The Latest in eCommerce Oct 25th – Nov 3rd 2017

Is Facebook screwing with its publishers all over again? Do you need to worry about your privacy policy? We cover this and more in our latest roundup of all the exciting stuff in eCommerce over the last week and a half.

 

Facebook may move non-promoted posts out of newsfeed

Are you sitting down? You better be. Facebook is at it again. They are experimenting with a few changes to their newsfeed which could see your organic reach go down even further. Non-promoted posts may be moved to a secondary newsfeed. This would mean that your organic posts will no longer be visible on your follower’ newsfeeds.

Not again gif

Facebook says this is in response to user requests for more content from their friends and family (Read: a need to sell more ads).

What this means for you

Unless you are in Slovakia, Serbia, Sri Lanka or any of the other 3 countries where Facebook is currently testing this, it is unlikely that you are seeing any of this yet.

Facebook says that they don’t yet know if they will make the changes global, so you may never actually see them. That said, don’t be surprised if this becomes the norm. Facebook’s business is built on selling ads, unlimited organic reach is pretty much the opposite of that.

While we may see some kind of happy middle ground emerge in the long run, for now atleast, you should expect organic reach to go down further.

Small publishers are likely to be the most affected. Here are a couple of things you could try.

  • Don’t rely solely on Facebook. Work on ways to connect to your followers over other networks. Find out how you can use OrangeTwig to engage your shoppers across multiple social media networks.
  • I’m sorry, but if Facebook is a key traffic driver you don’t really have much of a choice. Start experimenting with ads. Here’s a nice guide on getting started.

 

SEO: Using structured markup a little differently? You may have to deal with a penalty

Do you use structured data on your site? Don’t know what that is?

Have you ever noticed that on some searches, the results look a little different than usual. There’s a little extra info on each search result – ratings, reviews and more. Here’s an example

Structured data example - google search results

Structured data is a great way to give users a little bit more info about your products right on the search results page. You can display discounted prices, reviews and more. Here’s another example.

structured data example - google search results 2

Getting it wrong may cost you though. Having misleading info in the structured data that doesn’t match up with what’s on your site is a signal to Google that your site may be spammy. For example, if you use structured data to display discount info on the search results page and if that info is then not visible on your page, Google may interpret that as you trying to game the system. Read the article for more on the penalty and how to avoid it.

 

It’s Indivdualization, not Personalization!

For the last decade or so, every marketer worth their salt told us that we ought to personalize our marketing. Well they were right. Then!

Cloud IQ recently conducted a study on brands in the UK, US and Australia and the results are definitely quite interesting.

For example, 81% of people report unsubscribing from email lists. A third reported frustration with having to fill in information. It does seem like personalization isn’t enough anymore.

What’s even more interesting is that with all the privacy concerns around, 64% recognized the value of their personal data in exchange for a more individualized experience.

So what do they mean by Individualization? Take a look at the graphic below. Read the article for more.

Graphic - What is individualization?

 

Do you need to worry about your privacy policy?

If you are anything like me, the legal side of running a business is something that’s best left to the lawyers and forgotten about. An upcoming update to EU’s privacy laws can change that and cause quite a few headaches all around.

Come next May the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is set to come into effect. Scary name aside, the crux of the change is built around the idea that Privacy is an individual’s right.

What this means for you

Hold on! My business is based in the US. Does this even apply to me?

Yes, it does! If you ship to the EU or in any way monitor the behaviour of its subjects, the GDPR is applicable to you irrespective of where in the world you are based out of.

All that said, enforcement of the directive may be a bit tricky. If you have any assets in the EU, enforcement actions can be brought against those. If you don’t then it’s unlikely you’ll see any repercussions.

I’m not endorsing any form of law breaking here 🙂 just saying that it pays to be aware of the nitty gritty. Here’s another good read on the topic from eConsultancy.

 

Do you think Facebook makes sense for small publishers anymore? Is organic marketing dead? How important is SEO to you? Let us know in the comments below.