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September 4, 2019

7 Insights To Unlock Your Christmas Bonanza

 

For many online stores, the lead up to Christmas is your biggest sales season of the year.

It is one time of year when you can pretty much guarantee that shoppers will be out in force, spending money like it grows on trees!

It can be tempting to sit back and rely on gift-buying Christmas shoppers just coming your way.

But that would be a BIG mistake!

The holiday season is a very busy time for marketers and advertisers. Trying to get any kind of cut-through at this time of year is much, much harder!

So you really need to understand your customers’ Christmas shopping behaviour and put some thought into HOW you will attract those big-spending gift-buyers to your website!

Here are 7 insights into online Xmas shopping behaviour…

 

1. Mobile shopping

30% of shoppers completed a purchase on their mobile device during the 2018 holiday season.

And the rate of mobile commerce is steadily increasing by about 10-15% per year.

As an eCommerce marketing expert, I see many many many websites that have a poor mobile shopping experience.

And there are some common pain points that cause shoppers to give up trying to buy from a Mobile website:

  • Website page load speed too slow (27%)
  • Unclear images (26%)
  • Font size too small to read (23%)
  • Product information too difficult to see (27%)
  • Content doesn’t fit on screen (25%)

That’s at least a quarter of your holiday shoppers potentially lost due to fixable technical issues with your website!

One of the biggest causes for these problems is that the business owner, or the person responsible for the website, is only looking at it on their desktop.

It is now IMPERATIVE that your website works just as well, if not better, on mobile!

2. Video is king

Nearly 50% of shoppers during the 2018 holiday season watched video content posted in stories across social media platforms.

And Over 60% of shoppers said that videos showing products being worn or used helped them to make a purchase decision.

Now if you tell me that you hate being in front of the camera or you’re too nervous to shoot live video – I’m with you! It’s not my favourite pastime either.

But the clients of mine who are experiencing the fastest, biggest growth, are all making frequent use of video content on social media.

3. Customer service has gone social

Instant messaging via social media channels increased a lot last year.

28% of Aussie shoppers said they messaged a business during the holiday season.

And 39% of holiday shoppers indicated they would be more likely to buy from a business if they could contact it through instant messaging.

Given 48% of customers are researching gift ideas, product information and reviews on their mobile phone, there is a high chance that instant messaging will continue to rise.

I know how hard it is for all businesses to make money from their social media pages and we all need to pay to advertise now.

But by offering helpful and prompt customer service via instant messaging, you WILL make more money this Christmas!

4. Christmas shopping starts earlier

I know we like to have a laugh that Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns start selling in Woollies on Boxing Day…

But did you know – in Australia, nearly 20% of customers start their gift buying in October! That’s compared to 10% around the world.

This means you really need to be thinking about and planning your Christmas marketing much earlier in the year, otherwise you miss the boat.

It also means – your Christmas marketing needs to be sustained over a longer period of time.

I’ll share more tips on planning your holiday marketing campaigns later, but think of it in three stages:

  • Early bird buyers want what’s new and want to be organised
  • Volume buyers will buy in November, taking advantage of specials such as Black Friday, and
  • December buyers get a bit desperate and respond well to free express shipping and gift voucher offers.

5. Black Friday / Cyber Monday is HUGE worldwide

Black Friday / Cyber Monday is a huge online sales event that started in the USA.

It starts at the end of November, the day after Thanksgiving, so it’s kinda a bit like Australia’s good old Boxing Day Sale. Only before Christmas.

Typically Black Friday / Cyber Monday is a 4 day sale event, and it never used to be that big of a deal in Australia.

But in 2018 – it grew by 50-55%!

And that growth is likely to continue this year, which means you want to be on board and prepared!

I can say even from my own client base, most experienced a big uptake of sales in that 4 days.

The key is to be able to sustain Christmas promotional messaging from Black Friday at the end of November, right up until Christmas.

6. Customers want a smooth online shopping experience

Friction slows shoppers down. But issues aren’t always caused by technical issues with the website.

Here’s what else is important to your online shoppers at Christmas time:

  • Delivery timeframe (67%)
  • Product availability (86%)
  • Free shipping (70%)
  • Customer service (73%)

The holiday season is the one time of the year that your customer service team needs to be on its A-Game!

I know not everything is within your control. Namely – shipping and delivery times.

But do whatever you can to make this simple:

  • Choose the most reliable shipping options you can (not necessarily the cheapest).
  • Get some help with customer service, especially manning your social media messages.
  • And try to keep on top of product availability in your marketing and on your website. (For example – don’t keep sending an email or showing an ad that promotes a product you’ve sold out of!)

7. Free shipping works!

I know that shipping is a huge cost for every eCommerce business and we all want to try and reduce the impact of that cost on our bottom lines.

But the statistics on Christmas shopping behaviour are hard to ignore on this…

70% of holiday shoppers in Australia said free shipping was important to them when making a gift purchase decision!

SEVENTY PERCENT!

Two tips from my own experience:

  • The closer to Christmas you get, if you can offer free EXPRESS shipping you will easily convert a lot more sales than you would otherwise! And
  • Full price + Free Shipping generally outsells Discount price + shipping.

Looking for help to increase website traffic and sales this Christmas?

Contact us to discuss marketing for your own eCommerce brand today:

 

September 4, 2019

How To Design A Killer Facebook Ad For Your Ecommerce Store

 

& Increase Your Revenue x100% In 2 Months!

Meet our client MadMia. Designer of some of the most colourful and fun kids clothing I’ve ever seen!

Over the last 2 months, we have helped MadMia scale up their website traffic and sales significantly, using some killer Facebook Ads we designed for them.

In fact, in that time, we’ve increased their revenue from Facebook ads by 100%!

Find out the 3 key elements of a highly profitable Facebook ad

Facebook continues to dominate the digital ad space, and with good reason. 1.39 billion people use Facebook every month, and not only that, we spend a lot of time on there. The average person spends 40 minutes each day on Facebook!

That’s a big captive audience right there.

And many of you are already trying out paid Facebook and Instagram ads as a way to drive traffic and sales to your store.

(Generating consistent website traffic and sales is a daily requirement, one I know many of you struggle with…!!)

Yet the vast majority of ads that I see in my newsfeed are just plain boring and irrelevant. 

Sadly – many of these ads just don’t work.

I see so many businesses throw up an ad and pray that it converts. Most of the time it doesn’t and they’re left out of pocket and frustrated, sometimes even wondering if they should throw in the towel entirely!

How Facebook ads DON’T work

As business owners, we like to think that everyone who needs a product like ours will automatically be interested when they see our ad. We talk our product up in the hope that people will recognise our product as being exactly right to suit our needs.

Unfortunately, that’s not how advertising works.

Most people do not login to Facebook with the primary intention of making a purchase. This is very different from other, more overtly commercial platforms such as Amazon and eBay. Even Google – people typically search on Google when they’re ready to buy.

You just can’t expect your potential customers to be sitting at their laptop, or browsing on their smartphone, with credit card in hand. Sorry hun, it ain’t gonna happen.

This is why you must give people something they are interested in before you even contemplate asking them to make a purchasing decision.

Bottom line is this: What looks like the fastest route to getting a purchase is, in fact, a direct line to losing the attention and interest of the people you want to reach.

You simply won’t get the clicks.

What’s the purpose of your ad?

Too many advertisers are trying to do too much with their ad. Specifically, they are trying to attract a cold audience AND sell, all in one ad.

So if the purpose of your Facebook ad is not to get the purchase, what is it?

Think of a sale as being a series of small actions or steps. Step 1 is to get their attention (ie stop scrolling their newsfeed long enough to look at your ad). Step 2 is for them to read your text. Third is for them to click on your ad.

Once they’ve clicked on your ad it’s up to your website to complete the process. This may be a two step process – sign up to your email list and then retarget them to get them to buy your product.

So you see, the purpose of your ad is simple: it’s to get the click.

Here’s how…

1. Images speak 1000 words

The first essential step when designing your own killer Facebook ads is the visuals.

We need to choose images that capture our customers’ attention quickly as they are scrolling through their newsfeed.

Bare in mind, people are often distracted or multitasking whilst on Facebook. (Anyone else watch TV and check out Facebook on their phone at the same time? Or is that just me…)

There are many ways to capture attention, but we don’t want just anyone’s attention, we want our IDEAL CUSTOMER’s attention!

And the first thing to understand about image selection for advertising is: if your image sucks, your potential customer won’t even stop scrolling through their newsfeed long enough to notice it.

I like to use multiple images in an eCommerce ad, and I prefer lifestyle images over plain product shots. Lifestyle images show your product being used in context and makes it easier for your potential customers to “see themselves” in the images.

2. The irresistible offering

Do you want to buy a mattress? Or do you want a good night’s sleep?

Do you want to buy a photo frame? Or do you want to preserve and display your most treasured or precious moments?

Do you want to buy a pair of socks? Or are you a dancer who was born to stand out?

Hopefully you get the picture here…

You DO NOT sell your widget. This is not what people buy. If your ads are all about your product or your clearance sale, it’s really easy for your potential customer to just keep scrolling…

Instead, you sell the transformation.

Boring ads sell the product features. Killer Facebook ads sell the desired end result.

3. Get the click

It’s really easy to assume that everyone knows how ads work or how to buy online. But time and time again, I’ve seen results improve when you do one simple thing…

And that’s: tell people what they need to do next.

What ACTION you are asking people to take? Don’t just rely on a button to communicate this for you. Write it in a short action statement that begins with “Click here to…” or “Sign up to…”

Looking for help to increase website traffic and sales in your online store?

Contact us to discuss Facebook advertising for your own eCommerce brand today:

 

May 19, 2019

How To Create An Ecommerce Facebook Ad Funnel

 

Wondering how you can sell more products on your online store using Facebook ads?

Or looking for tips to target your customers through their buyer journey?

In this article, you’ll discover the exact steps we took to build an effective, profitable eCommerce Facebook ad funnel for our client Diana from Milkbar Breastpumps.

How we generated a profitable 7x ROI in 12 months using Facebook Ads

How to generate a profitable ROI from Ecommerce Facebook Ads Funnel

Step #1: Find your ideal audience

Finding your ideal customers on Facebook is the first key to success with you’re ads.

Getting this right is all about Targeting. How to show your ads to the right audience.

Set up your Pixel

The first thing you gotta do to make this all work, is to install your Facebook Pixel onto your website.

What the heck is a Pixel? You might be asking… Basically, it’s a piece of code (or gobbledigook if you ask me) that you get from your Facebook Ad Account, and you need to go paste it on your website.

It’s a bit different for each website platform, but in 99% of cases it’s very very simple.

To do this, first head to Facebook.com/adsmanager and select Pixels from the dropdown menu:

Then you click the green Create a Pixel button and follow the prompts. You should see something like this:

That’s the Pixel code that you need to copy and paste into your website.

Best thing to do next is to google ‘how to install Facebook pixel’ on your website platform (here’s how to do it on Shopify) and follow the steps. I promise it’s super easy.

Create your Custom Audiences

The most effective strategy to find your ideal customers on Facebook is to ask Facebook to find more people exactly like your existing audience.

That means other people who share similar characteristics and interests to your customers, website visitors, Facebook and Instagram fans and email subscribers.

Doing this is a 2-step process, as follows.

To set up your email list as a Custom Audience in Facebook Ads Manager, you gotta choose Audiences from the top menu:

Then select ‘Create a Custom Audience’:

And then select “Customer File”. Then just follow the prompts to upload your email list.

At the very end of the Email List upload process in the previous step, you’ll be prompted to create a Lookalike Audience – click YES and follow the prompts.

With your Lookalike Audiences, I start with a 1% Lookalike. This means that the audience in the Lookalike will have the most in common with your original audience.

Then, follow the same process to create a Custom Audience and Lookalike audience for your Website Traffic, and Engagement on Facebook and Instagram.

Step #2: Top of Funnel Ad – New Audience Attraction

The first ad in your eCommerce Facebook Ad Funnel is designed to send quality traffic to your online store.

This ad is showing to a cold audience – people who have never been to your website or interacted with your brand on social media.

Your Facebook ad – your text, your images, your offer, heck, even your call to action – needs to attract, connect, educate and motivate action.

The campaign objective is ‘Traffic’, optimized for landing page views.

Show your ad to the Lookalike Audiences you set up in Step 1.

When writing your ad, the messaging should identify with your customers’ pain points or desires, and present your product as the ideal solution.

And when choosing your images – try to select 4 lifestyle images to include in a Carousel. This will help your customer to see HERSELF in your ad.

Like this:

Step #3: Middle of Funnel Ad – Warm Audience Retargeting

Some people will have purchased from your New Audience Attraction ad.

But, as we all know, most people who visit your website the first time aren’t going to buy straight away. Sad but true.

I you’ve done a good job attracting the right people with your New Audience Attraction ad, then hopefully many of them have had a good look around and are now interested in your products.

The next thing you want to do is to retarget those people who have been to your website and interacted with your brand, but haven’t yet bought.

This is where the 2nd ad in our Ecommerce Facebook Ad Funnel comes in: the Warm Audience Retargeting ad.

For this campaign, I would choose the objective ‘Conversions’. In the Ad Set, select the ‘Purchase’ conversion event.

Show your ad to the Custom Audiences you originally set up (Website Traffic, Facebook engagement and Instagram engagement).

Or, set up a more specific Custom Audience based on people who actually viewed your Product pages but have not yet purchased.

This custom audience looks like this:

There are two ways to write this ad:

  1. Address any perceived risks the customers might have (for example – parents might worry that their kid will break or lose an expensive pair of kids sunglasses), or
  2. Show social proof with a testimonial.

This ad should ultimately pacify any concerns about buying online from you.

Like this:

Step #4: Bottom of Funnel Ad – Dynamic Product Retargeting

The hottest prospects you’ll have in an eCommerce business is actually the ones who abandon their cart!

These punters have shown serious interest in your products. They have ALMOST bought! But something has made them pause, or they’ve been distracted.

So we pick up these hot leads using the 3rd ad in our Ecommerce Facebook Ad Funnel: the Dynamic Retargeting ad.

The best, easiest way to attract these people back to complete their purchase is to use a Dynamic Product Ad (DPA) to retargeting cart abandons.

Using DPAs requires you to set up your Product Catalog first (which you can do in the top menu of your Ads Manager).

Once you’ve done this, it will allow you to show images in your ad of the exact products your potential customer was looking at on your website. So powerful!

For this campaign, select the objective ‘Catalog Sales’.

In the Ad Set, you want to select ‘Added to Cart But Not Purchased’. This actually uses your Pixel to create the audience based on the actions taken by your website visitors.

The ad itself is very simple. You want to choose ‘Carousel’ format, but you do not need to upload any images – these will be dynamically updated depending on what products your website visitors look at.

In the text, I like to offer a financial incentive such as free shipping to entice your prospects back to complete their purchase.

Like this:

The Results

Over the last year, we’ve been able to achieve an average return on investment of $7 for every $1 spent on Facebook Ads.

Needless to say, my client Diana from Milkbar Breastpumps is incredibly happy with this result!

“Signing up to Catherine’s program was the best decision I made in 2018. The program allowed me to confidently (and profitably implement) implement strategies such as facebook ads into my business. My monthly sales are almost 3 times higher compared to last year. This is the best program specifically designed for product based ecommerce owners to scale their business. The interaction with other brand owners has been priceless.” Diana Swadling, Milkbar Breastpumps

Want to achieve results like Diana?

Contact us to discuss Facebook advertising for your own eCommerce brand today:

February 19, 2019

How To Double Your Sales (& More!) In Your Shopify Store

 

That’s not a typo – my client did just that!

Is your goal to increase eCommerce store sales this year?

Platforms like Shopify now make it super easy to start your own eCommerce business.

But, if you want to generate sales, just getting your website up and running is not enough.

So many times, I speak to online storeowners who are struggling with too few orders, and the majority of their “marketing” efforts are spent crafting and posting content on Instagram.

In the words of Dr Phil – how’s that working for you then? 😉

Trust me – there IS a better way to increase eCommerce store sales!

 

Meet our client Lisa, who has more than doubled her revenue

If you feel like you’ve tried everything, and you’re starting to wonder, “Are people like me getting results?”

Then let me introduce you to our client Lisa from Happy Tummies.

Lisa is a Mother of three and also owns an eCommerce store on the Shopify platform that specializes in allergy-free foods.

Over the last year, Lisa has worked really hard to implement our strategies.

Her job is not made easy by the fact that allergy-free foods is not exactly the biggest market in the world… It’s a VERY niche market!

However, her dedication and hard work have really paid off.

Over the last year, her average monthly sales have more than doubled!

“Woohoo! For the first time ever I made my ambitious target for the month! Thank you Catherine.” Lisa Munro, Happy Tummies

And I reckon Lisa’s stress levels have probably halved as well, now that much of her marketing is automated!

Here are 5 things Lisa did to dramatically increase eCommerce store sales

1. She committed to spending money on Facebook ads

One of the things I see many small business owners struggle with, is spending money on Facebook ads without knowing absolutely for sure that they will make more money back.

There’s no guarantee with paid traffic. There’s no way to know for sure whether this text and image or that one, or this audience or that one, will be the winning combination for you.

The only way to make it work is to test. And that means being willing to spend some money to see what works.

Lisa’s ads don’t always work perfectly, but a lot of the time they do really well.

But her most important asset when it comes to spending money on Facebook ads is her testing mindset.

2. She gained her customers’ trust (and it shows in her marketing)

Trust seems like a bit of an odd point to make when it comes to eCommerce marketing.

But if you think about it as a consumer, you definitely want to feel confident in an online store before you give them your credit card details!

Even more so when your customers have severe or life-threatening allergies, as in Lisa’s case!

More than just trust, though – if you can demonstrate that your customers love your products and your service, then your customers will end up doing your marketing for you.

That means collect as many customer reviews as you can (and make sure you do an outstanding job so that those reviews are awesome!)

And then use those reviews in your marketing – on your website, in your emails and in your Facebook ads.

3. Make sure your website converts really well

When you first start out in your eCommerce business, it can be tempting to go with the cheapest website possible. You may even wonder why you should spend money on a Shopify or WordPress theme when there are free ones available!

Well, there are very good reasons to choose a great theme or to work with a reputable web designer.

Some websites convert better than others. And if you can convert more of your website visitors into customers, then your sales are growing.

We worked hard on improving her website conversion rate, by designing an intuitive navigation, home page design and checkout process. Plus she puts consistent effort into her SEO and page load speed, and her conversion rate has improved dramatically as a result.

4. Send marketing emails consistently

I don’t care whether you personally feel like you get way too many promotional emails in your inbox.

And I also don’t care if you’ve surveyed your audience to find out they only want to hear from you once in a blue moon!

The cold hard fact is – email marketing works VERY well. It is still one of, if not THE most effective online marketing tool you can employ.

Of course, you need to have an email list to market to (which is one of the benefits of running Facebook ads).

Lisa has never wavered in her commitment to build her email list and to send regular marketing emails each week.

5. Work with experts to fast-track results

Of course it’s entirely possible to figure things out on your own over time, but Lisa was impatient and wanted to grow more quickly than that!

The benefits of working with people who have ‘been there done that’ experience, AND someone who work with numerous similar businesses, is that they know what works and what doesn’t and can help you navigate the ever-changing business landscape more quickly and smoothly.

I won’t share the one big thing that Lisa found most valuable from her time working with us – you’ll have to work with us to find out our secret sauce! 😉

But suffice to say, Lisa now runs a fast-growing business like a well-oiled machine!

Want to see results like this in your own business?

Implementing the strategies implement for clients can be the quickest way to fire up your eCommerce store and start making some serious dough.

 

February 19, 2019

How To Run Killer Ecommerce Facebook Ads in 5 Steps

Learn the RIGHT way to run profitable eCommerce Facebook ads

Are you an online retailer? Or are you a brand owner who also sells online?

If so – I have no doubt that social media advertising plays a big role in your online marketing.

So many business owners I speak to are struggling to get decent results with their Facebook ads, though.

They’re spending money only to get dismal (or no) sales through their website as a result.

And at this point, it’s easy to give up and assume that “Facebook ads don’t work for my kind of business”.

Well, sorry to bust your bubble on this.

Facebook ads represent an undeniable opportunity to grow your online sales.

With over a billion users active on Facebook per MONTH, the largest number of ecommerce orders generated from advertising on any social media platform, and an average ROI (return on investment) of 152%, NOT advertising on the Facebook is a HUGE missed opportunity.

So how do you get it right then?

Our 5 steps to running profitable Facebook ad campaigns

 

1. Appeal to your tribe

The biggest issue with most eCommerce Facebook ads is that they are not showing to the right people.

The targeting is way off.

It’s pointless trying to create an ad that shows to a million different audiences at once. For starters, if you set it up like this you really have no way to identify which of those audiences is responding and which isn’t, which ends up costing you a lot more money.

The effectiveness will be also diluted, because you just can’t create an ad that is appealing to a wide audience – it needs to be much more specific than that.

The easiest way to target your ads effectively is by working out what your ideal customers are likely to be interested in. For example, think about other brands (not necessarily in the same product category) your customers might buy, or magazines they read in your industry.

For example, in my last business selling reusable and eco-friendly baby products, my ideal customers were also likely to be fans of associations like the Australian Breastfeeding Association, bloggers like Stay At Home Mum (who are all about being thrifty and economical with the household budget), natural parenting products like baby carrier brands, and eco-friendly product brands like Enjo.

Top Tip: Select these brands, media or other relevant interests as your ‘Detailed Interests’ targeting within your Ad Set:

2. Warm up your audience first

Basically, you need to understand HOW your customers buy – that is, what is their purchase decision-making process?

Most eCommerce Facebook ads are too generic.

Have you ever seen a Facebook ad promoting a product that’s for sale, and it pretty much says ‘Check out our awesome product. Click here to buy it now.’

Not particularly engaging is it…

The first ad should not be a hard-sell – it should be educating your potential customers about your brand and product benefits.

And to do this successfully, you need to know what your customers actually want.

HINT: it’s not your product.

People don’t buy a drill, they buy a hole in the wall!

They key is – you need to communicate your product benefits with a short amount of text and some gorgeous images.

Top Tip: Use a Carousel or Collection ad format for this ad, like my clients Chloe & Amelie and T-Leaf Collections:

3. Retarget with an amazing offer

The next step in your customer’s buying journey AFTER learning about your product, is to buy it, right?

So the cool thing with FB ads is that you can actually re-target the people who clicked on the last ‘get to know you’ ad or visited your website, with a ‘buy now’ type ad.

That means you get to show an ad that has a special offer or invitation to come and buy your product JUST to the people who saw your first ad. Pretty cool, right?

And if you can get this set up correctly, your sales conversions from your Facebook ads will increase dramatically once you start getting them in front of a warm audience (ie people who actually know, like and trust you already)!

Top Tip: Use Dynamic Product Ads to retarget people who have viewed products on your website or added something to their cart. Like this:

4. Monitor and measure

The most stressful part of running Facebook ad campaigns is often the amount of money you end up spending.

And so you really need to know how to work out whether you are getting worthwhile website traffic and sales from that ad spend.

Please note, that spending money on Facebook ads is NOT about building brand awareness!

I’ve spoken to far too many eCommerce business owners recently who have decided that their high ad costs are perfectly OK because it’s “good for brand awareness”.

Let me be clear – the metrics you should be judging your ad success on are SALES and ROAS (Return On Ad Spend).

You can find out the number of sales you’re getting from an ad by making sure you have your Facebook pixel installed on your website.

Then you can use the Facebook ads manager to report on how many sales have occurred from each ad you run and your return on ad spend.

Top Tip: Use an Excel spreadsheet to track and monitor your Facebook ad metrics on a weekly basis. You should aim for a 4x ROAS (ie for every $1 you spend on ads, you make $4 back in sales).

5. Don’t rely entirely on Facebook ads!

You can’t rely entirely on getting visitors onto your website in order to grow your sales.

Have a think about the percentage of your website visitors go on to become buyers?

Often it’s pretty small, as little as 2% for most ecommerce websites, which is pretty heartbreaking when you think about it!

Don’t make the mistake of assuming you have no control over these numbers, because you DO.

The key to increasing the number of customers who buy from you is to follow up with them and make them an offer they can’t refuse!

And the best way to achieve this is to have an enticing opt-in offer to attract them onto your email list, and then use email marketing to follow-up and convert them into buyers.

Putting it into practice

So I’ve just walked you through some of the strategy, but in practice setting up eCommerce Facebook ads can be a bit of a minefield… There’s always a lot of settings and options to choose from, which can become a bit overwhelming and confusing until you get the hang of it!

Contact us to discuss Facebook advertising for your own eCommerce brand today:

June 19, 2018

How To Know Your Online Store Is Ready For Facebook Ads

 

Right now, one of the most effective ways to grow eCommerce sales is through Facebook advertising.

There are many elements in a high converting Facebook ad strategy, which you can read about here.

But when it comes to sending paid traffic to your eCommerce website, you REALLY want to make sure your website is ready for it.

If your website is NOT set up, ready to receive that paid traffic, you’re likely to find your ad results are expensive, or worse, just don’t work.

So, let me help you avoid flushing your advertising dollars down the toilet!

 

Here are the top 5 things you MUST have addressed before you start sending paid traffic to your website!

1. Install your Facebook Pixel

I would hope this step goes without saying, but for the sake of stating the obvious, you really MUST have your Facebook Pixel installed on your website.

Every Facebook ad account comes with one unique pixel, which is essentially a bit of tracking code that gets pasted into your website’s source code.

That may sound tricky, but is actually pretty simple on most websites. (Follow this Facebook pixel set-up guide, or this one, or just Google for a video tutorial if you’re not sure how to do it!)

You also want to make sure you’ve set up Standard Event tracking with your Facebook Pixel.

Basically all this means is, you’re asking Facebook to track not just clicks to your website, but also things like viewing products, add to cart, checkouts and more.

By tracking these events, you’ll be able to get very smart with your Facebook ads, and show specific messages to people who have viewed your product pages but not completed a purchase (for instance).

2. Excellent on mobile

When you start sending lots of traffic to your website from paid Facebook ads, you should expect the vast majority of those visitors will be using their mobile to browse your site.

That means, it is IMPERATIVE that your website works really well on mobile!

As business owners, we’re usually looking at our own websites on our desktop computers or laptops.

And quite often, we don’t go all the way through the shopping cart checkout on mobile.

But you need to do these things – look critically at your site on mobile and test how easy it is to navigate and to shop on a mobile.

One of the best examples of an eCommerce website that is very well designed for the mobile experience is Birdsnest. I would even argue, this website works better on mobile than desktop! They have absolutely nailed a mobile-first web design.

3. Check your website’s bounce rate

A ‘bounce rate’ simply means, the proportion of your website’s visitors who immediately click away after landing on your site.

A high bounce rate is really bad – it means your website visitors aren’t sticking around for more than a split second.

So logically, it would be very wasteful to spend lots of money on Facebook advertising, if a really large portion of those paid visitors are just going to bounce off.

An average bounce rate for eCommerce is about 40%.

To find out what your website bounce rate is, check your analytics. (Some platforms have great inbuilt analytics, otherwise check Google Analytics.)

If your bounce rate is average or below, you have my blessing to start paid advertising.

If your bounce rate is above average, then you need to do some work first.

Often, one of the biggest culprits that causes a high bounce rate, is a very slow page load speed (especially on mobile).

You want to aim for a page load speed of 5 seconds or less.

To test yours, use a free tool like Pingdom or Google Page Speed Tools.

4. Check your website’s cart abandonment rate

Ever heard of the term, ‘shopping cart abandonment’?

It’s a pesky situation that is very common for eCommerce websites, and what it means is shoppers who have added product to their cart and begun the checkout process, but then they jump ship before handing over their cashola.

So, it goes without saying, having a really high cart abandonment rate is bad.

(Actually, it’s not ALL bad – it does mean that you have people who are interested in buying from you. But you gotta work out what’s stopping them from sealing the deal!)

The average cart abandonment rate for eCommerce websites is actually quite high at 68%.

You can find your abandoned cart rate by looking at your analytics, either within your website platform or Google Analytics.

If your abandoned cart rate is average or below, you’re good to go with your paid advertising.

But, if your abandoned cart rate is higher than average, you’ve got some work to do.

There’s no point spending money on ads if the vast majority aren’t gonna check out!

The number one reason shoppers abandon their carts is reaching the checkout and being slugged unexpected (or expensive) shipping costs. (I would also argue – slow shipping.)

And the second most common reason shoppers abandon their carts is being forced to create a new user account.

Both those factors are fairly easy to remedy – make sure you do before you start sending paid traffic to your site.

5. Great user experience (UX)

It still surprises me when I review eCommerce websites, to find there are quite a number whose website design and navigation is really confusing.

As business owners, we are very familiar with our own websites and our own products. We know exactly what we sell and where to find it.

I want you to take off your business owner hat for a moment, and take a look at your website (on desktop AND mobile!) from the perspective of a brand new customer.

When coming to your website for the first time, is it immediately clear what you sell?

Is the design clear and uncluttered?

Do your images show this clearly and are they inviting to look at?

What about your navigation, is that simple, uncluttered and easy to follow? Your top navigation should be all about shopping. Put things like your blog and about pages down in the footer navigation.

Do you have things like customer reviews to show how awesome your products are?

What are your product pages like? Do you have multiple product images? Is your add-to-cart button easy to spot? (Preferably in a contrasting color, and high-up the page – don’t make people scroll to figure out how to buy!)

Include trust symbols, such as secure payment badges, trusted payment methods and guarantees (if you offer one).

Great examples of eCommerce stores that have an excellent user experience, include The Iconic and Birdsnest.

Need some help implementing an effective Facebook Ad strategy?

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