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.

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.

Built using memegenerator.com

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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Welcome to Shoppost!

screenshot-2-shoppost-previewWith the release of any new product, it is traditional for a company’s founder to share his or her thoughts on what they intend to achieve, or how they see their product impacting the world.

Now, I’m reluctant to call this sharing my vision, as that’s a slippery slope to referring to yourself as a ‘visionary.’ And that’d lead to hearing things at home like, “honey, visionaries don’t roll the trash down the curb,” which is a road I do not wish to travel. So, rather than sharing my vision, let me just tell you what Shoppost is and what I hope it will do for you.

Shoppost is a social commerce application that lets merchants sell goods from their Shopify or Big Commerce stores on social media networks. With just a few clicks, you can showcase and sell your products directly on your followers’ Facebook and Twitter feeds, as well as on Google+ and Pinterest, letting your customers shop and interact with your product without ever having to leave the site.

We know that people spend an enormous amount of time on social media every day, and this trend will only continue. We’ve seen that consumers follow merchants and product lines they like and, in turn, want to share their experience with their peers. But until now, there wasn’t a simple, effective way to do this within a social media platform, or offer a seamless experience that moves the customer from one platform to the others without frustrating consequences.

Until Shoppost, the solution has been a series of redirects, cumbersome processes and time wasted, resulting in lot of abandoned shopping carts. But now that Shoppost is available, these are problems of the past. Building your Shoppost takes just a minute for you to set up, and purchasing and sharing couldn’t be easier for your customers.

Shoppost lets your customers preview your product with an image or video of the product that’s located directly on the social media platform – they can even interact with the product by selecting a size, color or any other variant. And all of this happens without a redirect. Your customers on Facebook don’t have to leave the site until they land on your secure checkout page.

There’s nothing else out there that’s even close to this functionality. It takes just a minute to promote a product, and even less time for your customers to buy. And additional integrations and enhancements to Shoppost are rolling out all the time. We’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Shoppost costs nothing and can only increase your sales and brand awareness. So give it a try – then be sure to drop me a line to let me know how we’re doing for you.

Happy Shopposting!

David Robb
CEO

How to More Easily Market Your Products on Social Media

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Like most technology, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are in a state of constant change. And while these changes are often undertaken for the end user’s benefit, they can often throw your marketing strategy into chaos.

How are you supposed to promote your products and reach your customers when you don’t know if what you’re doing today will work tomorrow? And how can you tread this uncertain landscape when chances are that none of the platforms you’re on will operate the same way a year from now?

Change is inevitable. But though you may not know what’s coming, you can prepare all the same. Here are three tips to more easily market your products on social media, and handle the occasional curveball.

Keep on Top of Changes

If you want to use social media, you have to understand the platforms. Yes, change is inevitable, but you need to know what’s changed and how it’s changed, when it changes. By understanding what’s happened and how it will affect your business’ social presence, you can craft a plan of action to address the changes now and keep your online presence on a path of growth.

You can’t get ahead on social media if your strategy is based on information that’s years behind. Check out sites like Social Media Examiner to keep on top of the latest in the world of social.

Aggressively Target Your Audience

Knowing who your audience is is Marketing 101. But that audience changes. They browse different websites. Their interests change. They watch different TV shows and like new bands. And if you want to reach out to them and talk to them where they’re at, you need to keep up.

Do what you can to strengthen your audience research. You can then take this data and use it for better-targeted advertisements. Social media platforms are nothing more than giant data sponges, and their ad programs can each be heavily targeted at certain segments of that data. Be sure you’re on top of who you’re talking to when you’re using paid media.

Build Your Community

You know what convinces people to buy things, more than anything else? It’s not the big elaborate commercials. It’s not the hilarious advertisements you put up around town. It’s not even your totally awesome website. No, it’s people – friends, colleagues and even acquaintances who enthusiastically promote your product.

You can help build this community of potential brand ambassadors by starting on social media. Engaging with your customers and your community, and being a company that is seen as really, truly, actually human, is the best way to turn customers into advocates for your brand. Make sure your social presence is as engaging as possible.

Of course, the presumes that you have a product that’s worth raving about. If you do, there’s no better way to get your product in front of potential customers than Shoppost. And the easier it is to share your product with their friends and family, the better your word-of-mouth buzz will end up being.

What about you? How have you responded to the changing social media landscape?

A Brief, Brief, Brief History of E-Commerce

Online Shopping ConceptIt was only a few short years ago that “people in the know” were telling anyone who would listen that nobody would ever buy products on the Internet. And they had good reason to think so. The Internet was an untested medium. The security involved was poorly – if at all – understood. People thought of the web as nothing more than chat rooms and email. The Internet might end up being a B2B e-commerce destination, but for consumers? Hardly.

But things changed. Today, e-commerce is a more than $1 trillion a year industry, with millions buying everything from pineapples to paintball guns online. How did we get here?

It’s been a long road since the very first e-commerce transaction, back in the early 1970s. But e-commerce as a whole really didn’t take off until the 1990s.

The growth of the World Wide Web, spurred by online services like America Online and Prodigy, exposed most consumers to the idea of spending money online for the first time. 1994-1995 saw the birth of both Amazon.com and eBay, which today top $90 billion in yearly revenue. Their initial growth came during a time when investors were pouring money into tech startups. This exuberance of the late 90s led to IPOs for a number of companies that had never made a profit, and in many cases, had never even created a single product. In some cases, like Google, Yahoo! and others, they were able to ride out the dot-com crash of the late 90s, a bubble that shuttered more than half of all dot-coms and saw more than $5 trillion disappear from the stock market in a matter of months.

The growth of companies like Amazon and eBay following the dot-com bubble is indicative of the recent explosion of e-commerce across the entire web. Amazon’s growth has been remarkable, but even they were recently challenged as the #1 e-commerce retailer in the world by Alibaba, a Chinese company that in 2013 handled more transactions than both Amazon and eBay combined.

This explosion of e-commerce has also inspired a number of new business models – one that’s founded on convenience and fulfilling on-demand desires. Groupon, LivingSocial and a gamut of food delivery sites have enabled local businesses to significantly extend their outreach past their website. Sites like Etsy have enabled anyone to be their own small business. And ridesharing companies Lyft and Uber have turned the existing transportation industry on its head as taxi companies scramble to compete.

E-commerce is also expanding into the social media realm as companies continue to try to reach customers where they are congregating socially. Just a few days ago, Amazon announced a partnership with Twitter to create “#AmazonCart,” a tool that allows Twitter users to put items into their Amazon cart without ever leaving the site. And last year, Starbucks took to Twitter for its “Tweet-a-Coffee” program which lets you buy a $5 gift card to Starbucks for a friend via Twitter.

In later blog posts, we’ll expand on the growth of social media and e-commerce, why social networks like Twitter and Facebook are the future of online selling, and how we created Shoppost as a way to bridge these two worlds in a way that has never been done before.