19 Nov

Use GIFs to market your e-commerce store

The human eye is naturally trained to look towards things that move. This is why animated GIFs became so popular in the 90s, back when people were used to reading static stuff online.

GIFs have found their way into the online mainstream through ad banners, video screen captures, Tumblr pages and pretty much everywhere else. Although not all social networking sites have embraced GIFs as part of their features, the power of animated images to capture that attention of online onlookers cannot be denied.

If you are curious about GIFs and how they can help your online shop, here are some effective ways to use GIFs as part of your marketing campaign for your e-commerce store:

Social media marketing
Sure, Facebook’s acceptance of animated images is limited to its own private messaging stickers, but Twitter is now equipped with the ability to display animated GIFs. If you don’t have a Twitter account yet, I suggest you sign up for one today. Otherwise, you’re letting millions of potential customers that are circulating social networking sites looking for the next big thing slip away without even trying to get their attention.

Once you have your Twitter account up and ready, you can now upload a GIF. Try to create GIFs that showcase your products and services, or describe your company in a few slides.

Email marketing
Did you know that most email service websites can play animated GIFs? Make your email marketing messages stand out by using GIFs. However, you must be careful not to overdo it, otherwise your email subscribers might get a headache reading your messages. Use GIFs to convey messages faster, not to show off.

Mobile marketing
A lot of people are already using phones equipped with GIF-compatible features. You can now use GIFs for your next mobile campaign. It might be good to tell your mobile subscribers about your plans to send them images, because some mobile carriers may charge extra for receiving animated GIFs.

GIFs aren’t just for sending funny images anymore. Their ability to catch and hold people’s attention can be used to great effect. There are lots of free online services for creating GIFs. Find one today and start creating.

[Photo courtesy of Riccardo Cuppini on Flickr]
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06 Nov

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your E-Commerce Business

Today’s generation of online users usually turn to social media to find what they’re looking for. In many cases, social media has evolved from being avenues for self-expression to effective platforms to stage a marketing campaign.

If you own an online store, it’s understandable that you’re skeptical about the benefits of social media marketing. After all, maintaining a social media account – let alone four accounts at the same time – can be taxing for any business owner.
E-commerce company Shopify looked into which social media platforms could best benefit any online seller in terms of customer exposure and actual sales. Here are some of the important discoveries revealed in a study conducted by Shopify early this year:

Facebook is still king

Facebook rises over other social networking sites in terms of traffic and sales. According to Shopify, almost two-thirds of all social media referrals to their users’ stores come from Facebook. In addition to this, a huge majority of orders linked to social networking sites were also from the social media giant. On top of all these, Facebook posted the highest click-to-sale conversion rate from social media.

Reddit showed the highest growth in orders

It may not look like a good bet for your next social media campaign, but check this out: Based on 2013 records, Reddit tops the list in terms of orders growth at 152%, beating out Facebook’s 129% and Pinterest’s 79%.

Polyvore wins highest average order value

Poly—what? While this community-driven social website does not belong to the top echelons of social media traffic, Polyvore makes up for lack of name recognition by providing the best bang for your buck. The Shopify study notes that orders from Polyvore had the highest average value at $66.75 per order, besting Instagram at $65 and Pinterest at $58.95.

Other social networking sites perform best in niche industries

If you are a seller of antiques and collectibles, the study says that you might be better off using Pinterest as your main medium of online marketing. Here are social media sites that posted the highest number of orders in other industries:

  • Twitter:
    • gifts and specialty,
    • home and office furnishings,
    • home and garden
  • Pinterest:
    • antiques and collectibles,
    • services,
    • books and magazines,
    • IT or computing
  • YouTube:
    • digital products,
    • merchandise,
    • services,
    • automotive

Regardless of which platform you use, you still need a comprehensive plan to follow to turn those social media friends into actual customers. Choose your platforms well!

[Photo courtesy of Jason A. Howie on Flickr]
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