Customer Spotlight: G2P Leather

Peter Clarke and his family started G2P Leather five years ago with a straightforward goal to provide long lasting quality leather goods, and empower people not machines. Their leather designs are timeless classics made to withstand years and years of use resulting from the use of high quality vegetable leather as well as genuine leather to create their gorgeous accessories. G2Pleather’s commitment to customer satisfaction is very apparent by the many choices they offer for personal customization.  Different color leathers, stitching and lettering, all made to order, to each customer’s preferences.

We were not surprised to see they had excellent results using Shoppost to drive in sales to the G2P Leather Etsy store. We were curious to learn more about G2Pleather and what struggles and successes they have faced to get their amazing leather products to market.

G2P Leather

What or who inspired you to create leather accessories and start your own family business?

We started just selling leather belts in our local shopping mall in Bangkok. Then people asked us to make small leather items or repair bags and belts. We started to grow quickly and we learned by trial and error. We got a lot of information from websites and You Tube.

What were your biggest struggles when you were first starting out versus now?

Our biggest obstacles were making patterns and finding tools and accessories and choosing leather. It takes time and skill to make each piece. Lately, I have seen leather goods being sold online for a fraction of the price because the product is inferior and poorly made. I wish people would take pride in their work and not bring down the price and reputation of other leather crafters.

What drives the majority of your sales? Craft shows? Etsy? Social Media?

Most sales come from Etsy and links from our Facebook and our blog. But as the internet changes quickly we are experiencing a new influx of followers from Instagram.

What made you want to try Shoppost for the first time?

We wanted to upgrade our marketing and we are always looking for new ways to find customers. Search engines keep changing the way they find your information. Shoppost seemed like a great way to drive more traffic.

After creating many Shopposts and sharing them to your social networks; what did you see from your analytics? Views? Shares? Buy Referrals?

We saw 690 total views, 24 shares from Facebook and 10 buy referrals. The countries and hits vary day by day.

What benefits did you see from using Shoppost versus just posting a picture with a link to your store?

The hits directed to our Etsy shop increased. I was able to learn more about which social platforms were driving traffic to my shop.

What advice would you give another merchant that is trying to grow their social following and promote their brand?

High quality pictures and great descriptions are the most important things, then the price. If you’re priced too high or low people will not buy. Shoppost helped me accomplish all those things in one post. I can use multiple pictures, fit in a description and show the price all inside one post.

G2P Leather

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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Shoppost Customer Spotlight: Trendy Baby Wearing

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of customer spotlights where we will highlight Shoppost users that are taking an innovative approach to social commerce. Enjoy! 

Every day we get inspired by our Shoppost users’ creativity and passion. We love seeing success stories of small businesses rising to the top. Recently, one of our Shoppost users, Barbara Reggio, founder of Trendy Baby Wearing, did just that. She started out with a passion and a clear vision to bring parents and babies closer together. Her zeal and enthusiasm drove her to create an online business selling Baby Slings, Baby Teethers and Wrap-Scrap Accessories that is thriving today. We wanted to know if she had any advice for other small businesses or tips for leveraging social media. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to ask our “baby wearing visionary” a few questions about her success.

Barbara Reggio, founder of Trendy Baby Wearing, showing off one of the many items available through her Shoppost

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The Need for Social Commerce

Technology has turned shopping into an “in your pajamas” experience or something you can do on the bus on your morning commute. We spend more time shopping at virtual stores than we do in one we can walk into. I can buy my groceries, most of the things I wear and pretty much everything I read without leaving my desk.

Brands and merchants have now discovered that they need to become multi-channel in how they sell to consumers. And not just that, they have to be concerned with multi-screen continuity, as well. That is, the experience on your phone, tablet or laptop all need to have similar feel and functionality. You can’t rely on foot traffic alone for all of your revenue. You need to capture and engage with the consumer or prospect in as many venues as possible. Social media has allowed for the merchant to engage, not just with current customers, but future ones, as well.

Social media can be a major asset for e-tailers. But only if they can create rich content that allows them to reach their customers with engaging content.

Social media can be a major asset for e-tailers. But only if they can create rich content that allows them to reach their customers with engaging content.

Talking about people talking about items

Word of mouth is how we acquired our preferences – “this is what we had in the house growing up” or “that is what my friends bought.” That is pinnacle for a brand. The recommendation on a purchase from someone whose opinion you trust plays a very large part in our buying decisions. But those word of mouth endorsements can be easier thanks to Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and many other social media sites. In the past, you had to contact a friend for a suggestion. Now, you can simply check their Facebook page or quickly crowdsource out a question. Within seconds, you are inundated with suggestions.

According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising. So what does this have to do with social commerce? It’s actually pretty straightforward: A brand or merchant can’t rely on organic conversations to be the only tool for marketing its products. They need to utilize tools to create proactive campaigns that help push the word out. And that is exactly what social commerce is all about.

Defining how to be social and sociable

So, what is social commerce? Marketing consultant Heidi Cohen says it “is the evolution and maturation of social media meets shopping.” I think she’s right on target. It is using social media to create word of mouth for your products.

According to Mashable, several distinct types of social commerce exist:

  1. Peer-to-peer sales platforms (Shopify, Etsy, Amazon Marketplace): Plugins that integrate ecommerce solutions with inventory management and payment processing.
  2. Social network-driven sales (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter): Sales driven by referrals from established social networks, or take place on the networks themselves (i.e., through a “shop” tab on Facebook).
  3. Group buying (Groupon, LivingSocial). Products and services offered at a reduced rate if enough buyers agree to make the purchase.
  4. Peer recommendations (Amazon, Yelp, JustBoughtIt): Sites that aggregate product or service reviews, recommend products based on others’ purchasing history (i.e. “Others who bought item x also bought item y,” as seen on Amazon), and/or reward individuals for sharing products and purchases with friends through social networks.
  5. User-curated shopping (The Fancy, Lyst, Svpply): Shopping-focused sites where users create and share lists of products and services for others to shop from.
  6. Participatory commerce (Threadless, Kickstarter, CutOnYourBias): Consumers become involved directly in the production process through voting, funding and collaboratively designing products.
  7. Social shopping (Motilo, Fashism, GoTryItOn). Sites that attempt to replicate shopping offline with friends by including chat and forum features for exchanging advice and opinions.

Encouraging participation

Being able to create immersive experiences that go beyond copy and pasting a link helps boost engagement and, ultimately, ROI.

The key to us is social network-driven sales. By including social media as a core emphasis of your marketing and product promotion strategy, you can see a greater ROI. You may think that you are already doing this because you include a link to your site on Facebook or occasionally tweet a product. In theory, this is a great introduction to social commerce. But there’s a lot you’re not seeing when you do that: inventory management, analytics of the clicks and even ROI calculators.

The issue with social network-driven sales is that if you go the route of a tab store you then have to create ways to drive users to that store which, really, defeats the purpose of having the tab store in the first place. You could just as easily send the consumer to your website. Now, you can add all of these tracking pixels and such to measure the engagement and conversions and then retarget the consumer at a later time, but is that really what social network-driven sales has come down to? Why can’t there be another way where you can reach the consumers where they are and engage with them there? Give them the means to make that purchase decision without redirecting them or having them have to go to a tab or see another site. Nothing kills a sale like additional friction in making a purchase. Every additional step is one more place to lose a customer. This, I believe, is where social network driven sales needs to go instead of where it is now — just about collecting likes and shares but not sales. Real ROI is where you see the post actually generate revenue without all of that redirecting and retargeting in hopes of getting a purchase made.

Social commerce is new and everyone is going to sample many of the tools I’ve listed above, as well they should. However, after trying all of them don’t forget your goal: driving sales.

Would love to hear your feedback and hear how you are using social commerce and the tools and practices that are working for you!

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

3 Ways Your Business Can Use Facebook to Drive Sales

Thumbs up or like symbol in coffee frothAh, Facebook. It’s long been the place you could go to connect with estranged high-school classmates, if you needed a cat video fix, or if you were just dying to find out that the Star Wars personality quiz Aunt Matilda just took says her closest match is Jabba the Hutt.

Of course, you already knew that.

But the one thing Facebook wasn’t was a place you go to buy or sell things. Sure, you might find a coupon code here or there for 15 percent off, or even a sponsored link, but a sales platform it was not.

“Was” being the key word.

Today, Facebook has significant potential as a place to sell your products, which is one of the reasons why we created Shoppost. We believe that the surefire way to turn people off from your products is to make the sales experience clumsy and unintuitive, so we focused on making Shoppost a seamless experience that fits right in with the existing Facebook news feed. The less disruption from the traditional Facebook experience for the customer, the better. And we believe that Shoppost can help you provide that experience to your customers.
What are some other ways your business can use Facebook to drive sales?

Actually Use Posts and Photos to Your Benefit

Sure, you have photos and posts. Chances are that you have a great designer who put together your awesome Facebook profile picture and cover photo. But are you really using your photos and posts to your full advantage? Cover photos can and should be changed regularly to promote particular products, with a direct link to the product page in the caption of the image – not to your general website, but to the product itself.

Jon Loomis has some suggestions on how to improve the reach of your posts, as well. He recommends creating your post as a link share while using an appropriately-sized image to display prominently in news feeds – thus getting the benefits of an image-focused post while still maintaining a link to your product. He also suggests limiting the text to 90 characters, so that your call to action shows up on mobile devices.

Fully Optimize Your Approach

We are in the age of big data, and if there’s one thing that Facebook generates, it is a mountain of data. In scouring over this information, we can glean some ideas on how to approach a Facebook strategy. For one, Adobe’s Social Intelligence Report recently found that engagement on video posts is up by 785 percent from last year. It used to be that video based posts didn’t see much traffic – that seems to be changing.

But when to post? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the best day of the week for Facebook engagement is Friday between 2 and 3 p.m., when a sizable segment of the workforce has begun to mentally check out for the weekend. Tuesday would appear to be the worst day to attempt to engage with your audience. But in order to get your product onto somebody’s newsfeed, you need to…

Utilize Paid Promotion

Like it or not, recent changes to Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm mean that brands basically have to utilize paid in order to reach customers. (You can count Eat24 as one of the “nots.”) But there are advantages to this. You can reach a more engaged audience by not only tailoring your content, but also defining the reach of the promoted post to an audience that you define. And after you’ve seen results, you can further optimize the paid reach through tweaking and testing, in order to get maximum value for your dollar.
Need more proof? Adobe found that the click-through rate on Facebook ads in the U.S. has increased by 160 percent over the past year alone, even as the costs per click have declined slightly. Those are two trend lines going in positive directions for your business’ bottom line.

Have any Facebook selling tips? Share them with us in the comments below!