After the covid outbreak shook the globe, many brands were fearful about how the outbreak would affect eCommerce. However, eCommerce has actually come on leaps and bounds during the initial two months of worldwide lockdown, and has grown as much in 8 weeks as it has in the past decade.
As consumer behaviour is forced to shift online, there have been many positive introductions for online retailers as the likes of Facebook, Google and Shopify roll out new features to support businesses. In this blog we’ll take a look at five of these new products, and the effect they could have for online sellers during and beyond covid.
1. Google launches free product listings
Google recently announced that they’d be rolling out free product listings for all sellers, which would be displayed alongside paid listings within the Shopping tab. The free listings allow retailers – some of which may not have the budgets required to make use of Google Ads – to appear alongside larger sellers in the Shopping tab. It’s a great boost for smaller merchants, and should be a handy feature for larger sellers to utilise alongside their current Google Ads set up.
DMT’s PPC Manager Lauren said: “This is a great opportunity for all retailers, whether you are currently running ads on Google or not. The opportunity here is additional (and free) traffic to your website – for relevant terms – at the exact moment somebody is searching for a product that you offer. We would 100% recommend the use of this feature and continuing to run Shopping Ads alongside to get you into those premium positions.”
2. Facebook partners with Shopify to launch Facebook Shops
In a handful of new eCommerce-related updated, Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook Shops – a new version of an existing Facebook feature with a similar name, which will let retailers upload product catalogues to their Facebook page or Instagram profile. Users can find these Shops directly from the retailer’s page, or by clicking on an ad that will redirect them to a Shop inside Facebook instead of the retailer’s own website.
These Shops will eventually become accessible across the Facebook family, including Messenger and WhatsApp, giving retailers a way to reach Facebook’s near 3 billion users with just one product catalog – which can be imported directly from Shopify making it super easy for sellers. Clever stuff.
Zuckerberg himself has been hugely involved with the new feature – usually a sign that it’s around for the long-haul – and Facebook stock rose more than 3% after the news, adding to gains from earlier in the day.
3. Amazon debuts digital storefront for fashion designers
In partnership with Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Amazon is launching a digital storefront where shoppers can purchase luxury goods from independent designers.
Common Threads: Vogue x Amazon Fashion is aimed at providing relief to high-end designers who have suffered from the cancellations of Fashion Weeks on a global scale. While some consumers may be thrilled by the easy access to luxury goods, others may be skeptical about purchasing high-ticket items on Amazon which, admittedly, is a bit of a bargain basement of the internet.
4. Google launches ‘Rising Retail Categories’ tool
The handy new Rising Retail Categories tool allows businesses to identify fast-growing product categories in Google Search, the geographical locations they’re growing in, and the queries associated with them.
These daily updates will be a huge boost for businesses trying to stay informed, as well as eagle-eyed agencies looking for new industries to target 👀
The insights can be used to better inform content creation, promotions, or even product ideas. For example, a current trending product is kayaks, so a sporting goods retailer may wish to promote kayaks on their homepage or run a promotion on these types of products. Creating content surrounding trending items and sharing it down to socials can also help increase traffic and potentially search ranking.
5. Shopify launches free email tool
Shopify recently announced the global launch of Shopify Email, a new marketing tool to make email marketing easier and more accessible for businesses new to digital marketing. What’s more, in light of covid, Shopify is making the tool free of charge until October 1, 2020.
Email marketing allows sellers to further connect with their shoppers. Shopify Email makes communicating with shoppers more efficient and convenient with pre-made templates that pull products and offers directly from a seller’s store. It’s a huge boost for businesses who currently have stretched or skeleton marketing teams.
As you can see, there’s plenty to be excited about right now in the world of eCommerce. Its growth is only going to be accelerated by the covid outbreak, and it’s time retailers turned towards their efforts to adapt to the ‘new normal’.