July 31, 2020
Google looks to maximize its eCommerce appeal with new video review and shopping platform
With Facebook set to significantly advance its eCommerce ambitions via its new Facebook and Instagram shops, Google is also looking to ensure it maintains its online shopping stake with a new product showcase platform. The platform aims to tap into the rising popularity of short-form video – with Instagram, specifically, in its sights.
As you can see in the video, Google’s new ‘Shoploop‘ app enables people to share their experiences with products via short video clips.
According to Google:
“The experience on Shoploop is more interactive than just scrolling through images, titles and descriptions on a traditional e-commerce site. All Shoploop videos are shorter than 90 seconds and help you discover new products in an entertaining way, whether you want to try at-home nail stickers, revive your second-day hair or get a concealer that gives full coverage.”
The actual format of Shoploop is more akin to Twitter, with users able to scroll through a feed of posts in various categories.
“Once you find a product that interests you, you can either save the product to buy it later or click straight to the merchant’s website to complete the purchase. You can also follow your favorite Shoploop creators and share videos you like with your friends and family.”
What’s particularly interesting, though, is that Shoploop isn’t actually an app – at least not in a traditional sense.
Created by Google’s experimental Area 420 team, Shoploop is currently only available via mobile web, by visiting shoploop.app. That means users don’t need to download a new app, they can simply log in via their mobile web browser. That could increase usage, as it doesn’t require users to seek out a new app. But it may also have some limitations without a defined ‘home’ for people to tap on to when they’re looking to shop.
As noted, the platform is the latest of Google’s efforts to maximize its own eCommerce potential, which has been ramping up development in response to increased online shopping engagement during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
SMS grew in March and April in the midst of the pandemic
Before we dive in… SMS marketing grew by 8.5% in March, compared to February. It then increased by 20% in April, according to a study by cloud communications platform Infobip.
According to Infobip, the reason for the jump is that brands are looking for more timely ways than email to confirm pick-ups, share their new operating hours, and provide other information.
In addition, personalization is now more of a priority among companies and is moving beyond the first-name tags in emails.
The stats: Overall, communication volumes have changed in some sectors. Healthcare grew by 39% in March and 29% in April.
However, there were 50% falloffs in the transportation, hospitality, and travel sectors in April, although they appeared to have begun recovering in June.
The results are based on client tracking by Infobip across its communications platform – which reaches 7 billion mobile devices.
“Before the pandemic, many of our customers had plans to roll out their digital transformations over the next few years – that quickly changed,” states Craig Charles Webster, Head of Marketing Americas for Infobip.
EMAIL MARKETING PLATFORMS
Mailchimp unveils automation tool for personalizing the customer journey
Following ActiveCampaign’s library of automation recipes that was recently released, Mailchimp is making waves with a new automation tool. With the launch of Customer Journeys, the company is continuing to evolve from an email marketing service to a general marketing platform for small businesses.
Customer Journeys is a no-code solution that offers pre-built templates and workflows that are easy to configure. This allows businesses to visualize automated journeys from the customer’s side. The templates are also customizable, and offer suggestions for complex journeys with multiple personalization features. Users can build journeys by branching at if/then points, and re-ordering steps.
The tool is particularly aimed at eCommerce brands, as it gives them the ability to create responses to abandoned carts, site visits, or emails.
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Food and beverages to see biggest gains in eCommerce sales growth
Grocery eCommerce is having a moment. The sector was already experiencing growth prior to the pandemic. But the migration of essential goods shopping to online sphere has accelerated this trend by three or four years in the span of just a few months.
eMarketer forecasts that food and beverages will be the fastest-growing eCommerce category this year, with year-over-year growth of 58.5%, followed by health/personal care/beauty at 32.4%. The shift to buying essential goods from digital channels is clearly having an effect.
Millions of first-time grocery eCommerce buyers surmounted the initial adoption hurdle, while many light online grocery shoppers are now increasing their orders.
The big picture: The effects of the massive online grocery spike in March and April are already receding as consumers get back into stores. It’s clear, though, that online grocery orders will carve out a more meaningful position going forward.
EMAIL DESIGN INSPO
One offer per email
Summer is vacation time! It’s the season for kicking back, relaxing, and spending time outdoors. So, when it comes to email marketing, don’t expect your customers to do more than one thing per email. Focusing on a single offer or call-to-action button is often much more effective.
For cool summer email examples & best practices, check out this link.
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