11 Emerging Omni-Channel eCommerce Trends to Implement This Year (Part 2)

By Sam Sprague

March 08, 2021

*CONTINUING FROM PART 1

6. BEYOND FACEBOOK ADS – CHATBOT MARKETING

Facebook ads are an amazing tool for marketers but they are not the only tool in your toolbox.

Used correctly, chatbots can be a powerful resource for businesses, turning customers into life-long advocates… Without ever having to pick up a phone!

In fact, according to Business Insider (2018), nearly half of Americans (around 68 million people) have tried out chatbots for customer service or information on a product or service in 2017 alone.

There’s a reason why this is so huge.

It’s because consumers are moving their attention from desktop to mobile on a daily basis.

This means that by using chatbot technology to engage with consumers, you are giving them the information they need when they want it.

And when someone searches for a product on their mobile device, they are 2 times more likely to purchase than if they were searching on a computer!

But there’s more.

You can also use chatbots for lead generation and brand awareness campaigns too…

And because it’s all automated, you can scale up your lead generation and increase your brand awareness without breaking the bank… Or hiring people.

Recart (https://recart.com) is an amazing tool that can help kick your chatbot marketing into high gear.

A chatbot will hold a conversation with your consumers and will be able to provide them with the information they need in real-time.

It’s like your virtual sales rep!

With Recart you can also engage with current customers through Chatbot Messaging and Chatbot Voice Calls.

Think of Recart as a platform that will help you create all types of digital experiences.

In fact, it’s an all in one tool for success for both Facebook & Instagram Marketing and Chatbot Marketing.

So where do you start?

Check out their article HERE (https://blog.recart.com/messenger-marketing-for-shopify-a-comprehensive-guide/) .

7. THE IMPORTANCE OF 1ST PARTY DATA (DUE TO iOS-14)

Most of us know by now that Apple’s recent iOS update has changed the way consumers purchase products through ads.

They no longer get driven to “apps” (or “click-pages” or “landing pages”) in an ad but rather they are driven to iTunes.

In addition to this, if you go to your “purchased section” you will see if there are any products you have previously viewed and/or purchased.

Now Apple does say that if you want links in your ads (i.e. click-throughs) they will allow them but they also say that the links themselves are not linked to your name.

Now this is important for a few reasons.

First, it’s simple, as link tracking is fairly easy to do and most of the time it can be done for very low cost.

But more importantly, it’s because first party data can be used in a better way.

What do I mean by that?

Well, in an age of data privacy, first party data is a huge priority for consumers and brands alike.

Because Apple has your credit card information and has a record of what you have purchased in the past, it’s possible for brands to access this data.

By using tools like Jumptap (http://www.jumptap.com/google-analytics-integration/) it is possible to track this first party data with Google

Analytics and Facebook Pixel tracking.

This gives you the ability to better understand your customers so that you can create better quality content to reach consumers who are more likely to convert.

But there’s more.

Because you have the data available to you, you can now take it and do all sorts of crazy data-based marketing!

You can figure out what types of products that you are selling are popular in certain parts of the country and use that information to tailor your content and targeting.

For example, if we know that there is a particular demographic of people who are buying a product (for example, sweaters in New England) we can create content (say a video campaign) based on this data to target these consumers more specifically.

In addition to this, brands can identify their best customers and better target them with newsletters, discounts, offers and promotions.

This is the reason why it’s so important for a brand to have a first party data set that they can use to create content for these consumers.

So even if you’re going to be working with 3rd parties like Facebook & Google (Google/AdWords) you still want your own first party data set.

8. MULTI-CHANNEL ATTRIBUTION TRACKING

While we’ve talked about the importance of first party data, it’s only a piece of the marketing puzzle.

What you should know is that there are other ways to gather data and use it for better targeting your campaigns.

You can take a look at attribution tracking in Google Analytics.

What this does is help you understand how your content performs in relation to other content from various mediums.

If someone views an ad on Facebook and then goes back to your website they will see that they came from Facebook and not from your website.

But what if you want them to see your website as the source? Simple – just track where they arrived from – i.e. Facebook.

Now you can use this information to determine whether or not the viewer is a match for your audience, which will result in better ad targeting…

For example, when you sell products online, if someone comes from Facebook and not from your website you can create custom landing pages for that person.

Another thing that you can do is take a look at the landing page that the viewer is sent to after coming from Facebook.

If it’s a different website than your own, then don’t convert them into future customers.

And if it is another website, then convert them right away!

It’s pretty amazing how much value you can get out of just a few pieces of technical data from Google Analytics.

You can do the same thing in Facebook.

Here’s how:

  1. WHAT TO DO: Go into your Facebook Business Manager (https://www.facebook.com/business/development) and create a new campaign (the ones that are pre-made might already have your desired audience).
  2. HOW DEFINED CONTENT IS DETECTED: In order for Facebook to detect content you need to select one of the following options: Universal Brand Tags, Dynamic Products, Product Listing Ads, or AdWords Conversion Tracking amongst many others…
  3. YOUR CUSTOM AUDIENCE: Once you have selected the option that best fits your situation you will then want to define your custom audience.  Facebook does create a custom audience for you but it’s limited. You can use it as a starting point but if you want to be more specific, then you will need to define this yourself.
  4. TOP TEN METRICS: You also have the ability to select up to ten metrics (to track) when using Facebook Ads.  You can track conversion events and export them while also tracking offline conversions, website conversions, and even sales volume (or other metrics).

Now with this data it is possible to create content that targets the same audience but in a different medium…

This will help you to build a better relationship with your customer base over time.

You can use this information too, when it comes to selecting the right location (or location-based targeting) to target by using Facebook’s location feature.

This way your ads are shown on relevant pages and websites that are related to what your customers search for, which means more conversions!

9. CONTACTLESS TRANSACTIONS

One of the biggest problems with e-commerce is that a consumer can’t check out in store.

But thanks to advances in technology, contactless payments are now possible.

In fact, customers are more likely to use contactless than store credit cards.

This means that you can collect data on your transactions (such as whether or not your customer is a repeat customer)… While they’re still in the store!

For example, say you sell coats and have a mobile company and it would be awesome if you could use that data to create targeted content for those customers.

You could send them emails about the new coats you’ve got in stock and make sure they get one.

Why does this work?

It’s quite simple, really.

When you sell a coat to someone, you ask them to pay using a mobile device, which will then give you a bunch of data that you can use as a marketer.

Now because brands have the option to run programs like these at the point of sale, they have incredible opportunities when it comes to targeted marketing.

The challenge is not having access to this data… But rather how to interpret it and use it for better marketing.

And this is where you can use a tool like Zeta Global.

Zeta Global (https://www.zetaglobal.com/) is a tech-driven marketing platform that provides brand managers access to the tools they need when it comes to data management and reporting.

This includes, but isn’t limited to, the ability to easily interpret data from multiple channels, create unlimited audiences and custom templates for lead nurturing… And even automate campaigns.

It’s basically your all in one marketing platform all built into one application.

And, when it comes to getting all this data, you can even do it from your existing e-commerce software!

For example if you use Demandware (https://www.demandware.com/) then you can get all this data without having to hire any new people or spend any money on developing new software…

And of course, all of this is powered by the Internet of Things (IoT) where most of the development is actually happening right now.

You can think of IoT as just that: Everything interconnected and moving data around like there’s no tomorrow!

10. CUSTOMER SERVICE WILL GET AN UPGRADE

There’s been a lot of talk about customer service these days.

We’ve heard from the big guys that they want to transform their customer service experience in-store with mobile checkouts and self-service checkouts.

So while these new innovations might be great for consumers, they are also great for brands themselves!

The reason why is because you can really represent yourself in a better targeted way…

Let’s say you sell suits.

You would want to know everything about your customers—like where they live, how many suits they buy, and what kind of size jacket or shirt they wear—if you’re looking to offer them a deal.

One of the ways you can get this information is by using zeta global to find out what device they are using (for example, an Android or iOS smartphone)…

But this only gets you so far.

What you really want is where they live.

This will help you to figure out if they live near a store (like maybe in a mall or on a street) because it’s possible that these people are actually your target consumers!

Now let’s take it one step further… And say that they aren’t located near a brick and mortar store.

This means that you can use your technology to reach out to them and tell them about their unique opportunity to come to your store.

You can send them an email with a good deal and then follow up with them until they come to your store.

And if they do, then you can give them an offer that is 10% better than what they would have gotten at the store.

Now these consumers have grown accustomed to these offers on the Internet so it shouldn’t be too hard for you to give them something even better!

The point is that better customer service and tracking will help brands move towards a new marketing reality where data is king.

The challenge for most brands is figuring out how to use it!

11. PERSONALIZATION IN RETAIL THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

Brands are using social media to connect with their customers and find out what they like.

But what they are doing is a bit different and can be segmented into two different types of social media for retail:

1. Social Media as Portals (HUMANIZATION IN RETAIL)

The first type of social media (portal-based) that we will talk about is the idea where a brand will use a social networking site to direct consumers to more information about themselves.

If Nike wants to pitch running shoes to someone, it might use the various social media channels to present its message.

In the same way that Nike can do this, you can also do the same thing with social media.

The difference is that you won’t be pitching a product (or service) to someone based on their demographic.

You will be doing it based on their passion for something and targeting them in a more customized way… Which is when we get into the second type of social media related to retail.

2. Social Media Advertising (BRANDING)

Another way that brands can connect with their consumers is to do so through advertising.

Now if you have a customer that likes a particular brand, then what you can do is directly target them with certain offers and promotions.

Let’s say you are a coffee company and want to sell your product to someone in the United States based on the data that you have already collected.

You might create a Facebook ad for your coffee to promote the product… And let’s say that there are several other coffee companies competing for this same consumer.

Because of this, you’ll need to find a way to make yourself stand out from the competition.

Well, you can do that by using social media advertising to highlight your brand rather than just selling your product.

What really sets you apart from the competition is not necessarily what you have but how you implement it.

If you sell shoes then maybe the biggest benefit that people receive from your product is comfort… And not price!

But then again, no one cares about comfort if they don’t like how they look in your shoes.

So while this is a different way that brands are doing advertising, they are still using social media to reach out to their consumers.

They just use it in a different way in order to serve them better.

The benefit of these two types of social media for retail is that both allow you to engage the consumer and create affinity… Which means that your message has been received by someone who cares!

There are some drawbacks however, which will be discussed later in this book.

In addition, the best bet for most brands when it comes to social media is using it as a portal rather than an advertising avenue because if you do then you will have far more control over the type of information that your consumers get.

SUMMARY

This guide talked about the various types of social media available for brands to use in order to engage their target customers.

It also touched on the three ways that brands can connect with their audience and the benefits of each.

We also concluded by addressing what social media is all about: How brands should integrate it into their marketing plans and how they should be using these different platforms to do so.

And to be more omni-present.

With Sprague Media we help brands open up their campaigns to the success of omni-channel, by using social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Our expertise in social media, analytics, customer acquisition and data allows you to find the right audience and inform them at the right time.

Sam Sprague Administrator
CEO & Founder , Sprague Media
Sam is the Founder & CEO of Sprague Media. He has over 10 years of experience in the Digital & Social Media Marketing world, on the agency and client-side. A Marine Veteran and Father, Sam is an avid Football and Basketball connoisseur who likes nothing better than to spend quarantine watching games!
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