Facebook launches Shops to bring more businesses online during the pandemic Overall rating: ★★★★★ 5 based on 23 reviews
5 1

BlogSimplio Labs Blog

“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.”

Albert Einstein

Facebook launches Shops to bring more businesses online during the pandemic

Business Advice, E-Commerce, Social Media No Comment

Facebook is making a major new push into e-commerce. The company today announced the launch of Shops, a way for businesses to set up free storefronts on Facebook and Instagram. The shops, which will be powered by third-party services, including Shopify, BigCommerce, and Woo, are designed to turn the social network into a top-tier shopping destination.

In a live stream, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said expanded e-commerce would be important to begin rebuilding the economy while the pandemic continues. “If you can’t physically open your store or restaurant, you can still take orders online and ship them to people,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of small businesses that never had online businesses get online for the first time.”

The launch of Shops comes as stay-at-home orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to record sales for e-commerce companies. The pandemic has also been devastating for small businesses, with a third of them reporting that they have stopped operating in a survey conducted by Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable. An additional 11 percent say they could fail within the next three months if the current situation continues.

But online sales have been a bright spot for small businesses. At Etsy, where solo entrepreneurs have leaned hard into knitting fabric face masks and baking pastries for sale, revenue has doubled from three years ago. Facebook is betting that bringing more local businesses online will help them to endure while also creating big new business opportunities for Facebook itself.

While Shops are free to create, they could create significant new business opportunities for Facebook in advertising, payments, and other services. Businesses will be able to buy ads for their Shops, and when people use Facebook’s checkout option, it charges them a fee.

Zuckerberg said Shops will improve on the standard web commerce experience by storing users’ payment credentials in a single place that they can then use on any Facebook or Instagram storefront. There are currently more than 160 million small businesses using the company’s apps.

Shops can be found on businesses’ Facebook pages and Instagram profiles, and they can also appear in stories or be promoted in ads. Items that businesses have made available for purchase will appear within the shop, and users can either save items or place an order. (Some businesses enable users to make purchases directly on Facebook, while others will take you to the business’s website to complete the transaction.)

Businesses can handle customer support issues through Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Eventually, the company plans to let you browse store catalogs and make purchases directly from the chat window. It also plans to enable shopping from live streams, allowing brands and creators to tag items from their Facebook catalogs so that they appear on the bottom of live videos.

Facebook is also working to integrate loyalty programs with shops. “You’ll be able to easily see and keep track of your points and rewards,” the company said in a blog post. “And we’re exploring ways to help small businesses create, manage and surface a loyalty program on Facebook Shops.”

Facebook has been dabbling in commerce for years. In 2016, it introduced Marketplace, a destination within the app for peer-to-peer buying and selling. Two years later, Instagram began working on a standalone shopping app, though it was later abandoned. Instead, last year, Instagram added in-app checkout.

Shops will begin rolling out on Facebook today in the United States and are coming to Instagram sometime this summer. Instagram will showcase brands on its existing shop account, which already highlights items that are available for purchase. Later in the year, it plans to add a dedicated shopping tab to its navigation bar.

 

Source: The Verge

Navigating the 4 stages of a small business’s digital journey

Business Advice, E-Commerce, Social Media, Wordpress No Comment

Many business owners, side-hustlers and freelancers know that it’s more urgent than ever to accelerate their digital journey, to help stay active during the Covid-19 pandemic and serve the needs of a connected customer base.

Even for those that are not familiar with digital tools and platforms, embarking on this journey can be easier than they imagine. And the rewards of doing it well can be significant.

Here are some ways for small business owners to help navigate the four stages, to help travel down the road of digital enablement.

1. Find out where you are today

Before you embark on an online journey, it’s wise to take stock of where you are today and where you want to be in a few months, and a few years from now. So, it can help to take a step back to evaluate your brand and what it stands for:

– How do you describe what you do and what business you have?

– Who are your customers today?

– What makes you different to the rest?

– What branding assets have you developed?

– How will all of this translate to the digital world, for example, is your company name a good fit for a domain name?

– Are you using any digital touchpoints today? For example, a Facebook page and a Gmail account?

– What is working well for you and what isn’t?

2. Planning

Once you have a clear picture of where you are today, you can develop your roadmap for tomorrow. A good place to start is to understand which business goals you aim to achieve by improving your digital channels. Do you want to generate leads, convert existing prospects, build your brand, become more visible online, proactively interact with existing customers? Which customers do you want to reach?

This can help you to decide what type of website you need to build, the functionality it will require, and how much time and budget to allocate. It can also help to guide your decisions about which digital platforms to focus on to reach current and future customers, for example, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

3. Build a website

Now that you have assessed where you are today, and have a plan of where you want to go tomorrow, you can begin your journey. As you get started with creating or enhancing your digital presence, having a website can help your business be more visible to people in your neighbourhood, across America, and around the world.

To get started, the important first step is to choose and register your domain name for your website. Your domain name is the part of your website address that comes after the www. Your domain is your business’s nameplate on the web, so be sure to choose a domain name that represents your business and is easy to remember.

Next, you’ll want to choose the tools you’ll work with to build your website. A site builder from your hosting company may be a good option, if you want to build an attractive yet simple and affordable DIY website. Simply choose a pre-designed template and then update the text and images to best describe your business.

If you want something more flexible and richer in functionality and features, building a website with WordPress might be for you. You don’t need to learn HTML to use WordPress. You can choose from a wider range of free or paid WordPress themes (designs for the overall style of your website), as well as plugins to help customize your website a little more.  A range of plugins can also help to boost your site’s functionality, for example, for e-commerce.

Once you have chosen the website builder tool and the design, it’s time to start generating content. You can tell your business’s story throughout a handful of pages on your website. Five core pages – Home, About Us, Products/Services, Testimonials, and Contact Us – can make for a solid small business website, and you can adapt these sections and headings according to your industry and as your business grows.

4. Expand your digital presence

Building your website is simply the first leg of the journey. Once you have a website up-and-running, you’ll want to attract people to visit it. You’ll also want to keep talking with your customers and prospects in digital channels to help generate leads, close sales, retain customers and build your brand.

Here are a few ways to continue building your digital profile:

  • Social media

Set up social media accounts for your business on the platforms your customers use. Facebook and Twitter are good places to start, but tailor it to your audience. For example, a youth brand may need to be on TikTok and a business-to-business brand on LinkedIn. Post regularly and try to respond quickly to queries.

  • Blogging

Writing blogs on your own website or guest posts for other sites can be a good way to build your profile and attract traffic. Be sure to promote blog posts on your social media channels, and point back to your website.

  • Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a local search platform. It helps you to show up when a nearby user searches for a keyword related to your brand’s business, products or services. You can’t optimise for local search until you claim your company listing on GMB. If you don’t yet have a Google account for your business, set one up so you can configure your GMB profile.

  • Email marketing

Promotional emails are one of the most economical ways for any business to connect with their customers. Add a signup form to your website to gather email addresses from visitors, and then keep in touch with people who are interested in your latest news and promotions.

 

Source: IOL

10 Ways to Use Instagram for E-Commerce Marketing

Social Media No Comment
Image (c): Entrepreneur.com

Image (c): Entrepreneur.com

Unlike social media like Pinterest and Facebook, Instagram does not have business oriented features. It has a user base of 300 million, of which 60% are within the age group of 18 to 34. Almost 93% of the premier brands have their presence on Instagram site. Therefore, it has tremendous potentialities for E-commerce marketing. Below are the 10 ways that will facilitate e-commerce marketing, particularly, the new products or services.

  1. Showcasing Action Photos

Let your viewers know, how it works, by watching photos in action. Actions bring your prospective customers to come to action for buying your products. Sephora, a cosmetic chain, posts eye-dilating photos of nail polish, swatches of lip gloss shades of eye-shadow. Benefit Cosmetics, based in San Francisco post photos of the effect its products that puts on the users; before and after use.

  1. Run a Contest

With the ease of taking photos and videos on mobile cell phones, more and more youth are tending to pursue the hobby of photography. They will be highly motivated and urged upon to visit the Instagram site, if you could arrange a photo contest on this site and pick up the best ones and award attractive prizes. Include a contest-specific hashtag for each campaign

  1. Go Behind the Screen

People always like to see things or events, taking place behind the screen. Get personalized with your followers by affording exclusive opportunity to sneak peak latest events, new products and other happenings. Burbery, a fashion brand posted real time photos of a fashion show, commercial film shoots and behind-the scene looks.

  1. Take Lifestyle Photos

Virtual life-size images put better visual impact than diminished photos. When the prospective customers see life-size photos, they visualize themselves in real functioning status. They will then be prompted to go in for that particular product. A clothing retailer, named Tsuru posted a photo of a customer wearing one of its different products, in a party setting.

  1. Integrate your Ecommerce Website with Instagram Photos

A customer, wearing the particular brand’s merchandise, is another way of getting the customers involved. A widget can be used on the brand’s home page

  1. Give Adventure to Followers

You can give opportunity to your consumers for having an inside look by sharing conferences and other industry and trade shows.

  1. .Post Videos

You can get short-form video platform Vine through which you can create innovative mixing of things and post videos, in between the images

  1. Launch an Online Store

If you are not ready to set up an ecommerce website, you can avail the instant virtual storefront of Instagram. You can make sales without any investment

  1. Humanize Your Brand

You can do this by sharing photos of your staff office extracurricular activities. Consumers are curious to know about your people, culture and values.

  1. Deliver a Personal Experience

If you have a restaurant, store or brick-and-mortar establishment, you can induce people to visit your establishment and have a personal experience of what your product or services can really provide. Showcase your facility through Instagram.

Facebook Live Helpful New Features

Social Media No Comment
credits: theverge.com

credits: theverge.com

Facebook has a new feature which introduces a live video streaming platform that started receiving a lot of hits couple of weeks back. The best among those features was the ability to “go live” from the desktop and laptops computers. The creator of the video will be able to stream from their web browser to their facebook page.

You can also add live contributors to stream on your page. You can also highlight a comment by pin live comments. These features also make Facebook Live much more competitive with YouTube where daily users often record from their personal computers. There are few helpful and new features introduced by facebook recently. The six latest Facebook Live features and tools are mentioned below.

  1. Go Live from desktop and laptop computers

Facebook pages have now got this new ability to go live through the web browser on the laptop or desktop computers. Facebook claims that this feature makes it easier for the daily vloggers and various other broadcasters to upload their videos. Facebook Live enables users to go live and stream their videos via a web browser.

  1. Live Contributor: New Role

This feature enables a person to assign a particular individual to go live on their behalf provided the person is the admin of that facebook page. Earlier only facebook page admins could use facebook live. This was problematic if there is a large team of contributors because at first they have to become page admins and after that only they can start streaming video on the facebook page. But, now the live contributors can start streaming live whenever they find something interesting and would like to share. This means there is no need to give special facebook page admin privileges as before.

  1. Pin Live Comments

Facebook has also added the feature to pin comment below the live broadcast. Pinning comments to live video streaming and also highlighting them has become a major attraction to the Facebook Live users. In this way, you can highlight comments for the viewers and make it look livelier.

  1. Video Permalinks

Facebook is also adding permalinks for the videos. There is a particular format for the video permalink which is like facebook.com/pagename/videos. If you are visiting the permalink, you will be able to see the live video if it is being broadcasted currently. Along with this, all the other live and non-live videos can also be viewed. It helps in easy accessibility for the user.

  1. Profile Video Insights

This feature gives special privilege to public figures including celebrities, politicians, and others to gain access to some new metrics for live and uploaded videos. The video insights for profiles metrics will include the below-mentioned points.

  • A number of views.
  • Minutes viewed.
  • Comments, reactions, and shares.
  1. Cross posting after the end of live broadcast

The live video which was streamed can now be published in multiple pages at once after the video streaming is complete. Earlier, uploaded videos could be cross posted only to pages that had different owners and same business managers.

Source: [1] [2] [3]

Instagram Marketing Trends for 2017

Social Media No Comment

Instagram is a photo app and is recognized as the fastest growing social media. It has more than 500 million users. Unlike other social media, Instagram is bent upon expanding its activities. Below are the Instagram trends for 2017

  1. Instagram Stories

Launched in August 2016, the Instagram Stories, ask users to share their best photos, which vanishes after 24 hours. It allows you to tag people in updates besides linking to your content, which is beneficial for brands to direct people to their sites. It supports Boomerang.

  1. Instagram Direct

Instagram updated its Direct last year. It is the messaging part of the photo-sharing app. The number of users has skyrocketed from 80 million to 300 million since then, which indicates a further improvement in Direct.  Like Snapchat, the new feature of Instagram enables users to send their disappearing contents to their friends and followers. Once viewed, the content is removed from the inbox.

  1. Instagram Shopping

Recently, Instagram tied with 20 fashion brands for providing product tags that could be shopped. Tagging of certain items in the photos was allowed. Users could have a seamless shopping experience. They can click a tag for a detail view of the product. The shopper can continue to research the product without leaving the app. For making a purchase, the user can click on a Shop Now Button for reaching the landing page on the business website

  1. Instagram Business Tools

A recent update has compensated the hitherto lack of analytics. Accounts could now be verified as a business account, with the help of Instagram Business Tools. You can now add contact methods, unlock access to prompted analytics and post and give directions to your business. Through insight on Instagram, you can now uncover details about your followers, such as their demographics and behavior. From the analytics, you can identify the best performing posts and can optimize your posts. Your brands can reach to more people. It can now be linked to algorithm-based feed

  1. Expanded Video Options

The latest trend is that the video has a bigger role to play in the app. As against the earlier duration of 15 seconds for videos, it has now been increased to 60 seconds. This facilitates brands to try to engage users. Like Youtube, Periscope, and Facebook, Instagram is now testing for live video. Once the initial tests are completed, you can get this feature.

  1. Increasing Ad Options for brands

Mark Zuckerberg feels that if the advertisement is overly aggressive, it may seem less attractive to the users and thus growth will be restricted. Instagram has a number of options for brands to put their advertisement on the platform.

Instagram is the platform for driving sales through online retailers because of its visual and mobile-first features. Because of the above trends during 2017, Instagram is poised to look more authentic, compared to Facebook or Twitter. Online retailers can use user-generated Content (UGC), and can thus drive sales on their respective websites. The summative trend is that businesses will invest in selling through Instagram, during 2017.

 

Source: [1] [2]

8 Interesting Social Media Statistics

Social Media No Comment

8-interesting-social-media-statistics

Few things on social media can be really hard to describe in words. A lot of things might be lost in the translation and you would only come across like a giggly weirdo living on the internet. You don’t have to stay on that path. Stay close to the facts through sharing of social media statistics that are really interesting.

8) The population of Facebook is larger than twice the population of USA. The US population is closing 314 million whereas Facebook has about 800 million users. But if you have just managed to gain just a few hundreds of these users to like the page you run, you might want to redo your strategy of branding on the network.

7) Mothers are the largest branding supporters on Facebook. You are certainly missing out if your brand is not appealing to the mothers. While they are not tagging you in your childhood photos that might come across as embarrassing, moms that are Facebook friendly like brands more than anyone else on Facebook.

6) Users spent over 1.85 billion dollars on virtual credits of Facebook the previous year. With that money, we could buy fifty private islands and also buy five yachts that cost a hundred million dollars.

5) 80 percent of users on Pinterest are women. Though this stay provides Pinterest the hugest gender division among any social networks, it is not wholly surprising either. There are a lot of women-centric brands on Pinterest but we really look forward to viewing more male-centric marketing of brand on Pinterest soon.

4) Companies generally ignore 70 percent of questions on Facebook. When fans on Facebook put up their questions on Facebook, only 30 percent of those fans receive answers. This could be deemed as a surprisingly lessened interaction rate but a lot of experts on social media view this fact as a chance. If you wish to engage your consumers while your rivals are not, you automatically stand out of the lot!

3) Users of Twitter are 33 percent more likely to stay as Democrats. That is when compared to the US population. Hence, if you have a witty joke on Obama, you would want to say it at a cocktail party instead of putting it up on Twitter.

2) More than five million users on Facebook are less than the age of ten. This is true despite the legal terms and conditions of Facebook that prevent any person less than the age of 13 from utilizing the site. As per statistics of Forbes, 95% of parents knew that their kids were on Facebook whereas 78% of them helped the kids create the account.

1) More people own a mobile phone than own a toothbrush. There are more than seven billion on the planet. About four billion of these people own cell phones but just 3.5 billion people own toothbrushes.

We are sure these statistics come across as astonishing facts, but yeah, that is how obsessed people are with the social media now!

5 Social Media Marketing Sins

Business Advice, Social Media No Comment
(c) slinkysearch.com.au

(c) slinkysearch.com.au

Social media is a lucrative platform for online marketers. It sets a stage to reach the consumers directly. It is an easy reach to promote the brand. Social media platforms are like hives. They have a great impact on business and brand value. Engaging becomes easier in the internet savvy world. Promotions happen in a single click. It reduces the need of infra. It increases the presence of brand image. Yet the online marketing has certain downfalls when not played right. Many tend to commit sins online by not leveraging the social media in the right way.

Continue reading

Impact of Social Media on SEO

SEO Tips, Social Media No Comment

social-media-seo-01

The world of computing has gone social. With the search engines and SEO techniques, obtaining information has become easier. Generating information on the other hand is also becoming easier with social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Information has become the key and sharing has become the medium. Many innovative techniques such as Link building, Bee hive formations are adapted to represent and retrieve information. It is not really debatable if social media impacts SEO or not. It is easy and evident with the advent of social sites and its reach that indeed SEO plays a greater role.

Number of links shared counts

It is clear that with Facebook likes, and Twitter tweets the number of times a post is liked or tweeted again, it gains popularity. Links have a great potential in sharing the content to as much social sites as possible. While the content pointed by the link is single, but when it is shared across multiple social platforms such as blogs, websites, apps etc. it becomes the most wanted or viewed object. It has a great potential of ranking. And the higher the ranking is, the higher it gets listed on a search next time.

Contextual search based on user profile

Google has been building its searches based on context. A single word may mean differently in different contexts. Google is banking this on social profiles of users and the information that they fill in it. With the details on the social profiles, Google or SEO techniques retrieve the context based information for that user rather a generic display of results. Similar profile information on Facebook, blogs, and other ways of building user profiles on the social sites play a pivotal role in retrieving the relevant results to the users.

Continue reading

5 Best Social Media Management Tools

Social Media No Comment

social-media-management-tools-01

The growth of Facebook and Twitter has changed the way the world communicates. Social media has become so popular that it serves as an identity to exist. There are several sites that require a Facebook or Twitter login to authenticate you. Yet managing social media is a pain at times. With so many news feeds and followers, you get lost in the jungle of information. It is always required to organize and categorize the information you seek. Yet there are many spammers which equally exist in the social world, making our lives arduous. Social media tools become essential in such cases. They help you sort out the information, followers and weed out the unwanted ones. There are several social media management tools available, but few popular ones are listed here.

Buffer (buffer.com)

Buffer as the name sounds serves the buffering job between you and the social media. By buffering, it sorts out your audience for you and the information that they are interested upon. It sounds interesting that this great app can channelize your communications. It also helps you schedule the information broadcasted to your audience. It comes both as a free and a paid version. Its subscription is as low as $250/month.

Hootsuite (Hootsuite.com)

Hootsuite add listening capabilities to your social media. It supports multilingual features to enable you to know what’s happening around the world. It uses the GPS location of your whereabouts and brings to you the latest discoveries around you. It is a fantastic tool when combined with buffer. They both as a combo offer a duplex channel for you to target the right audience with the right information from the right location. Further, it is cheaper than dine out meal costing just $65/month.

Continue reading

Good experience

★★★★★
5 5 1
SimplioWebStudio did a great job

Project accomplished

★★★★★
5 5 1
Project accomplished

Plugin developed successfully

★★★★★
5 5 1
Plugin developed successfully

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL PROJECT

★★★★★
5 5 1
ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL PROJECT

Thank you Simplio team

★★★★★
5 5 1
Great experience

Working with Simplio Web Studio was a fantastic experience.

★★★★★
5 5 1
Working with Simplio Web Studio was a fantastic experience. The service provided was amazing and professional. It was a delight to work with Nir, who went the extra mile to meet our demands in a timely manner. He really made our vision a reality by creating us a classic site, but moreover the relationship we formed is something our company really appreciates. It was a pleasure working with Nir and the team at Simplio Web Studio. We highly recommend them to all and we look forward to working and doing more business with them in the future.

a great project

★★★★★
5 5 1
a great project

All the best

★★★★★
5 5 1
All the best to Simplio

My website is Live

★★★★★
5 5 1
My website is Live , thank you Simplio

From beginning to end, the team at Simplio provided top of the line customer service.

★★★★★
5 5 1
From beginning to end, the team at Simplio provided top of the line customer service. The web developers are incredible and made sure we got exactly what we were looking for! They truly went above and beyond to make us happy and we couldn’t have been more pleased with their talents. We would highly recommend them. Thanks so much Nir!

After over two years of research we chose Simplio.

★★★★★
5 5 1
After over two years of research we chose Simplio. We are so far very satisfied. These people answered the phone on a Sunday and fixed a problem that was not even their fault. It was the host company which I had chosen that had caused our site to go down.

Outstanding in both knowledge and professionalism.

★★★★★
5 5 1
Outstanding in both knowledge and professionalism. Nir and the staff at Simplio are Excellent in branding, web design and overall web presence. Definitely recommended!

I cannot even imagine having another company managing my Presta shopping cart.

★★★★★
5 5 1
They are now part of the Diastasis Rehab business team after working with them almost a year now. I cannot even imagine having another company managing my Presta shopping cart. After a bad experience with a programmer, I needed a new programmer (one that knew prestashop shopping cart) and most important one that I could trust. Finding all three was a difficult process! Lucky for me I found them. I cannot say enough about the diversity of services that this company provides. Every step of the way they make amazing suggestions to increase my sales and they get back to be right away either by email or phone. They have even created a simple and easy check out program for Presta Shop. They are actually a one stop shop! They updated my SSL, are setting up and changing my server to a dedicated one, setting up streaming of my DVD, website design, creating a specific program for address verification on Presta cart and handled the integration of Presta cart with my fulfillment house. I am now working on developing an APP with them

Simplio really helped me out of a jam.

★★★★★
5 5 1
Simplio really helped me out of a jam. They did exactly what I needed on a very tight time frame (with little notice too!!!!) They are my new go-to guys for any Prestashop needs! Thanks Simplio!

Excellent service!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Excellent service! Nir was exceptionally helpful in solving a lot of issues with our website and making the user experience more smooth. He understood the needs of our school and helped improve the website tremendously.

impressed

★★★★★
5 5 1
What impressed me most about working with Simplio was their attention to detail and excellent communication. Not only are they talented developers, but, they are also pleasant to work with and highly professional. Highly recommended!

professional service

★★★★★
5 5 1
What a profissional service Simplio offers.I hired them to rebuild my website for my business and they were creative and professional. Nir was on top of the whole project from day one, until he delivered the project on time. I will defiantly recommend Simplio to anyone who is looking for website services. From creating, designing to maintaining your image online. Good Job Nir and the rest of your group.

Great Logo

★★★★★
5 5 1
Great Logo, Very happy

fantastic to work with

★★★★★
5 5 1
Simplio was fantastic to work with. They were fast, communicative and incredibly helpful to me. I highly recommend them to anyone who needs help with their digital needs!

Awesome experience

★★★★★
5 5 1
All details and requests were met in prompt an friendly manner. Would recommend on any day to anyone who wants to feel their business is in great hands.