Results for 'social commerce'

Which Social Media Platforms Drive the Most Sales? [Infographic]

Business owners often wonder about the "ROI of social media". Is my Facebook page actually driving sales? Is…

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Business owners often wonder about the "ROI of social media". Is my Facebook page actually driving sales? Is all this tweeting really doing anything for my bottom line? Should I be on Pinterest and Instagram?

Well it turns out, when it comes to ecommerce, being social matters.

To better understand how social media is impacting the ecommerce industry, we analyzed data from 37 million social media visits that led to 529,000 orders.

Here's some interesting data points we uncovered:

  • Facebook dominates as a source of social traffic and sales. Nearly two thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores come from Facebook. Plus, an average of 85% of all orders from social media come from Facebook.
  • Orders from Reddit increased 152% in 2013.
  • Perhaps most interesting and surprising was community style site Polyvore which is generating the highest average order value ahead of Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Also noteworthly in this category is Instagram which is also generating higher average orders than those same sites. This is especially impressive considering the only clickable links in Instagram are those in profile bio's.
  • Facebook has the highest conversion rate for all social media ecommerce traffic at 1.85%

In addition to these stats, we've also analyzed specific industries to determine which platforms are performing well for them. You can check out all of our findings in the infographic below. Please click on the image to view it in full-screen. 


About the Author: Mark Macdonald is the Content Manager at Shopify. Get more from Mark on Twitter.

Using Social Media to Promote Your Online Store

Using Social Media to Promote Your Online Store The social media revolution has made it possible for business…

The social media revolution has made it possible for business of all sizes to reach an infinitely expanding audience. With the right integration tools, it’s simple and easy to automate your social media activities directly with an ecommerce storefront and eliminate the intimidating time commitment that can accompany the move to a social marketing program.

Below are a couple of great examples about how to use social media to promote your business.

What’s in it for you?

Connecting social media with your ecommerce presence allows even the smallest shop to tap into an enormous—and still growing—potential customer base. With more than 400+ million users on Facebook alone, this single network now boasts more traffic per week than Google in the U.S. The real value in Facebook and other social networks is in their exponentially powerful word of mouth marketing. Believe it or not, 75% of consumers trust peer recommendations of products and services, while less than 15% trust paid advertising. This means you can have a much more honest dialogue with your customers through social media.

Direct Product Marketing

The easiest way to get started in with social media integration for your e- commerce business is with direct promotion of products, services, special offers and events distributed through a Facebook Fan Page or Twitter. By sharing news about new products, special offers for Facebook or Twitter followers and even exclusive events, you can build a loyal and engaged following that will want to share their “secret” find with their friends. Contests, giveaways and special promotions designed to encourage fans to spread the message can help to grow your network and customer base. For example, create a contest whereby the 100th follower to Re-Tweet your “deal of the day” receives a special discount or gift certificate. Charmandchain.com, an online jewelry boutique that uses Shopify for their online store, has incorporated word-of- mouth marketing into their Facebook page by offering an incentive for the customer to tell friends about the store. By inviting 20 friends to become a fan on Facebook, follow on Twitter and join the mailing list, the customer is entered into a sweepstakes to win a $300 gift certificate. The message about Charm and Chain is spread exponentially.

Brand Building with Indirect Marketing

Besides direct promotion of products and services, social media provides an easy and effective way to build brand leadership and trust among your customers and fans. Blogs are an excellent way to weave a bit more of your shop’s personality and expertise into the sales conversation without a direct sales push. Blogging about new products and events is important but by also sharing your knowledge, tips and thoughts on industry news, product trends and other “big picture” aspects of the business, customers will be more inclined to turn to you for their purchases based on this established trust factor. Active participation in community forums is another powerful way to maintain engagement with customers beyond the sales transaction. Answering questions, providing feedback and serving as an information resource in your own or other public forums positions you as an expert in your industry, someone your customers can trust and a company they can turn to in order to meet their needs. Finally, don’t forget to integrate these efforts with Facebook and Twitter. By sharing a link to a new blog post over Facebook or Twitter, for example, you can reach your audience in multiple ways thereby making it easier to keep up to date on your news.

Integration Tools Make it Easy

While integrating social media with your ecommerce presence may be free, it may still come at a price: your valuable time. Maintaining multiple online presences, pages and feeds can be extremely time consuming. Fortunately, with the right ecommerce platform, you can easily integrate—and automate—these efforts to save time. First, build a Twitter applet, Facebook “Like” button and a blog feed directly into your storefront to make customers aware of your social presence and make it easy for them to find you. Second, choose an ecommerce platform provider with social media integration tools that automate the distribution process. This way, when you add a new product, launch a promotion, post a new blog article or have any other bit of news to share, the message is distributed instantly and automatically across all the social networks you’ve established. With just a single point of contact to spread the message across multiple platforms, you can dramatically reduce the amount of time you invest in social media management to improve efficiency without sacrificing valuable customer engagement. While it may seem overwhelming to step into the social media fray, the opportunity for growth by leveraging this evolving medium simply cannot be ignored. With easy-to-use integration tools at your disposal, building a social media presence can not only easily generate an impressive return on investment, but it can also be a fun and energizing way to interact with your customers and learn more about what makes them tick—which can pay further dividends long down the road.

Here are a few free apps to use with your online store. Give them a shot and see what they could do for you.

BeeShopy
Check out BeeShopy, which lets you publish your online store directly to Facebook and lets customers and fans buy without leaving your fan page.

Tweetify
With Tweetify you can market your products directly on Twitter.

Socialify
Use Socialify to publish products and promotions directly on your Facebook page. Your fans will have it in their news feed as well.

A Guide to Generating Buzz for Your E-Commerce Site

A Guide to Generating Buzz for Your E-Commerce Site In this weeks podcast, the experts from The Joy…

This is the third podcast in a series of three.

In this weeks podcast, the experts from The Joy of Marketing show you how to generate some buzz around your online store.

Download the MP3 here.


Tips & Tricks

After watching the third podcast, follow these handy tips and tricks:

  1. Think SEO. Go to Alexa and set up a free toolbar to manage your SEO program. SEOmoz offers some deeper SEO specific content and tools that will allow you to dig deeper into you and your competitors sites.

Reach out to 5 bloggers or podcasters who resonate with you. A lot of PR people are on Twitter (and all social media outlets), so start engaging with key industry people in social media so they become aware of your brand. If you are having trouble finding and connecting with key industry figures try experimenting with a paid LinkedIn account.

**Also, check out our ultimate guide on how to PR like a pro

4 Principles of Social Proof Every Ecommerce Store Owner Needs to Know

Social proof, one of Cialdini's famous six pillars of influence, has become a very important part of selling…

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This is guest post by Gregory Ciotti from Help Scout.

Social proof, one of Cialdini's famous six pillars of influence, has become a very important part of selling given the open nature of the web.

More and more often, we look to the opinions of others and additional "signals" to evaluate our potential purchases. Perhaps this is best expressed in the rise of the online review:

  • Over 70% of Americans say they look at product reviews before making a purchase.
  • Nearly 63% of consumers indicate they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.

But social proof isn't as simple as slapping up a 5-star rating system on your website.

There are a few principles for social proof that marketers and entrepreneurs should never forget, and today we'll go over how they can impact your sales.

The Influence Mix of Online Reviews

Despite the growing importance of online reviews, they aren't treated equally across all industries.

According to findings published on the Harvard Business Review, there is an influence mix that applies across product categories, on a sliding 'PMO' scale:

  • P: a consumer's prior preferences, beliefs, and experiences (ex: buying a particular brand of milk over and over)
  • M: the value of information from marketers (ex: you bought a GoPro camera thanks to a compelling marketing campaign)
  • O: the importance of other people's opinions (here are where online reviews matter)

Some products are more dependent on P than O. For instance, you aren't likely to check out reviews before you buy a certain brand of orange juice, you're just going to go off of your prior preferences.

As the author's would put it:

"The greater the reliance on one source, the lower the need for the others. If the impact of O on a purchase decision about a food processor goes up, the influence of M or P, or both, goes down."

Click here to view a larger version of the above image.

Ecommerce store owners need to have a general sense of where their products fall on this scale before they proceed with reviews and ratings.

Let's take luxury clothing - I'm a customer of Viberg Boot, and I can tell you that I don't give a damn about ratings before I make a purchase.

Why? Viberg is a company that bases its entire brand strategy around the quality materials and handmade nature of their footwear. The issue of quality is a non-issue given their reputation, so adding reviews would really be a distraction.

Rather than stars, I'd like to see a personal account of ownership. Maybe a customer interview with someone who's owned the boots for over 10 years. That would fit with what Viberg was selling.

Conversely, in an industry like electronics, where there is very little brand loyalty, reviews would be an important part of the buying experience - I don't know how this or that printer performs, and I'm not buying off of previous experience, I just want to know what others think.

So before you throw up ratings, social widgets, or testimonials, think about what your prospective customers actually care about when it comes to social proof.

Get it While It's Hot

One important way that social proof is used is in convincing people that items are moving fast.

In some sense, it's the most authentic and effective form of urgency that entrepreneurs can us.

Have you ever wondered why some ecommerce stores keep up listings for items that are sold out? If they aren't available for sale, why not just remove them?

In certain instances, like for Stalward's limited number of handmade ties, the "Sold Out" sign serves as a subtle push for prospective customers to jump on a style they've had their eye on - because it's apparent that other items are selling fast.

Site's like ScoreBig show recent purchases on the sidelines (pun intended), reassuring customers that people are buying, and reminding them that the tickets available won't last forever.

GetElastic covered a great example of implementing a live version of this into ecommerce category pages:

Backcountry has built a unique feature into its category pages – “Bubblelicious.” Shoppers can see instant updates when an item has been added to cart or purchased.

Similar to Amazon's famous "Only 2 left" red text, with an added kick of letting customers watch it happen live.

Certainly an effective way to get those on the fence post to make a move, so be sure to investigate how you can use social proof to reassure and nudge customers towards not waiting on a purchase they've had their eye on.

Put a Face to the Name

Talk to any business owner about "appearing trustworthy" and they take it as a personal attack. Trustworthy people assume the world knows that they are trustworthy.

But the truth is that just because you are telling the truth doesn’t mean customers are going to believe you.

The same applies to "too good to be true" social proof.

One way to add legitimacy to the praise your receive is to put a face to the kind words you've received, where applicable.

Research on "truthiness" revealed that adding images (even nonsensical images) increased perceived trustworthiness among all participants. Additional research has shown that putting a face to the name can increase empathy between strangers.

Obviously, there are certain instances where this tactic is best suited.

ModCloth offers an incredible example through their Style Gallery section, which shows real customers in outfits they've assembled:

Sites like Fab will take a simpler approach by simply putting photos for any praise that they'll use. On many pages, they'll add a buyer or designer's comments on a certain selection or collection, which is a great way to increase consumer trust.

This really applies to business of all kinds, as it takes very minimal effort to get permission to use a photo, and the benefits of seeing a friendly face next to kind words are certainly worth the effort.

Lots of people ask me questions regarding how to get images, but it's often as easy as a simple email. If you've ever had a happy customer contact you, send a simple follow-up message stating, "Hey ____, we appreciated your kind words so much that we'd love to feature a quote from you on our site! Would we have permission to share your statements along with a small photo of you?"

Most customers will be happy to oblige.

No Proof is Better than Low Proof

As P.T. Barnum was known for saying:

"Nothing draws a crowd quite like a crowd."

It's important to remember that the lack of the crowd can often have an inverse effect. In other words, having low signs of social proof can be even worse than not listing social proof at all.

This is especially apparent through the superfluous use of social media buttons.

The folks at Visual Website Optimizer recently published a case study involving these now ubiquitous distractions on an ecommerce purchase page.

Taloon.com, after removing their Twitter and Facebook buttons, found a 11.9% higher "add to cart" conversion rate with a 95% statistical confidence.

These findings have been replicated elsewhere, and it's been argued by Rand Fishkin of Moz that no proof > low proof due to how stagnant social signals can be misinterpreted:

  • Your product or brand may appear untrustworthy.
  • Your business may appear to be too new, and might scare away risk averse customers.
  • Your product pages now look unpopular thanks to a silly Facebook button; is this just because people don't often share product pages, or because your product sucks? Customers won't know.

This creates a very easy choice for you — if you're going to use social proof on certain pages, it either has to be "hell yeah!" or no, meaning it should either wow customers or shouldn't exist at all.


About the Author: Gregory Ciotti is the marketing strategist at Help Scout, the invisible email support software that's perfect for ecommerce store owners who don't want to deal with help desk headaches. Find out why your business will love Help Scout by clicking here.

Spare Change, 04/01/08 edition

Welcome to the latest version of Spare Change, the rebranded “ecommerce roundup”. As usual, here’s where I bring…

Welcome to the latest version of Spare Change, the rebranded “ecommerce roundup”. As usual, here’s where I bring you all the latest interesting ecommerce news on the vast Web.

Tech News World has posted an article on E-Marketing: Cashing In on MeCommerce. They see “a mashup between ecommerce and social networks as the Holy Grail for members, advertisers and social networks.

“The demographics of the social networks are changing; the relationships between the members are changing; and thus, the applications from the developer communities on social networks are changing. New breeds of social networking widgets are giving social network members the opportunity to instantly participate in ecommerce without the headaches of back-end fulfillment such as payment processing, fulfillment and customer service. People naturally seek out products and make buying decisions based on recommendations from their friends, not necessarily from third-party banner ads and advertising placements. The ability to create a fully ecommerce-enabled site for total transaction management, all without any involvement from the user’s perspective, is a new way to conduct ecommerce. It’s more like MeCommerce, from me to you, with a plethora of vendors’ products to recommend on your social networking profile.” Read the rest at Tech News World.

Credit Crunch is a Boost for ecommerce, according to Simon Crisp, director of Shopsafe.co.uk, who notes that consumers are “increasingly searching for bargains online in a climate of restrictive lending conditions.” Consumers are “looking to squeeze every penny out of their budget”, and ecommerce vendors are responding with discount codes and vouchers “that cut prices by ten or 15 per cent, he explains, noting the importance of such strategies as funding conditions grow increasingly stringent.”

HeroTurko.net has come up with a list of "20 of the best ecommerce websites". They list their picks for “well designed, standards-compliant Ecommerce stores. These are a tricky site to get right and design can give way to conversions, which is after all, the reason they are there – to make money.” What do you think of their picks?

Finally, ecommerce guide has published a very valuable guide for this time of year: a Guide to Making Online Sales Tax Compliance Less Taxing. For those of you in the USA, this may be an exceptionally useful – and well timed – article.

Got any recommendations for Spare Change? Email me at shannon at jadedpixel dot com!

How Using The 'F' Word Can Increase Sales and Make You Money

 **This is a Guest Post** The ‘F’ Word By Michael Katz The ‘F’ word is spreading in popularity. …

 **This is a Guest Post**

The ‘F’ Word
By Michael Katz

The ‘F’ word is spreading in popularity.  It’s being shared, liked, commented on, and interacted with, millions of times a day all around the world.  The ‘F’ word is an accepted part of society.  Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past five years you’ll know that ‘F’ stands for Facebook.  But now everyone is also beginning to understand the meaning and implications of F-Commerce. 

F-Commerce, also known as Social Commerce, is a growing business for retailers, service providers, record companies, ticket agencies and anyone who wants to reach and engage with the 700 million users of Facebook.  In fact, if Facebook was a country it would be the third most populated country in the world, with more than double the population of the United States of America.  So, if you run a business, wouldn’t you want to extend your professional reach to 700 million potential customers?

In theory, reaching a vast target audience within their ‘comfort zone’ and placing products in front of them has immense potential to increase sales.  But commerce on Facebook is so much more than going in for the sale.  It’s now about customer interaction.  Problems can be solved, customers can be assisted, products can be reviewed, brands can communicate to potential customers and finally, and most important, customers can communicate to brands.  The process of customer engagement has changed and the focus has shifted from direct selling to loyalty building.  Brands can now engage directly with loyal ‘fans’ and reward them accordingly.

Brands who use 3rd party deal sites have reportedly seen a very low conversion from bargain hunter to long term brand customer.  Now, utilizing the power of their own brand and as a tool for reward instead of pure incentive driven promotion, brands are able to run group offers and flash sales directly from their own Shopify store within their own Facebook fan page.  Utilizing social interaction functions such as like or share, offers and products are spread virally by real people in place of subscription based emails, which often have high bounce rates.

Media coverage of F-Commerce has also increased.  Six months ago, there would be an occasional mention of Brand X opening a store on Facebook.  Now, pretty much every day, there are releases detailing stores which have opened for business within Facebook.  Even the number of media channels has increased to write and update the world on the advancement of F-Commerce.

With the holiday season approaching fast, now would be the ideal time to setup your storefront on Facebook and claim your online social real estate.

_________________________________

Michael Katz is the VP of Business Development at Zibaba. Using Zibaba's Facebook Store App for Shopify gives you the opportunity to recreate your Shopify store on Facebook and compliment your current offering. Zibaba offers a 14 day free trial to all Shopify store owners, so you have a no risk solution to test drive your store on Facebook. If you're interested, go to the Shopify App Store and watch a 3-minute step-by-step video on how to set it up.

Online Marketing Series Wrap Up

Online Marketing Series Wrap Up We had our last episode of the Online Marketing Series with the experts from The Joy…

Yesterday, we had our last episode of the Online Marketing Series with the experts from The Joy of Marketing where Sarah and Erin answered your marketing questions during the Q&A teleconference. If you missed the live call, don’t worry, you can get it here.

Many of you asked questions about SEO. Sarah and Erin wrote two SEO Workbooks that have step by step instructions on how build and implement a strategy. 

Thousands of you have watched each episode, hundreds joined our live Q&A and many sent questions. We want to thank Sarah and Erin for participating and all of you for making it a great success!

In case you missed it (or want to refer back), here are the three episodes:

How to Use Polyvore to Drive Traffic and Sales for Your Online Store

If you thought you had all your social commerce bases covered, you might be in for a surprise.…

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If you thought you had all your social commerce bases covered, you might be in for a surprise.

Launched in 2007, Polyvore has gradually emerged as one of the most effective social platforms for ecommerce sites to drive high-value traffic and sales from.

Focusing on fashion and home décor, the community powered social network allows you to create collections and collages called “sets”. These sets can be made up of products from online stores around the web – including your own.

Products can be mixed and matched using Polyvore's visual set creation tool to create elaborate or simple designs, with each product presenting pricing, details and origin when hovered over.

The aim for fashion lovers and shoppers is to find new styles and trends in action from different brands across the world, and perhaps discover a bargain or two in the process.

Polyvore's numbers are also worth noting. The platform is home to over 80 million shoppable products, with users creating 4 million new sets every month. 

In other words, it's an engaged community of curators and shoppers and source of traffic and sales you can no longer afford to ignore. 

The Polyvore Factor

Alongside social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Polyvore is becoming something of a social commerce powerhouse in its own right – particularly when it comes to order values.

Polyvore recently raised a few eyebrows in our social commerce infographic, which uncovered which social media platforms drive the most sales.

With an impressive average order value of $66.75, Polyvore trumped every other social platform in the study, including Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Despite all of those networks being supremely popular, it seems that none of them quite have the Polyvore factor.

So, with Polyvore proving its value (quite literally) over its social networking rivals, ecommerce merchants everywhere owe it to themselves to pay it some more attention.

Getting Started with Polyvore

If your store isn't already represented on Polyvore, your first step towards more social commerce success is to become a member and then cover the basics.

Signing up

Thankfully, this part is a piece of cake.

To sign up, simply head over to the Polyvore homepage, and select your sign up preference. You can sign up via Facebook, Twitter or an email address if you like to keep things separate.

The sign up process also gives you the option to change your username and find friends on Polyvore via Facebook and Twitter.

Branding

Just like on any other social network, Polyvore can be used by your brand as a direct marketing arm.

Polyvore gives you the option to display your brand logo as an avatar, and also enables you to include a link to your store from your profile page.

Both of these options, along with other settings, can be found by clicking the “Edit Profile” button your Polyvore profile page.

Adding your Products

In order to start showcasing your wares, you'll need to add your products to your Polyvore profile.

To do this, a simple browser bookmark called “Clipper” needs to be installed.

The bookmark can be installed via the Polyvore Clipper page, by simply dragging and dropping the link provided on to your browser toolbar.

After installing Clipper to your toolbar, you're all ready to start adding products from your store.

Simply head over to one of your product pages, and click the Clipper toolbar button – similar to how you would pin something to Pinterest.

Polyvore then does the hard work automatically, by presenting you with a window which houses all the product images found on your product page, along with the product name and price.

All you need to do is select the images you want, add some tags, and then hit “Like”. The product in question will then be saved to your profile, ready to be seen by shoppers and used in sets.

Creating Sets

Here's where you can exercise some creativity.

Sets are collages which you can create within the Polyvore platform. You can use products from your store, products from other users, products you find around the Internet, or even a mixture of all three.

By clicking the “Create” button on the Polyvore menu, you can get straight into the surprisingly fun visual editor.

Using the editor, you can drag-and-drop default images, products from around Polyvore and most importantly, your very own imported products.

Images can be resized, rotated, magnified and more, enabling you to seriously flex your creative muscles in order to present your products beautifully.

The end is a collage which can represent living spaces, mixed and matched digital displays, and far more.

Users who come across your set can then hover over items within the collage which catch their eye, leading them right back to your store.

How to Use Polyvore to Drive Sales

According to our social commerce infographic, on top of having an exceedingly high average order value, Polyvore also boasts a conversion rate of 0.58%, which is a shade better than Pinterest, LinkedIn and Reddit.

So, once you've got your brand set up on Polyvore, it's time to start driving those sales. Here's how to do it.

Get Creative With Sets

Your sets can be as imaginative or as bland as you want them to be. Many brands on Polyvore opt for the cliché product image, with their item floating on a white background.

That kind of presentation is expected by shoppers when they visit your website – but not when they visit your Polyvore account.

Instead, try incorporating some additional items, products and maybe even some text in order to spruce up your sets. Give your products some context, and don't be afraid to show a little spontaneity.

Fashion accessory vendors MonaMoore present a good example of a well crafted Polyvore set.

Their “Haider Stole My Heart” set is made up of a number of different products, "props" and even some text. It's busy and interesting, but not complicated.

Start Sharing

There are some extensive sharing options built in to the Polyvore platform which you should take advantage of.

On top of standard sharing buttons for networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, Polyvore allows you to embed sets directly into your blog or website.

By clicking the “Blog” share button found above all Polyvore sets, you can choose from four different embeddable layouts and the products you wish to share.

The embed code found within the same window is automatically adjusted depending on your selections, and the final step is as simple as copying and pasting that code into your website.

A good example of intelligently embedded sets can be found on The Glitter Guide, a fashion blog that consistently embeds Polyvore sets into their posts very effectively.

Participate in Groups

Polyvore gives you the option to search, set up and join different groups.

With over 21,000 of groups, your brand is bound to fit into a few. You can apply to join as many groups as you like, and with each acceptance, you should make a point of engaging with existing content and members in order to draw attention back to what your store has to offer.

PersunMall for example run and participate in a number of Polyvore groups. Their “Charming Sets for PersunMall” group rolls engagement and promotion into one, as they invite members to create sets using the PersunMall logo.

Run Polyvore Contests & Giveaways

Once you hit 30 followers on Polyvore, you can begin creating your very own groups. Once you have a group running, you can then use it to run contests for your members.

Last year, ZeroUV ran a Polyvore contest to kick off the start of the school year, inviting participants to create their ideal outfit for their first class of the semester.

The Usual Social Etiquette Still Applies

In many ways, Polyvore is just like any other social networking platform. That means that the usual social media etiquette and marketing strategies apply.

This includes following and engaging with other Polyvore users by liking and commenting on their sets and collections, as well as responding politely to any comments you may receive on your own profile.

In other words, don't just throw your products up and expect a response. The Polyvore community is expansive and evidently ready to spend – all you need to do is put the effort in.

Do you currently market your business on Polyvore? Let us know in the comments. 

P.S. To be featured in Shopify's Polyvore sets and collections, follow us on Polyvore here.


About the Author: Mark Macdonald is the Content Manager at Shopify. Get more from Mark on Twitter and Google+.

Ecommerce Roundup, Feb. 28

Here’s this week’s dose of “I’ve posted the best and not the rest” for you… The "2007 Ecommerce…

Here’s this week’s dose of “I’ve posted the best and not the rest” for you…

The "2007 Ecommerce Success Report" is available at RetailSolutionsOnline.com. The report, compiled by MarketLive.com , details the ecommerce sales over the 2007 Holiday season, what the trends and gains were, as well as the strategies that drove the results. There are some very interesting numbers in here, such as the comparison between early holiday and peak holiday conversions (a 66% increase) and a 27% increase in year over year revenue. Take a look and see if there is any information you can apply to your stores for next year.

Over on the Get Elastic blog you’ll find an educational article on SEO. It touches on the SEO Shenanigans a threat to Social Media debate, as well as providing great ideas for good search engine optimization that you can apply to your site.

ZenTrend’s has come up with a very innovative approach that combines ecommerce and customer driven content. Their iStyler allows customers to view potential future fashion offerings from their store and vote on whether they love it or hate it. As described by openPR.com , the customer then gets a direct say in whether or not a piece makes it to the virtual shelf – thus prompting return traffic as well as providing real feedback in what is sometimes a hit-and-miss decision for fashion buyers. Not to mention it is completely addictive.

There’s a fun podcast over at Startup Nation, where they interview Kevin Harmon from InflatableMadness.com on various approaches to ecommerce, including finding the best outlet for your products!

And finally…

Happy Birthday to you
Happy birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Ecommerce!
Happy Birthday to you!

Read the story of how the first ecommerce transaction took place on March 4, 1983 – with a 300 BPS modem and phone line, no less!

How to Sell on Facebook

It's easy for Shopify stores to sell their products on Facebook.  Install any one of the apps below…

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It's easy for Shopify stores to sell their products on Facebook
Install any one of the apps below to add a "Shop" tab to your ecommerce store's Facebook page. Your products will be automatically imported and customers will be able to browse and purchase items directly on Facebook. 
You'll have your Facebook storefront up and running within minutes. The apps run on auto-pilot in the background and automatically sync with your ecommerce store's pricing and stock availability.
Each one of these apps will give your Facebook storefront a different look and feel, so check out the example stores that I link to below. You can read more about their pricing and features by checking out their detailed pages in the Shopify App Store.
 

Beetailer

Free - $300 / Month

Beetailer’s Free Plan lets you sell up to 10 products and run 2 promotions per month. Their most popular plan, Professional, is $50/mo and gives you up to 500 products, along with a full arsenal of promotion, analytics, and reporting tools. Beetailer’s new detailed statistics function gives you detailed historical information about your visitors preferences and behavior. They also have real-time analytics that allow you to find out which campaigns are working and why. You can use their free templates or they’ll clone your Shopify store’s look and feel for $199. Beetailer is well known for their gorgeous Facebook storefronts. Beetailer has recently upgraded its interface for Facebook Timeline, and implemented Pinterest like styling. Shopify store Violent Lips is using their new "Pinterest Style" Facebook store, and you can check it out here.

Grey Bird is a Shopify store that uses Beetailer to sell products on Facebook. Check out their Facebook store here.


Fliptabify

Free - $11.99 / Month

Flibtabify offers a popular Free Plan that is designed for users that want to quickly get their Shopify store on Facebook. The free plan gives you unlimited products, and makes certain decisions on your behalf to make things easier. You can upgrade to their Power Plan for $11.99/mo that will give you the option to “fan-gate”, allow you to choose which collections to show (including hidden collections), it will let you set the default collection to show on your Facebook store, and let you select the number of products to display per page. 

Ewin Dry Goods is a Shopify store that uses Fliptabify to sell products on Facebook. Check out their Facebook store here


Wishpond Social Store

Free - $19/ Month

Wishpond’s Free Plan supports up to 20 products. Their most popular plan, Basic, is $9/mo and gives you up to 5,000 products, and comes with basic updating, engagement, and analytics features. Upgrade to a Pro Plan and you’ll get live pricing and stock updates, ‘fan-gating’ functionality, and advanced analytics. If you want to run full fledged social marketing campaigns they have a new app called Wishpond Social Offers that gives you powerful promotional tools. 

Satchel & Page is a Shopify store that uses Wishpond to sell products on Facebook. Check out their Facebook store here


Zibaba

14 Day Free Trial, $19.99 - $49.99/ Month

Zibaba offers you 14 days to try their service for free, then you can choose between three plans. They offer a special plan just for Shopify store owners called Professional, which is $19.99/mo and comes with unlimited items. Zibaba puts focus on the social aspect of your Facebook store and lets customers like, share, ask advice, and comment on every product in your catalog. You can also promote your store using daily deals, flash sales, coupons and more. Facebook's advertising API is integrated with Zibaba so that you can easily manage Facebook ad campaigns from your own shop manager.

Union of Angels by Cindy Bapst is a Shopify store that uses Zibaba to sell products on Facebook. Check out their Facebook store here. Shopify store Japan Sousinon also uses Zibaba, and you can check out their Facebook store here.


Storefront Social

14 Day Free Tral, $19 - $39 / Month

Storefront Social offers a 14 day free trial, then you have various pricing options to choose from. They offer two special plans at a discounted rate to Shopify store owners, sign up for their Platinum Plan for $19.95/mo, which comes with international storefronts, ‘fan-gating,’ and 500 products. You can also choose their Enterprise Plan (usually $129/mo) for only $39.95/mo, which gives you all the bells and whistles and up to 1,000 products. All their packages include a custom header, over 7 templates to choose from, and product search.

Muchacho Clothing is a Shopify store that uses Storefront Social to sell products on Facebook. Check out their Facebook store here.


StoreYa

30 Day Free Tral, $9.99 - $79.99 / Month

StoreYa gives all Shopify store owners a generous 30 day free trial. Their entry level plan, Economy, is $9.99/mo and gives you up to 500 products, good customization, social features, and will sych to your Shopify store twice a month. Their most popular plan, First Class, is $29.99/mo and gives you 5,000 products, and comes with total HTML & CSS control, full customer service, and twice a week + on demand product synch.

StoreYa is brand new to the Shopify App Store! Check out their free trial and let us know what you think of their product and service.

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