The Growth of Ecommerce

EMarketer.com recently released survey results in May 2020 about ecommerce sales by category.

The data is all US data, but it we expect the info to be similar in Canada. Overall ecommerce will account for 14% of retail sales this year. If you exclude gasoline and auto sales, that number is 20%. For the first time one category will have more online sales than instore sales. That category is books, music and video. The survey doesn’t include travel services or event tickets or gambling all of which rely on ecommerce these days.

The numbers show people are spending money online. They are buying electronics, apparel and accessories, home décor and furniture, office supplies and hobby items. Health care and personal care items are growing as are food and beverage sales.

What does this mean for your business? If you are already selling online, then congrats on giving your customers a service they want. If you are not selling online, it doesn’t mean you need to rush into ecommerce. But you do need to be thinking about and planning for some first steps to get digital sales.

There is a lot to consider. What ecommerce platform should you use? What delivery or shipping options should I consider? How do I market my storefront? How do I measure ROI? Can I do it myself or work with a digital agency? It takes time and some research to figure this out.

Junction Digital can help. We work with small retailers and larger ones. We can manage all your online marketing so you can focus on your business. Let us help you build your online sales or help get you started.

How to Re-Engage with Customers

As we move through the many changes we are facing together, businesses are opening again and re-engaging with their customers. Businesses are adjusting to the requirements that govern physical interaction with customers. When we speak with these businesses, they are seeking answers to the challenge of how to communicate with their customers. We can manage their online marketing so customers know they are open and are using the proper safety protocols.

Here are methods we use now to help our clients communicate with their customers.

Social Media –

We develop a simple social media ad program to let customers know you are now open again. This will inform them about how your business may be operating differently now and let them know your updated safety measures. Social media posts and advertising can be easily adjusted and updated to get this information out.

Search Program-

We see lower costs on many Cost per Click Search programs now. But consumers are still actively looking for services and products on search engines like Google. So with fewer advertisers in the market, our clients are benefiting from the lower costs and improved return on ad spend.

Keep Your Customers Informed-

Right now  we want to keep your message up to date.

Smaller Budgets-

Many of our clients are doing small programs of $500-$1,500 a month over 1-3 months. These program keep customers informed and still bring in sales. With lower costs we can do a lot more right now. Even small budgets can have a big impact.

Every situation is unique. Right now our objective is to discuss what will work best for your business. Contact us today to see how we can create a program to help your business respond to the current market.

How to Reach People Now

With so many people at home, spending time online, we are seeing increased web activity. If you are a business that wants to take a digital step forward, this is an opportunity to reach consumers where they are spending more time now. They are at home, they are on the internet, doing searches and on social media. We want to help you reach these consumers.

Search engine marketing programs reach active consumers looking for your products and services. They are looking for service and delivery options. Consumers are reviewing financial services and insurance services. They are planning future purchases while actively looking for goods that can be safely picked up or delivered. Work form home products and services are in demand. Online education will grow for children and adults. People looking for new hobbies and pursuits.

Social media ads are a highly effective way to connect your business to consumers. When physical social interaction is not an option, social networks are a place people go to connect. We build your business with the digital strategies that make sense for your business. Your situation is unique and requires a custom approach.

How to Adapt with Digital Strategies

Through our many discussions with our clients & partners we understand businesses are facing unexpected challenges in light of the impact of COVID-19. In some cases that has meant temporary business shut downs, with cost reductions or a shift in business practices for others. As a digital marketing agency our job is to come up with strategies to help our partners move forward, adjust quickly and plan for the future. Which leads many to the question….. what can we do right now?

Take advantage of delivery and digital selling

Consumers are taking advantage of online buying and delivery options. Amazon.ca is Canada’s largest online marketplace reaching 23 million registered shoppers and can be an excellent option for businesses to expand sales. As well companies are seeing significant increases in their own digital e-commerce platforms and delivery services. If online selling is an option for you here are some considerations:

  • We are an Amazon agency. We can get your business setup for selling on Amazon. This can be a new ongoing business opportunity for you. Amazon has several  storefront and shipping options, to make your fulfillment process extremely simple.
  • Promote your existing delivery and digital commerce opportunities. Some businesses already have these options but there hasn’t been consumer awareness. Now is the time to setup a conversion focused campaign to promote what consumers want right now…. home delivery

Contact us to discuss your business needs.

 

Facebook Post Boosts & Facebook Ads

 

Managing an organization’s Facebook page involves working with our clients to create relevant posts and using Facebook Ad Manager for marketing campaigns. When a post is created Facebook makes it very easy to extend the audience reach of that post by simply giving it a Boost. For a few extra dollars that post can potentially reach thousands more people.  That makes Boosting an easy way to expand audience reach. We use this tool but we recognize the limitations of what we can do with a Facebook Boost. We ensure only a very, very small portion of a client’s budget goes into Boosts. The Boost function doesn’t replace the benefits of running a marketing campaign on Facebook.

In contrast to Boosts, Facebook Ads have great customization capabilities.  There are many options for ad formats and creative development. Since our clients have many unique client profiles to reach Facebook Ads are the best way to effectively reach those people. In comparison, Boosts have very limited options for targeting. There is no real plan behind using a lot of Boosts, especially at the expense of Facebook Ads.

Using Facebook Ads is a process.  We set the goals, execute the plan, analyze the results and then put that learning to use again and again. Facebook Boosts are easy and helpful but they don’t replace a structured marketing plan.

If your organization needs help developing more effective social media marketing then get in touch with Junction Digital. You may already be managing your social media and creating great posts. If you are, then keep doing it. But if you are relying on Boosts and not leveraging the sophisticated tool set in Facebook Ad Manager then we can help.

Using In Market Audience Targeting

Search Engine Marketing is something almost every organization should use. A key to strong performance is using the tools Google makes available. One of these tools is to set up targeting that reaches in-market audience segments.

In-market audiences are people Google has identified as being ready to buy specific products or services. This is based on their web browsing behaviour. People who are in-market means that they are doing research online before they buy a service or product. They are spending more time than usual  comparing products, prices or services.

According to Google these “audiences are designed for advertisers focused on getting conversions from likely buyers”. Google also states “In-market audiences can help drive remarketing performance and reach consumers close to completing a purchase.”

At Junction Digital we regularly use in-market audiences. For example a travel client is set up to find people who are actively looking for travel related services. These include people looking for a hotel or a travel destination. We want to reach people who enjoy outdoor activities like skiing, camping and hiking so we focus our ads on people looking for sporting goods.

If your Search Engine Marketing isn’t taking advantage of audience targeting then reach out to us at Junction Digital.

Digital Marketing by the Numbers

Here are some marketing statistics that show the incredible power of digital marketing.

-Google drives 95% of all paid search ad clicks on mobile devices – Business Insider
-48% of customers started a search for something they bought with a mobile search – Google
-2 million businesses used Facebook ads in 2018 – Hootsuite
-82% of smartphone shoppers use “near me” searches – Search Engine Land
-By 2021 video advertising will be a $22 billion industry worldwide – emarketer
-More than 2/3 of digital display ads are programmatic now – emarketer

Our focus at Junction Digital is to help businesses grow with digital marketing services. Put this amazing technology to work for your business.

Your Customer’s Journey

As you work on finding new customers for your business you should think of where they are in their process or journey of using your services or buying your products. Your digital marketing should be designed to engage with potential customers at each stage of their buying process.

Customer Stages

These customer stages are generally described as starting with recognition of a need or desire, then doing some research, evaluation of choices, making the decision to purchase and post purchase affirmation.

As a marketer you think in terms of building awareness, getting engagement, conversion and then post purchase customer engagement. These stages are aligned with each of the steps the customer takes.

Your efforts to build awareness of your business or brand are designed to reach customers in the early stages of the buying process or even to stimulate that desire to buy your product or service. Marketers want engagement with customers when they are doing their research about the product or service they want. You want the customer to spend time with your brand and see what you have to offer as they do their research.

Once the research stage is completed marketers want to convert those prospects into buyers. You want to pull them into your website, into your store or have them call you. That is the conversion process where the sale takes place.

Finally after the sale is made customers often keep doing research and comparisons to find information that supports their purchase. This is also the opportunity for your business to keep that customer engaged by offering customer services, new offers or incentives and ways to let you keep in touch with them such as a newsletter sign up.

Covering all the Stages

Keep in mind that your digital marketing is doing all these things at once. It is building awareness of your business to reach customers who can be at any stage of the buying process. You want to provide the info customers are looking for when they are doing research. You want offers and compelling “buy now” messages to be seen when the customer is ready to buy. Finally you want to retain and possibly upsell customers with post purchase engagement. You can get those happy customers to provide referrals and reviews for you.

Make sure your ad creative relates to each stage of the customer journey – recognition of a need, researching the buy and making the purchase decision. Your digital ads and online content should fulfill what the customer needs at each stage of their journey. Your digital marketing needs to be doing all of these things to meet the expectations of your future customers.

 

New Facebook Metrics Coming in April

For many years Facebook has used Relevance Score to measure ads in terms of their relevance to their target audience. This basic metric was somewhat helpful for marketers but not necessarily that insightful. Now Facebook will introduce new metrics to replace the Relevance Score at end of April.

Instead of the current Relevance Score, Facebook will have three new metrics to show ad performance:

  • Quality ranking: Ad quality on how the ad is perceived by the target audience
  • Engagement rate ranking: The expected engagement rate for your ad and how it compares with other competing ads
  • Conversion rate ranking: The expected conversion rate for your ad and how it compares with other competing ads

These new metrics will give advertisers more detail about the success of their ads and what they need to improve. The ad relevance metrics will start showing up over the next weeks while the relevance score will be removed on April 30.

Audience Reach Changes

Facebook’s potential reach numbers will be more accurate soon. This is the number that shows when we’re creating an ad and we see the potential audience reach of the ad. Right now reach is calculated on the total monthly active users on Facebook so it represents an absolute best cast of potential reach that you never really achieve.

With the new changes Facebook will only measure people who saw an ad on Facebook in the last 30 days. This change should provide a more realistic number for audience reach.

Overall these are welcome changes that will help manage expectations for a campaign and provide more insight into the campaign’s performance. That will help marketer’s create more effective campaigns and deliver better engagement with customers.

Are you considering the merits of working with a digital marketing agency?

Here are two factors to consider if you are working through this decision.

1. What expertise do I have or do my employees have in digital marketing? There are many aspects to building and managing your online presence. Options include pay per click search ads, facebook ads plus display and video ads. Then you have SEO, social media management and content creation for your website and social media. So consider what resources and expertise you bring to the table to get started and keep these initiatives going.

2. Are you prepared to manage the process? You may feel you are ready to get started and have some of your team take this on as a new task. But can you manage that process? This is now over and above your current day to day running of your business. How will you determine if the results are what they should be? It’s not a bad idea to let someone in your organization work on your digital marketing. Many digital marketing tools are self-serve. It’s easy to post to social media. After you get going you will recognize the limitations of a self-serve model. Does your team have the time to consistently work on it? What else could we be doing online? That is when you should discuss your needs and goals with a digital marketing professional.

As you get more familiar with the capabilities and complexity of digital marketing, reach out to an expert. You will be glad you did.