The latest in eCommerce Feb7th - Feb 16th 2018

The latest in eCommerce Feb 7th – Feb 16th

Facebook has been quite active over the last few weeks and they feature prominently in our latest update. We also cover an update from Instagram and we may have discovered your next customer acquisition channel. Read on for the details.

Your next distribution and customer discovery platform: Snapchat

Are you on Snapchat yet?

Maybe now is the time. Facebook is supposedly bleeding users. A recent eMarketer study found that, in 2017, Facebook lost around 2 million users in the 12 – 25 age bracket. Mostly due to what the pundits are calling “Context collapse” or more accurately the “My-folks-are-on-Facebook-I’m-outta-here” effect.

What Facebook lost, Snapchat gained, with most of these users migrating there. This just adds another reason to why you should consider getting on Snapchat, especially if you cater to younger users.

For those of us that have a brick and mortar store in addition to an online store, here’s the perfect thing to started with – Snap Map.

Snap Map’s essentially a collection of stories (from friends and others) overlaid on a map. The best part is that Snapchat just made it available to desktop users as well. You simply navigate to, pick a location and view all the public stories available there.

When it was released a year ago, it seemed more or less like just another way to stalk your friends. It quickly became more than that though, people started using it to discover interesting things happening around them. That’s what we are hoping to capitalize on.

Here’s what it looks like on the web. Notice how local businesses are featured prominently?


Snapmap screengrab - showing local businesses


The goal is to get a few public stories tagged right where your shop is. Here are a couple of things you could try.

  • Create stories around your products and offer an exclusive coupon code at the end of the each one just for your Snapchat audience.
  • Ask visitors to your store to create public Snapchat stories in exchange for a discount.


No https? No bueno…

After hinting at it for a while now, Google has decided to start really cracking down on unsecured web pages. Starting from July 2018 Chrome is going to start labelling unsecured pages. Here’s what that’s going to look like. What does this mean for you? Read on.

Treatment of HTTP Pages examplePC: Google


Getting customers to trust you is a huge part of getting them to buy from you. From a customer’s POV they are literally paying some faceless entity on the web (not generally the most trustworthy of places) and hoping to get their purchases delivered.

This is why it’s important to focus on humanizing your brand, creating a good about us page, setting up easy to access support etc…

Another key, yet often not so visible part of all this is to secure your website. How do you know your website is secure? Check if your store url has  “https” in it instead of just “http”. Here’s an example.

Secured webpage example


Without getting into the technical details, what this means is that the site owners have purchased an SSL certificate. This ensures all communications between a user’s browser and the website are encrypted. Why is this important?

This is what stops those devious hackers from stealing customer info. Also, if you don’t have an SSL certificate Google is going to stick a “not secure” label on to your site. Given how visible the label is, your visitors have fewer reasons to trust you and it’s very likely that you are going to be losing customers.

Here’s more on how you can go about getting this done.


The 2018 fixing Facebook tour: Pt 1

Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for 2018 is essentially to “Fix” Facebook and they’ve been going at it, no holds barred. So much so that I’ve had to create a roundup within a roundup just to cover Facebook alone. Here are a few changes from the last couple of weeks.

A downvote button on Facebook: One of Facebook’s primary goals for this year is to promote “meaningful interactions” among users. But you only have to look at an internet comment thread to see why that’s a difficult job. Most conversations rarely stay on the topic and there’s always an army of trolls screaming “First Comment”. To get around this Facebook is testing a feature that’ll give users the option to downvote comments in addition to the usual “Like” and “Reply”. Read the article for more.


Finding nemo gif


A separate news section: Facebook wants to clean up the NewsFeed, but at the same time it also doesn’t want you to spend too much time elsewhere. They just announced that they will be creating a separate news section on their video streaming platform – Facebook Watch.

Facebook trying to do a Netflix: Continuing the theme from earlier. Facebook essentially wants to be your go to source for everything on the internet. They just picked up an original series for Facebook watch. Given how pretty much every internet company has gone down this path, this is hardly surprising and we should expect to see more similar news this year. It also ties in quite nicely with their observations on how shows tend to generate passionate, involved interactions on the platform.


Instagram may let you reshare public posts to your Stories

We may soon have the closest thing to Regram that Instagram is ever going to give us. TechCrunch reported on an Instagram test feature that lets users add public posts from others into their own stories. There’s no real commitment from Instagram on if or when this feature will get fully rolled out, but I hope it does. We’ll have another great way to create content.

Facebook Test and Learn: See if your ads really work

If you advertise on Facebook, you know it’s sometimes really hard to see if your ads caused any real measurable conversion uplift. Sure, you know people are clicking on your ads and making their purchases but would they have bought from you anyway? Did you just waste a bunch of money on someone who was going to buy from you anyway?

Late last year Facebook gradually released a tool that’s just the thing to help answer those questions: Test and Learn. Read the article for a few examples from the folks at CPC Strategy on how to set up and interpret these tests.


Do you advertise on facebook? What are the most common challenges you face? What do you think about Facebook’s latest changes? Let us know below.