s post will receive. In order to get a bit more eyes on your post try boosting it with a small budget, nothing to big. You would be amazed how $25 or $50 dollars spend can be a great ROI booster. Shopposts are not like your traditional ads so a little boost can go a long way and by taking advantage of Facebook’s demographic and interest targeting, it can be a great way to kick start a successful Facebook post.

Timing is Everything
3d big red alarm clock and alarm clocks on white

Best time to post on Facebook is during those lull hours during the workday between 1-4PM. This is when the most clicks on posts occur and also is when people at their desk are looking for a bit of an escape from the day.

If you’re sharing content on the weekends, posting before 8AM or after 8PM will most likely get you the best clicks and traffic. People on the weekends are less like to engage with FB because they are out doing things with friends, family or just checking out from technology all together.

Curate, don’t automate.

social-management-tools

In order to make social sharing and management, use social media management tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer or other tools to schedule posts in advance and then you can spend time on your core business. We will cover the ins and outs of how to use Shoppost with those tools here in the near future.

The biggest piece of advice is to avoid posting ten shopposts in row, this could be perceived as spamming and at worst will just annoy the person on the other end and you will probably lose them as a potential customer after that. Be real and let them know that there is a human behind the page and not only an automaton :) And, of course, be sure to like our non-salesy, non-spam, organically curated Facebook page.

Customer Spotlight: The 12th Boot

When you first meet Lyndsay Gabeau one word comes to mind: Sunshine. She is full of energy and positivity. Her optimism and hard work is what the 12th Boot was made of (perhaps PVC rubber too). I was able to meet her for lunch and get a chance to talk to her about The 12th Boot. I was inspired by her willingness to educate and share with me her natural ability in marketing. In fact, she was recently spotlighted on Evening Magazine, which is a northwest TV show.

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Evening Magazine found her because one of her Shopposts had been shared by Seattle Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch’s very own mother. Several of the Seahawks moms sport her boots on game days as well.

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch's mom rocks her 12thBoot on game day.

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s mom rocks her 12thBoot on game day.

Q: What type of products do you sell?

A:  I sell Customized Rain Boots for Sports Fans or Bridal Parties or whatever my customers can think up!

Q: What is your most successful Shoppost?

A: This is a Seahawks themed boot that I Shopposted and it was shared by “Momma” Lynch (Marshawn Lynch’s Mom)! It received tons of views!12th boot screen shot

Q: How does social commerce fit into your overall strategy?

A: For my business Social Marketing/Commerce is everything… It is what I attribute my success to. It is my way of networking and letting my customers speak for my brand. My strategy is to have my boots widely visible on the web through every channel and to make sure when they are seen they can be purchased as effortlessly as possible.

Q: What is your number 1 tip for successful social commerce?

A: In one word: Timing. Post/Tweet/Pin when you have the largest amount of viewers. I have found this is in the late afternoon/early evening.

Q: How has Shoppost helped your success?

A: I love how I get tons of insight with Shoppost.  I can see how my post is performing on which social platforms even after it has been shared by others. It allows my followers to share to Pinterest from their Facebook newsfeed. Because I can tell which of my products is trending and on which platforms and in which cities; I can immediately change strategy and make new post/tweets/pins accordingly.

Q: What results did you see from using Shoppost?

A: The fact is with Shoppost I can actually see the results from all platforms and so I can report what Posts/Tweets/Pins worked and which ones didn’t. I was able to quickly see I have had more interaction with my 12th Boot Shoppost and what platforms it was shared.

Q: Any additional details on social shopping?

A: I believe a lot of purchases are made emotionally. If I see that my friends like something or I see them wearing something I am ten times more likely to like it too, simply because I value their opinion. I believe social shopping has existed long before social networks and we are just beginning to see the impact social networks can have on purchases.

Customer Spotlight: Schmucktruhe Fine Jewelry

Our recent Etsy integration has us over the moon. We are thrilled with the quickly growing number of new Etsy users. The pure beauty and the quality of the products we are seeing being sold using our Shoppost app is truly remarkable. One of the recent pieces of art that is selling extremely well through Shoppost is the work of Martina Willms, artist and small business owner. Each piece of handmade jewelry and accessory is so intricately beautiful and unique it is shocking that she had anytime left to speak with us. We were somehow able to convince our new user all the way from Germany to take the time and share what she loved about Shoppost and using Social Media to promote her business, Schmucktruhe.

Q: What type of products do you sell?
A:  I sell handcrafted and designed jewelry like necklaces, earrings, rings bracelets, hair combs and barrettes and handmade jewelry boxes.

Q: What is your most successful Shoppost?
A:Big Hair Cob in bronze with birds

Q: How does social commerce fit into your overall strategy?
A: Social commerce is very important to reach many people who are interested in my products. I use social commerce daily and regularly on many different platforms and have so also a direct contact with my customers. It’s not just about selling products, it’s important that people can respond directly to the posts and ask questions about, for example, a certain style or what materials I used for my jewelry pieces. This enables customers to get an idea of what is behind the brand.

Q: What is your number one tip for successful social commerce?
A: It is very important to take the time each day and deal with the issue. It does not help only from time to time visit a platform, you must do something regularly and always seek contact with potential customers. In this way you create authenticity, but also strengthens its brand by creating trust. It is also important not only to advertise their own products, because that could be boring for the people. Also important is the quality of the posts. It is not the quantity that leads to success, but the quality of the content that provide added value.

Q: How has Shoppost helped your success?
A: I have found that many more people click, ask questions and Pin the products that I’ve Shopposted.

Q: What results did you see from using Shoppost?
A: Since I’ve used Shoppost my sales have increased, as well as the conversion rate and the number of customers who look at my products and notice the products has multiplied. Shoppost is the ideal solution for me and also saves a lot of time.

Use social media to capture impulse shopping

Social media has enabled people to keep up to minute on their favorite products and services. Real time marketing has given brands the power to connect with their current and potential customers. Adding these two ideas together can create a very powerful combination, and it’s one that all small business owners with an online presence should be taking advantage of –  give your customers the opportunity to make an impulse buy. Whether it’s for an upcoming birthday, anniversary, or holiday, knowing when to post can bring a tremendous advantage to your business.

For starters, let’s go over some metrics that both small and larger businesses will find useful. According to a study from Evergage, 88% of digital marketers find that real time marketing is absolutely critical to their campaigns. OK, so what is real time marketing you ask? According to the same report, it’s “personalizing content or creative in response to customer interactions” in a short amount of time. How short of a time span? Some consider it to be under a minute, although it can reasonably take place when an event is still highly topical.

The tangible benefits include an 81% increase in customer engagement and a 59% increase in conversion rates across the board, according to the Evergage study. These metrics are fantastic starting points, but you may be wondering how to actually implement something with your own products. Let’s take a look at some options.

First things first, ramping up your social media efforts is a must. It is also a terrific way to engage with your customers and get real time feedback. Your customers may respond more to content that is relevant, smart, and makes use of pertinent cultural trends. This is also a wonderful time to use Shoppost to sell more products right where your customers are in social media, the Facebook Newsfeed. Doing this will enable you to get real time feedback with what is selling for you and what isn’t.

Make e-commerce seamless by monetizing your marketing and social media channels.

meme generator Fry social commerce

Built using memegenerator.com

Arguably, nothing is going to be more effective for this than Shoppost. You want to drive your customers to your shopping cart. In order to get them there and for them to ultimately make a purchase, you must make the process as simple as possible. Shoppost can give you the power to do just that by making impulse buying easier by putting them one click away from check out. You can think of Shoppost as the best way to give your current and potential customers the opportunity to make a purchase right in Facebook. Remember, every addition click and each time there’s another redirect, it is one more chance to lose a sale. This is an entirely new way of making a connection — timing the product with customers’ buying preferences and habits. There’s no better means to generate the potential for a spur of the moment buy than being in front of a customer with the right product that right time.

Customize and tailor the content for your shoppers

Real-time marketing during the holidays allows your customers to share their own stories using social media. When you are monitoring your customers’ interaction with your social media marketing campaign, you can tailor each and every post or tweet to specific customer needs. For example, perhaps a potential customer is displeased with the price of a particular product and says so in a Facebook or Twitter post. You can immediately spring to action by adjusting the price and letting them know, and even thanking them for bringing it to your attention. This allowed you to get around a potentially blocked sale and even engender greater customer loyalty. Changing the price in your inventory will automatically change the price in Shoppost. You just gave your customers all the more reason to share with their friends and build an even bigger purchasing loop.

#Hashtags

all the things meme for hashtags.

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Another way of taking advantage of this is to use #hashtags.The concept behind hashtags can be foreign to people who haven’t used them, but are easy to explain. Hashtags allow the grouping of similar messages that can be easily searched. An example of this would be Facebook’s “trending” feed. The first thing to do is to monitor whatever trends could be relevant to the products that you sell. Next, in the copy you will be using for your #shoppost, insert the relevant hashtag. This makes your post easier to find by people in search of your wares. Adding this simple step increases your chances of making your products easier to find to potential and existing customers.

Using real time marketing to implement impulse buys isn’t easy. In fact, 30% of online merchants lack the knowledge of how to successfully implement in their campaigns. A good place to start though is by using Shoppost, which allows you to sell where you share, thereby maximizing your efforts and ROI.

Customer Spotlight: Farm Dog Naturals

Farm Dog Naturals owner Rita Hogan.

Farm Dog Naturals owner Rita Hogan.

Rita Hogan and her team at Farm Dog Naturals deserve a multitude of awards, or perhaps a single award, if it could somehow combine: women owned, small business, animal rights, earth friendly, healthiest work environment and best pet products. Farm Dog Naturals incorporates compassion for our furry friends while providing livelihoods for six amazing women spread out across the United States and telecommute to work. All of us at Shoppost admire this outstanding small business and what they are doing for their communities and the planet, so naturally, we wanted to learn more about them. We asked Rita Hogan, the Co-founder of Farm Dog Naturals, a few questions to learn more about her social strategy.

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