Shopify Unite 2019: What you need to know
The Shopify Unite 2019 conference was held yesterday, a conference aimed towards uniting all of Shopify’s partners and developers under one roof.
A lot of new updates, features and announcements were made. Some are relevant to us, while others aren’t, so we’ve compiled a rundown of the news that marketers should find interesting.
Online Store design
- Section-based editing: Shopify will introduce a section-based editing feature, making it easier to customize pages without a need to code.
- Content portability: Content won’t be stored in themes anymore. This means that you can shift from one theme to another without losing your content.
- Draft Pages: You’ll be able to make changes to your store, but keep the changes unpublished until you wish to send them live.
- Subscription payments: Shopify is implementing a feature that will allow subscription-based businesses to integrate their subscription apps into the checkout experience. So, users won’t need to leave Shopify to complete the checkout.
Custom storefront tools
There are new features you can access through the Storefront API:
- Selling in multiple currencies.
- Product recommendations.
- Access to metafields.
- Shopify Scripts.
Selling in multiple languages
Shopify wants to provide merchants with a quick and complete multilingual experience. That’s why they’re introducing the following features:
- Translation API enables read/write translations for buyer facing content, such as products, blog posts, pages, etc.
- Online stores will now support different subdirectories in URLs to support multiple languages.
- The new Language Settings page in the admin allows merchants to manage which languages (locales) are published on their store.
Selling in multiple currencies
In October 2018, Shopify launched the ability to sell in multiple currencies with Shopify Payments to Plus merchants. Now, they’re finally starting to roll this feature out globally.
Currently in beta, this new API allows app developers to give their users more control and visibility into order fulfillment.
This API will allow multi-location order fulfillment, improved visibility into the fulfillment process for merchants, better communication between the app and merchant, and even the ability to decline a fulfillment request.
This new API will allow merchants to optimize their checkout experience by setting per product and per location shipping rules.
Shopify Fulfilment Network
The Shopify Fulfilment Network has been built up across the US and is designed to help those merchants that struggle with order fulfillment. It aims to improve the shipping experience for both merchants and buyers.
You can access the Shopify Fulfilment Network here.
These are just some of the announcements that we thought are most relevant to you guys and gals! However, if you want to have a look at everything that has been discussed at the conference, head here.
3D ads and YouTube live stream display ad formats
Google is testing two new interactive display ad formats on its Display and Video 360 platforms.
‘Swirl’ 3D display ad format: Swirl ads will allow brands which have existing 3D assets to turn them into ad units. A new editor is also being added to its Poly 3D editing platform to make it easier for brands to build 3D ad experiences.
Users can rotate a 3D object, zoom in and out, or play an animation within the ads. It provides a more engaging ad experience, allowing users to test and interact with the products before actually making a purchase.
Swirl ads are currently in limited beta. Reach out to your Google account manager for more info.
‘Beauty Try-On’ on YouTube: Another immersive ad format using Augmented Reality (AR). This will allow users to virtually test make-up when viewing related content. Basically, it will help YouTube beauty fans pick their next lipstick.
“Thanks to machine learning and AR technology, the option offers realistic, virtual product samples that work on a full range of skin tones.”
Sephora has previously tried something similar to this. However, ‘Beauty Try-On’ takes this one step further by adding it directly into YouTube content.
Considering how popular some of the make-up tutorials can be on YouTube, this could prove to be a very valuable addition for marketers working in that niche.
‘Beauty Try-On’ is currently in alpha, and is available through FameBit.
YouTube live-streams in Display ads: These are being brought in to help live stream creators extend the reach of their content. The new ad format will run YouTube live streams within display ads, prompting the user to click through to see more.
The ad units feature standard YouTube controls for watching, pausing and sharing.
All three of these new ad options offer something unique for advertisers to consider, allowing enhanced innovation and creativity when running campaigns.
Discussing push traffic for affiliate success in 2019 with Erik Gyepes
Erik Depi Gyepes has gone from pops to adult to push traffic and has made a name for himself as one of the most consistent affiliates in the past years. He is also one of the earlier people to adopt push media buying.
An STM Forum moderator and an Affiliate World Europe 2019 speaker, Erik was the perfect fit to talk push media buying after we dissected this traffic type as a push list owner with Andrew Payne in our very first episode.
In this episode, we talk with Erik about:
- How and why he switched to push traffic?
- Is it too late to run push traffic?
- How does push media buying compare to building your own subscriber list?
- How to prioritize optimization factors for push traffic? Hint: Fresh subscribers are where you should start tests!
- What are the best and worst verticals for push traffic?
- What are the opportunities and threats facing push traffic in 2019?
- The state of the affiliate industry in 2019 in Erik’s opinion.
Small surprise, which was overdue anyway: Starting with this episode, you will also be able to find the Stacked Marketing Show on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!
More of an Apple Podcasts fan? It’s pending approval, we’ll let you know when it’s there 😉
FB Ads + Email = $1.3M in crowdfunding sales
Okay, okay, maybe crowdfunding sales isn’t your business, but the funnel shared by Wojciech Bąbel could still be good to take some inspiration from.
Before getting to the meat of the topic, let’s have a quick look at the crowdfunding mindset.
- The main idea behind this strategy is to go “viral” on Kickstarter or Indiegogo and get featured on their main page, with the result being a flood of “outside” traffic.
- Storytelling video/great creatives: Storytelling is vital for getting into people’s minds. This is especially true when you’re asking people to part with their hard earned cash.
- Cracking the crowdfunding platforms algo: You need to bring lots of traffic and sales within 24 hours, so the algorithm “thinks” your product is going viral. That means the algorithm will place your product on the first page and bring in that flood of traffic.
- You need a lot of resources (cheese) if you want to see money from the investors.
Now, let’s look at the steps involved in the strategy.
Here, Wojciech Bąbel uses FB Ads to drive traffic to a landing page that offers a“secret perk” if the users sign up today.
Thanks to his excellent follow-up strategy, Wojciech manages to get a 7-10% conversion rate from the leads.
Email nurturing stages
- Welcome email: Here you just welcome the subscribers, reminding them about the launch date and their secret perk.
- Connection building email: The goal here is to create a connection and stand out from the crowd. Talk about the idea and the story behind the whole project.
- Launch email: This email announces the launch. It must be sent to as many people as possible to generate the required buzz.
- Celebrate your 24 hours: At this stage, you should have hit your sales goal, so it’s time to celebrate and acknowledge the customers.
- Halfway email: Another email reminding the leads about the launch success and the secret perk they’re going to receive.
- 7 days till closing: Soft scarcity, reminding everybody that the offer will soon end.
- 3 days/1day/6 hours: More aggressive marketing, reminding people about the real closing date, the bonuses they can get and the retail price.
- Post-launch: A simple “thank you” email once the closing date has passed.
Facebook Ads part
FB Ads are used to generate leads. Here’s the strategy used by Wojciech.
- Daily budget of at least 5x the CPL.
- Dynamic creatives for rapid testing and finding the best possible combination without having to spend countless hours creating new variations.
- A/B test landing pages to find the best combination.
- Retargeting leads in stages 2 and 3 of the email sequences using the same text and message as the emails.
- Building Lookalike audiences after hitting 300 leads.
- Use working creatives to run conversions campaigns. Not to generate leads, but to get sales.
- Testing new ads and audiences to find more creatives that perform well.
- CBO + Scaling: after you have at least 4-6 performing ad sets and 2-3 ads, put them into a CBO campaign with a bigger budget and scale.
- Scarcity retargeting: 3 days before the launch ends, Wojciech starts to retarget interested people with aggressive scarcity campaigns.
This is where the strategy ends. Quite long, uh? Well, that should give you some ideas to consider and implement.
When FB moderation policies can turn into a horror story
Keith Utley is one of the employees at Facebook’s worst-performing content moderation site in Tampa, Florida.
His story has been covered by The Verge, and this tale doesn’t have a happy ending…
The warning that shows up before the story even starts should give you an idea of what to expect. Let’s put it this way: It’s not a great sign.
“Content warning: This story contains descriptions of violent acts against people and animals, accounts of sexual harassment and post-traumatic stress disorder, and other potentially disturbing content.”
What is it about? Three former Facebook moderators from the Tampa site discuss the working conditions they endured.
In particular, they focus on the high level of stress that the teams are put under, verbal and physical abuse at the office, and even the heart attack of a worker due to the stressful conditions.
Not a nice story. Still, it’s worth reading to gain some insight into the pressure these content moderation teams are put under.
Not all the content moderation teams have to endure these conditions, obviously. However, the high standards that FB demand can put undue strain on employees.
You can read the whole story here.
New partnerships to build the ultimate shopping experience
In their continued efforts to become a hub for online shopping, Pinterest wants users “to be able to shop for any item they see” on the platform.
It has already been working on advanced product discovery and matching features that align with user needs.
Now, it has announced plans to work with third-party partners in order to give brands access to the useful tools, processes and steps that can help them list all their offerings within Pins.
Here’s what’s new on Pinterest:
- Platform partners like WooCommerce and Square Online Store who allow businesses to set up e-commerce sites and experiences.
- Feed management providers like Feedonomics, Productsup and GoDataFeed who can manage and optimize product inventory feeds for businesses bringing their products catalogs to Pinterest
- Shoppable experience platforms like Shoppable, MikMak, Jebbit, Drizly, and Basketful who connect products within a Pin with the retailers that can fulfill orders and make it easier to shop
- Tag management providers including PixelYourSite and Tealium who can track closed-loop measurement of online shopping conversions and sales.
Well, Pinterest is not a huge player, nor will it be able to compete against the larger players in the market. So it makes sense that they’re trying to find new ways of maximizing engagement and retention among the existing audience.
All these new changes make Pinterest a very valuable and viable option for businesses, and it should help to attract more marketing spends too.
Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things affiliates like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.
Google homes for everyone in the Bay area
About 7,000 people are homeless in San Francisco, and Silicon Valley companies have come under fire for further limiting affordable housing in the region.
Average home prices in the valley have surged 45%, up from $936k to about $1.4M. All this in the past five years.
Who has pitched in to help? Google!
Why? Because it wants to build a more helpful Google.
Pledging to add about 20k homes to the Bay area over the next decade, it announced a $1B investment to try and ease the housing crisis.
The plan is to convert at least $750M worth of its own land into real estate, which should, which should support 15k residential housing units.
Zuck and other local companies are also joining in and will raise another $500M to help fight the crisis.
Well, the initiative could really soothe some of the ongoing frustration with the company over what some see as a widening divide in Silicon Valley between highly paid tech employees and everyone else.
Considering that Google is sitting on more than $113B, $1B doesn’t really seem to be a huge price to pay.