What Kind of SERPs Are You Bidding and Ranking For?

Google SERPs have changed a lot over the years and now there are multiple types of results pages you could be bidding on or ranking for. Are your search terms going to pull up local results or paid ads; AMP articles or knowledge panels – or maybe even a mixture of different SERP features.

This is an important question because the kind of results page users are given influences the result they’ll end up clicking. Perhaps you want a paid ad on for that keyword, rather than relying on organic results that are pushed further down the page, for example.

Sound confusing? Well here are some insights that’ll help you prioritise your search marketing tactics.

More than 50% of queries trigger AdWords ads

According to Mozcast, AdWords ads sit at the top of more than 50% of all queries typed into Google. This makes AdWords’ top panel of ads the most prominent feature on Google SERPs (after the ten organic listings, of course) and this is no surprise to any of us.

Naturally, the kind of queries that trigger these ads will normally have some kind of buying intent (eg: “buy Nike shoes online”) rather than informational searches (eg: “who won the 1966 World Cup?”).

HTTPS results are getting more important

The same Mozcast findings suggest HTTPS results now feature on more than 45% of SERPs and we already know Google is warning users against visiting a wide range of unencrypted sites. These warnings occur in Google Chrome – the world’s most popular browser – and mobile users in particular are having a hard time accessing certain sites.

So Google’s basically got us by the unmentionables; if your users are getting blocked from accessing your site, it’s time to go HTTPS – because Google said so.

Knowledge panels are still elusive

The third most common feature in SERPs is knowledge graphs (almost 40% of queries) but they still remain elusive to website owners. Getting your own content in those things is no small feat and the chances of users clicking through to your site, even if you do get yourself in a knowledge graph, aren’t all that big.

The good news is these tend to return for the more informational queries that few businesses need to target.

Reviews are golden

No surprises that reviews feature heavily on Google SERPs these days and, between local listings and AdWords’ review feature, those golden stars appear for roughly 37% of queries. Best of all, these are searches with consumer intent and those little golden stars tell users that you’re a business they can trust. So get collected those stars!

Local search goes hyperlocal

As the population of people glued to their smartphone screens continues to grow, local search marketing is so 2015. These days it’s all about hyperlocal search and Google, of course, is pioneering the way. The search giant now even returns results of businesses you were within walking distance from in the last few minutes, making

For businesses, this means being present on Google Maps/My Business and having all the relevant info up-to-date is more important than ever.

These are the most prominent features on Google SERPs these days and making a presence on each of them takes a different approach to search marketing. The key is understanding what kind of query you’re targeting, the kind of SERPs this will return and the result users are most likely to click from the results page.

In some cases, AdWords will be your priority; in others, getting a solid presence in local results will be the best way to go. You’ll even find the two features competing against each other for certain results, meaning you’ll have to decide which method is more effective or invest in both for extra coverage.

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Should Retailers Be Worried About Amazon Testing PLA Ads?

While most of us were busy stuffing our faces over the festive period, Amazon was gearing up for 2017 by testing Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on AdWords. This marks the retailer’s first venture into PLAs and it could be a significant one if it goes ahead with the move.

The question on other retailers’ minds will be: what does this mean for us? A Google Shopping experience dominated by Amazon’s endless advertising budget is the last thing other retailers will want to see – but should they be worried?

What would Amazon PLAs mean for other retailers?

If Amazon goes ahead with running PLAs for the long-term, there’s no denying it will have an impact on other retailers. Over the last few years, retailers and marketers have been signing the praises of PLAs and how they outperform regular text ads. And it seems Amazon – who spends a serious amount of wedge on AdWords text ads – has been paying attention.

One of the biggest selling points of PLAs for retailers is they’ve been a relatively level playing field for smaller retailers. Google Shopping is a place where smaller brands can get their products seen by hungry shoppers and there aren’t many platforms that still make this possible.

The fear for smaller retailers will be that a Google Shopping experience dominated by Amazon PLAs will leave little space left for them. While there’s also the risk of Amazon’s endless advertising budget increasing the average cost of PLAs and pricing smaller retailers out of the race.

Will all of this happen? Not necessarily – but it’s easy to see why retailers are a touch nervous about the notion of Amazon PLAs.

What Would Amazon PLAs mean for Google?

Amazon already spends more on AdWords ads than any other brand, which puts Google in a funny position. Amazon is one of the search giant’s biggest rivals but also the biggest contributor to its main source of income – and will only be more true if Amazon goes ahead with PLAs.

If Amazon gives up on PLAs after a few weeks of testing, it’ll be little more than a few points scored for Google. The fact Amazon is even testing the ad format shows it’s intrigued by the notion but the big question is what happens if Amazon invests big in PLAs?

Google could be looking at a significant win in terms of ad revenue but it’ll be handing yet more business over to a rival. Amazon is already moving into the PPC and Google’s desire to become an online retail tool puts in direct competition with Amazon.

It doesn’t all necessarily come down to money, though. In terms of what users want from the Google Shopping experience, you have to say they would rather have Amazon listings included. And Google’s biggest victory could be creating a complete online shopping experience where users can truly browse a web full of PLAs without leaving Google.

Is it time to hit the panic button?

No, of course not. We don’t yet know if Amazon is serious about investing in PLAs on AdWords or what kind of categories it is most interested in. If the retail giant decides to go ahead with PLAs it will mean smaller retailers getting more strategic with their Google Shopping campaigns – just like we’ve had to do with regular AdWords text ads in the past.

So no need to panic (at least not yet) but we’ll all be keeping a keen eye on Amazon PLAs to see if they become a permanent fixture in Google Shopping.

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Would You Trust Google to Create Ad Variations for You?

One of the biggest dilemmas facing AdWords advertisers is deciding how much to let Google automate your account. If you want, you can let Google take care of bidding, create ad extensions and various other tasks for you. You can do this, but many advertisers choose to do things their own way and stay in control of everything possible.

So here’s one for you: would you let Google create ad variations and run them live on your behalf? Because that’s precisely what the search giants want to do and it’s already testing a new system for it.

Google launches Ads Added by AdWords pilot

Last month, Google launched a pilot for Ads Added by AdWords – a system that would allow Google to create ad variations for every user (that doesn’t specifically opt out). The news hasn’t been particularly well-received in the industry with many advertisers nervous at the prospect of Google creating ads for them.

Reddit users are less than impressed.

So why are advertisers concerned? Well, first of all, Google will be able to put these ad variations live without asking your permission. That’s not going to sit well with many advertisers, to begin with but these ads could also heavily interfere with any A/B testing you conduct. If Google suddenly throws in another ad variation during your tests, your results pretty much become useless.

There’s also the classic conflict of interest between Google and advertisers. Google wants to make more money from people clicking your ads; you want to make more money by selling more products. Those are two very distinct goals for creating an ad and it’s an uncomfortable idea that Google could be creating ads on our behalf.

That said, it’s all doom and gloom though.

Why is Google taking this direction?

Google’s main selling point for Ads Added by AdWords is that it thinks it can improve the performance of your ad groups by 5-15%. It’s confident that by adding more variations into your ad groups it can raise the average performance – and there is some logic to the idea.

Despite this, we still think a lot of advertisers will opt out, should the feature go live – assuming Google allows it. There’s no reason to think it won’t let you opt out, though, and we’re pretty sure this feature isn’t designed for those who’ll want to opt out anyway. Instead, this is a move designed for the people who aren’t creating any ad variations whatsoever.

This applies to a lot of DIY AdWords users who don’t have the time or technical knowledge to create ad variations. These users aren’t maximising their performance and they’re not spending as much as they could on AdWords. So Google has a lot to gain by automating this process, provided its variations actually do improve performance and profit margins for advertisers.

So while this is a drastic move by Google, we don’t think it’s an entirely bad one. That said, we still expect many advertisers will be opting out of this if it fully rolls out after the pilot stage. And, perhaps more importantly, we should be asking where Google plans to go from here.

Could there be an automated overhaul to the AdWords infrastructure as we know it? Perhaps Google thinks its own machine learning platform will be better at creating effective ads than us humans in the near future.

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Should Retailers Be Worried About Amazon Testing PLA Ads?

While most of us were busy stuffing our faces over the festive period, Amazon was gearing up for 2017 by testing Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on AdWords. This marks the retailer’s first venture into PLAs and it could be a significant one if it goes ahead with the move.

The question on other retailers’ minds will be: what does this mean for us? A Google Shopping experience dominated by Amazon’s endless advertising budget is the last thing other retailers will want to see – but should they be worried?

What would Amazon PLAs mean for other retailers?

If Amazon goes ahead with running PLAs for the long-term, there’s no denying it will have an impact on other retailers. Over the last few years, retailers and marketers have been signing the praises of PLAs and how they outperform regular text ads. And it seems Amazon – who spends a serious amount of wedge on AdWords text ads – has been paying attention.

One of the biggest selling points of PLAs for retailers is they’ve been a relatively level playing field for smaller retailers. Google Shopping is a place where smaller brands can get their products seen by hungry shoppers and there aren’t many platforms that still make this possible.

The fear for smaller retailers will be that a Google Shopping experience dominated by Amazon PLAs will leave little space left for them. While there’s also the risk of Amazon’s endless advertising budget increasing the average cost of PLAs and pricing smaller retailers out of the race.

Will all of this happen? Not necessarily – but it’s easy to see why retailers are a touch nervous about the notion of Amazon PLAs.

What Would Amazon PLAs mean for Google?

Amazon already spends more on AdWords ads than any other brand, which puts Google in a funny position. Amazon is one of the search giant’s biggest rivals but also the biggest contributor to its main source of income – and will only be more true if Amazon goes ahead with PLAs.

If Amazon gives up on PLAs after a few weeks of testing, it’ll be little more than a few points scored for Google. The fact Amazon is even testing the ad format shows it’s intrigued by the notion but the big question is what happens if Amazon invests big in PLAs?

Google could be looking at a significant win in terms of ad revenue but it’ll be handing yet more business over to a rival. Amazon is already moving into the PPC and Google’s desire to become an online retail tool puts in direct competition with Amazon.

It doesn’t all necessarily come down to money, though. In terms of what users want from the Google Shopping experience, you have to say they would rather have Amazon listings included. And Google’s biggest victory could be creating a complete online shopping experience where users can truly browse a web full of PLAs without leaving Google.

Is it time to hit the panic button?

No, of course not. We don’t yet know if Amazon is serious about investing in PLAs on AdWords or what kind of categories it is most interested in. If the retail giant decides to go ahead with PLAs it will mean smaller retailers getting more strategic with their Google Shopping campaigns – just like we’ve had to do with regular AdWords text ads in the past.

So no need to panic (at least not yet) but we’ll all be keeping a keen eye on Amazon PLAs to see if they become a permanent fixture in Google Shopping.

*****

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AdWords: Google announces changes to call extensions

Google has sent out a bunch of notifications to advertisers about upcoming changes to call extensions. Over the course of two emails to AdWords account users, the search giant is prepping advertisers for a couple small, but significant, changes to how it automates the ad extension.

The first change rolled out earlier this month and the second is coming in the first week of Feb. So here’s the lowdown on what to expect as Google tweaks its implementation of call extensions.

 

Location extensions to include Google My Business phone numbers

The first change affects ads that are running both call and location extensions. This is the change that rolled out on Jan 19 and Google is a little vague on the details. Here’s the email that’s been going around:

 

 

Essentially, the change affects ads that use location extensions but don’t use a phone number for that specific location in their call extension. In these cases, Google says it might automatically insert the local number from your Google My Business account. Presumably, the “might” means this will only happen for advertisers that provide this information on Google My Business, but that’s our guess only.

Why is the important? Well, a lot of advertisers don’t use local numbers in call extensions because Google hasn’t figured out how to track them. So this change will also make it impossible for you to use call conversion tracking by forcing you to use local numbers.

If you don’t use call conversion tracking on ads running both location and call extensions, then the change will have no impact on you at all. However, it’s a significant change for anyone that does or might need to in the future.

Automated call extensions to pull phone numbers from landing pages

The other change to call extensions rolls out on February 6th, 2017, and this only affects ads showing for mobile searches. What’s interesting is the change will affect ads that aren’t using call extensions.

Following the date, Google will automatically create call extensions for your ads if there are prominent calls-to-action including phone numbers on your landing pages. Again, this will only affect ads showing for mobile searches, where Google says automated call extensions could increase both CTRs and conversions that follow.

The change also means you’ll be able to get “detailed reporting insights” about calls generated from the automated extension. And, unlike the localised number change we mentioned above, this one will allow you to set up call conversion tracking without any issues.

If you don’t want Google to automatically generate call extensions in these cases, you can opt out of the system and also manually opt out on specific campaigns and ad groups after the change comes into effect.

So that’s all we know at this stage and we’ll be sure to keep you updated if any more information comes to light. In the meantime, feel free to get in touch with any questions you have about ad extensions or other AdWords queries.

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The Only 5 SEO and PPC Trends that Matter for 2017

Spotting marketing trends before they happen is vital for keeping ahead of the competition and generic trends like ‘go mobile’ are no help to anyone – we know that stuff.

So here are the SEO and PPC trends that will really matter in 2017 and what you need to do about them.

#1: If you want traffic, pay for it

This won’t come as good news to many business owners but it’s the cold hard truth. Google isn’t going to kill off organic traffic entirely (it’s still a search engine after all) but there are two walls closing in on ‘free’ traffic.

First, there’s the fact Google makes its money from paid ads, not organic traffic. So you can expect to see ads take up yet more space on the SEPRPs and organic results to fall further down the page – especially on mobile.

The other factor is Google doesn’t want users to leave its services. Once this happens, it can’t guarantee people will continue to see its ads or hand over precious data to the tech giant. Which is why we’re seeing features like Accelerated Mobile Pages, a growing presence of Google Maps in local search and other Google products that stop traffic landing on business websites – unless you pay for it, of course.

#2: Get ready to fight (or join) the tech giants

Google isn’t the only one trying to keep users locked into its platform. Facebook is doing the same with Instant Articles and its new chatbot integration with Messenger. The two tech giants are fighting to keep users inside their platforms for as long as possible – and they’re doing a pretty good job of it so far.

The problem is neither Google nor Facebook is going to lose this fight. The loser will be website owners who miss out on the traffic they used to readily generate from these channels.

It won’t be a two-way fight for much longer easier. The rise of AI personal assistants is going to change the nature of the web. Google (Allo), Apple (Siri), Amazon (Alexa), Microsoft (Cortana) and all the major tech players are working on their own personal assistants, designed to handle every online action users take.

The end result will be a closed web where users are locked into the same five or so platforms for everything they do online. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds; users already spend the vast majority of their time using the same five mobile apps.

So what’s an online business owner to do? Read on…

#3: Year of the chatbots

There’s a lot of hype around these things right now and it’s clear 2017 is going to be the year of chatbots. Whether they become the hottest property in marketing next year or crash and burn remains to be seen, but it’s about to get interesting.

The key thing to know about chatbots is they can integrate with the AI platforms Google and co. are building. Facebook has already integrated the technology into its Messenger app and this is a big invite from the tech firm for brands to join its vision for the future web.

We’re at a turning point where owning website alone won’t be enough to get your brand seen in the right places. Chatbots are the first technology that fits in seamlessly with where the corporate web is heading and this is why they’ll be important in 2017 – perhaps beyond.

#4: Keep an eye on progressive web apps

Another technology to keep an eye on in 2017 is progressive web apps. Unlike chatbots, these aren’t ready for widespread adoption yet but there’s a lot of potential in the concept and early implementation.

Progressive web apps will remove the need for users to download mobile applications. Instead, Google or whichever platform people are using will download these files in small chunks when users need them to perform specific tasks.

This removes the key barrier between users and mobile applications as we currently know them. However, what’s more interesting (in relation to what we’ve been talking about so far) is this technology will allow Google and the others to integrate small parts of your app into their platforms.

It’s pretty much the same concept as AMP, where Google nabs your content and puts it on its servers. You don’t get the traffic (at least not right away) but your content and website still has a shot at generating a lead.

#5: Get ready for an omnichannel web

We’re still using a web made up of fixed platforms that are largely isolated from each other. You have a website, social media pages, search engines and email marketing – all working together but clearly separated.

This is going to change over the next few years and the shift has already begun. The Internet of Things (IoT), chatbots, AI personal assistants, progressive web apps and every new technology is moving towards an online world where everything is integrated.

This means we need to focus our attentions on omnichannel platforms – those that can integrate with the other apps your target audience uses most. We’re already seeing this happen with chatbots in messaging apps and the early examples of progressive web apps. In fact, we’ve been doing this for a while now with deep linking but things are moving on to a whole new level now.

The big challenge in 2017 for online business owners is figuring out their place in ‘the next web’. Simply having a website and relying on SEO and social media marketing isn’t going to cut it for much longer. For the tech giants to send traffic your way you’re going to have to give them something in return. The most obvious answer is paying for ads to get your brand seen but the nature of these ads is going to change too.

Sooner or later users are going to stop opening up Google Chrome or other applications to complete tasks. Their chosen apps will be constantly running in the background, integrated with everything else they need to get things done online. What we still don’t know yet is how exactly individual businesses are going to fit into a more automated web – but we need to figure out the answer asap.

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Retailers Now Testing Promoted Places on Google Maps

All the way back in March 2016 Google announced promoted pins would be making their way to Google Maps. We reported the news right away but there’s been a long wait to see these things in action. However, Google is ramping up its testing efforts to test promoted pins with a select few retailers, suggesting we could see the feature go live in the near future.

The tests involve Starbucks, Walgreens and cosmetics firm MAC while the test only appears to be running in Google Maps on Android devices. Here’s what things are looking like so far.

Google testing promoted pins

Google decided the holiday season was the perfect time to put promoted pins through their paces. Only certain users will have seen the pins crop up in Google Maps but the key point is users don’t actually need to search for these brands – they simply show up as people are using Google Maps.

The pins display a brand logo and once users click on the icon, they’ll be presented with special offers and announcements designed to encourage foot traffic coming into their stores. As you would expect, people can also access your business page, get directions and check your opening times as per normal on Google Maps.

The key difference is these pins are more noticeable and users don’t need to search for your brand.

How useful will promoted pins really be?

It’s too early to get any kind of numbers on how well these promoted pins are performing. It will also be a challenge attributing metrics in all cases – something Google will need to address. The first number we want to see is a kind of click-through rate vs impressions but how Google measures an impression when pins are always displaying isn’t clear at this stage.

Next Google will need to attribute conversions from these clicks. This will be fine for conversions that take place inside Google Maps – eg: hotel bookings or calls to the business. However, it will be more of a challenge when an in-store visit is the conversion that follows, for example. Tracking mobile users by location is the obvious answer but there are no guarantees people will make the initial search on mobile and the implementation proposes a few challenges.

Finally, it will be interesting to see what kind of clicks promoted pins get for different user intents. Someone looking for a café in the area are going to see any number of Starbucks locations anyway. Meanwhile, a user searching for hotels in New York probably isn’t interested in a Hazelnut Latte right now.

While it’s good to finally hear about some progress being made with promoted pins, we’re still waiting for a number of questions to be answered. Sadly, there’s no knowing how long they’ll still be in the testing stages and the fact it’s taking so long could indicate there have been some teething problems.

Either way, we’ll be quick to report any news from Google regarding promoted pins and the results it gets from tests. So keep checking in with us for all the latest news on AdWords and digital marketing info.

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Google: We’re Switching to Mobile-First Indexing

Google’s next big mobile shake-up is fast approaching and it’s raising a lot of questions from website owners. Google is switching to mobile-first indexing, meaning it will use the mobile version of your website to index your pages – ahead of the ‘desktop’ version.

Sounds simple enough, but there are a number of things to consider if you have a separate mobile site or use design techniques to adapt your content for different devices. So let’s run through what mobile-first indexing means and whether you need to do anything about it.

Responsive sites will be fine

If you’ve already got a responsive website, then your mobile page and desktop pages are one and the same. So mobile-first indexing won’t really change much of anything. Google has been recommending responsive design for years as the way to go about mobile optimisation but it’s never given a direct advantage to these websites.

This could change once Google fully rolls out mobile-first indexing.

What about separate mobile sites?

If you have a separate mobile site, then things are a little more complex. Google says you should still be fine, even if you have separate mobile pages but there are some things to consider.

For example, if the mobile version of your site has less content on it than the desktop version, things could get messy. Google will be indexing the mobile page first (as the name suggests) in these cases, which means it could miss the content on your desktop pages altogether.

So.If you have a separate mobile website, make sure all the content you need indexed is on the mobile version, too.

How will this affect hidden or expandable content?

A common technique on mobile designs is to make content more navigable is to use expandable boxes, accordions or tabs. For desktop sites Google gives this hidden/expandable content less weighting but the search giant says this approach on mobile sites will be given the same weighting – as long as its for the sake of improving user experience.

What happens if I don’t have a mobile-optimised site?

If your site isn’t optimised for mobile users at all (where have you been for the last few years?), Google doesn’t want you to panic. In this case, its bots will simply go ahead and index the desktop version of your site as normal.

Google also wants to be clear that it doesn’t expect any major change in rankings to follow this change. While it can’t rule out any ranking drops upon rollout, Gary Illyes and Paul Haahr have both said they don’t want mobile-first indexing to impact the overall ranking of websites.

Of course, ‘mobile-friendly’ is already a ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm but mobile-first indexing shouldn’t bring any additional penalties for not being optimised.

When does mobile-first indexing roll out?

If all goes according to plan, mobile-first indexing should roll out over the next few months. Google is already testing the new setup with a select number of users and it’s fully committed to making the switch. If things run smoothly, it could even move rollout forward, but it hasn’t ruled out moving things back if they experience any teething problems.

So mobile-first indexing shouldn’t be anything to worry about for most website owners. The only real concern will be if you have separate desktop and mobile sites, with less content on the mobile version. Which reinforces Google’s recommendation of responsive design – something to keep in mind if you’re considering a mobile redesign in the near future.

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AdWords Price Extension Get a Makeover, Appear on Desktop Too

Google only rolled out price extensions back in July this year (2016) but its already shaking things up. Apparently, Google isn’t happy with how it implemented the extensions on mobile ads and now its giving them a completely new format.

Meanwhile, it also seems the search giant is testing the new version on desktop SERPs, raising yet more questions about the future of Google indexing and the way it shows ads to users.

Price extensions’ new look

If you’ve been using price extensions since July, then you’ll be used to seeing ads like this:

 

 

Don’t get too attached though, because a growing number of advertisers are seeing something very different from their ads using price extensions.

So, instead of the static table layout we first saw from price extensions, Google’s new format puts them in a swipeable cards layout. It certainly looks more like Google’s other mobile implementations and you have to say it stands out more than the old version too.

Hopefully, this means higher CTRs as a result (which is normally Google’s motive) but we’ll have to see how they perform over the coming months. Any jump in CTRs will come at the expense of other ads showing in the same set of results, of course – so keep an eye on your own data for ads using price extensions, but be aware of cases where you’ll be competing against them.

Google also testing price extensions on desktop?

Since advertisers first spotted the new price extensions format there’s been a new discovery: Google also appears to be testing them on desktop. Full credit goes to Conrad O’Connell from Serptests.com who spotted what looks like price extensions on Airbnb ads:

*Credit: Conrad O’Connell at Serptests.com

 

This is an interesting move from Google – one that could reinforce its push towards a mobile-first indexing. In this case, pages will be indexed on their mobile performance first but could this also mean mobile-designed ad extensions display on desktop by default as well?

This would cause some potential conflict between campaigns optimised for different devices but Google is clearly putting its emphasis on mobile first and everything else second. A simple enough solution would be to set mobile-first options as default but allow advertisers to specify for desktop when they need to.

Of course, this could just mean Google is considering price extensions for desktop as well as mobile, rather than any drastic shakeup to how it delivers ads across devices. But we already know the search giant is switching to mobile-first indexing and it makes sense that ad delivery will follow suit.

Either way, this doesn’t look like the end of the story on price extensions or other developments for Google SERPs – so stay tuned and keep an eye out for updates as we bring them to you.

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Shopify Stores Can Now Sell Products in Facebook Messenger

You may have noticed Facebook and Shopify are getting pretty cosy these days. The biggest name in social media wants to claim its place in eCommerce and it obviously thinks Shopify is the platform to use.

We’ve had Facebook Shopify pages for the last couple of years now and, more recently, the ability to connect directly with shoppers via Facebook Messenger. Things are getting interesting indeed, but Facebook isn’t done yet – because now you can sell products while talking to would-be consumers inside the Messenger app.

Facebook and Shopify: changing the way people buy products

Facebook is one of the leading names behind chatbot technology – automated messaging between brands and online consumers. So it’s fair to say the network sees the future of eCommerce taking place inside messaging apps. And it’s not the only one.

The days of people having to browse through websites and trawl through products categories care coming to an end.

The benefit for online brands is you get to connect with consumers on an individual basis, target them with personal messages and collect data on a more intimate level. Which is basically everything the modern retailer wants from consumers – aside from the actual purchase itself.

For the user, there’s a customised shopping experience that gradually learns what they need and like. Your own digital tailor knows your sizes, tastes and typical budget – all of which can refine the products you see.

Speed is also a key factor here and reducing barriers between viewing products and buying them.

Personalised messaging is finally here

We’ve been talking about the importance of personalised, targeted content in the marketing community for years already. The problem is we don’t really have the technology to pull it off yet. Things are changing fast, though, and Facebook is among the first to open up this kind of platform to online retailers.

With Facebook and Shopify, you can keep your customers updated on order and delivery statuses. These personal touches make a big difference on the customer service side of things and get you off to a good start with building brand loyalty.

This has been possibly on Shopify for more than a year, though. The difference now is that shoppers can now start the conversation with you – either opting for an automated shopping experience or sending you customised messages when they need a more specific answer.

It works both ways, too. You can send highly-focused, targeted messages – all based on what you know about individual consumers. You know what products these people are interested in and now you can reach out to them directly.

So Facebook’s relationship with Shopify is creating new ways for brands and consumers to interact. You don’t actually need Shopify user to bring these features to your online brand, of course. You can do this with Facebook Messenger or other chatbot providers, like KIK.

However, Shopify store owners get the key benefit of everything being fully set up and ready to use. A new kind of way to interact with consumers, target them individually and sell products is only a few clicks away.

If you want more info about Shopify and Facebook Messenger, you can find it here – or get in touch if you want to learn more about the future of chatbots in online retail.

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If you would like to talk more about it, please contact me whenever you would like at team@magnetizmo.com and I will do my very best to help.
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