Time is running out… People have already started buying Christmas gifts. So you don’t miss your fair share of the predicted 50+ billion dollar online holiday season you need to download and run through my 140 check boxed eCommerce success checklist right now.
In the Ultimate Holiday E-commerce Success Checklist you will discover:
- Paid advertising
- Email Campaigns
This checklist is a combination of 8 years of eCommerce experience as a manager and owner.
I will not have this checklist up for long so act now.
Let’s get straight to business here…
If you do anything with conversion rate optimisation you either:
- Work for someone that owns a business that runs a website.
- Work for an agency that has clients that run websites
- Consult to businesses that have websites
- Run your own website.
At the end of the day whatever you’re doing it’s still work. Like everything there is hard work and easy work. Conversion rate optimisation comes in two flavours and it depends what part of the WORK you’re paid to do.
You have the digital producers/web developers that will make the changes the conversion rate optimisation experts have suggested.
Then you have the conversion rate optimisation experts that tell the designers what needs to be changed based on case studies, professional opinions and previous successful campaigns.
So what does any of the above have to do with the dog eating your conversion rate optimisation you may ask? Well one major factor is that we jump too early into the DEEP end of conversion rate optimisation without really sitting down and analysing exactly what the main objectives are.
When I discuss main objectives with clients it is not about the conversion rate optimisation, sales, profits or leads. It’s about the client’s hopes and dreams and usually their client’s hopes and dreams too.
When you really drill down to it, hopes and dreams is what makes the world go around.
Example owner of ABC Shoes (yes, it’s fictional) wants to be the largest online shoe retailer in Australia. They want to be the go to destination for all things shoes and they want to be online only and an exclusive brand. With this hope and dream come the by-products being conversions, money, fame, profits and leads.
So what are their client’s hopes and dreams then? Well let’s think about it for a second? Why do you buy shoes?
You want to look presentable, it goes well with your suit or dress, and you feel a million bucks with a pair of shinny loafers or pumps or you may just want the shoes for exercise and work.
Their clients’ hopes and dreams are emotional, to an affect self-centred and present a need of filling a void (possibly fashion or just plain necessity) by purchasing shoes.
Discovering the hopes and dreams of people you need to convert opens the door to finding out what they fear and causes them anxiety.
Anxiety at the checkout is a major factor affecting shopping carts the world over and as conversion rate optimisation experts we need to focus on reducing anxiety and move them swiftly and peacefully through the buying phase.
Best-practice in conversion rate optimisation is bullsh#t! No one client or buyer is the same. So no one best practice will fit the situation of every person in the world.
But do you know what does produce results? WORK! That’s what.
Putting the hard yards into a conversion rate optimisation strategy at the beginning and getting to know the visitors you are trying to convert intimately will see you on your way to a successful CRO job.
So NO MORE EXCUSES! Do the hope and dream research before you get started on the game-plan!
What is your experience with client hopes and dream? Comment below…
[Tweet “When you really drill down to it, hopes and dreams is what makes the world go around.”]
11am Saturday on a beautiful Sydney morning. I find myself walking through a department store in the city looking for a new couch. Surprisingly many people are out on a day like today, you would expect them to be at the beach or at least in the sunshine.
Touching leather, moving on and sitting on another trying to find that perfect balance of comfort and height that would suit our living room. This one couch was perfect, not the price tag, but the couch was perfect. It was the right size, colour and could easily fit the family including the puppy.
I thought about the price a little, I usually don’t care about the price but I don’t go out there looking for the most expensive thing to brag about either. I was consciously going through scenarios of this couch in our living room and matching up the dollars to value and emotional connection we may have.
All of a sudden I looked up to my fiancé with a smile and feeling of readiness to buy. But she was affixed to her iPhone as if she was solving a medical mystery. Totally ignoring my glance I was intrigued to what she might be doing so thoughtfully and attentively. I took a short glance over towards her phone and to my shock horror she had the same couch we are sitting on, on her screen at an online competitors website.
You have probably heard about Google’s zero moment of truth ZMOT. Well this was the zero moment of horror for me as I was not sure what to do, what to say… had I just caught her showrooming? I literally fell off the couch we wanted to buy.
I quickly composed myself and stated that I would be right back, making my way to the safety of the electronics and computer section, but as I did I noticed more and more people glued to the screen of their smartphones with the same products in real life being displayed on their device of choice. More showrooming! Am I the only one not showrooming in this store?
Showrooming is a trend that retailers simply can’t ignore – while showroomers accounted for only 6% of all shoppers globally, this group accounted for nearly half of all online purchases. What this means is millions are being lost for the bricks and mortars traditional retailers.
A study by IBM which surveyed 26,000 shoppers in 14 countries, one of the largest surveys of its kind, found that for example in China, 24% of respondents identified themselves as showroomers. Online-only retailers are capitalising on this trend, accounting for one-third of showroomer purchases.
IBM’s study found that UK consumers are changing the way they research and ultimately purchase goods. Of the UK respondents surveyed, 77% of shoppers said they chose the store to make their last non-grocery purchase, but only 51% were committed to returning there for the next purchase, while 45% were unsure whether they would next shop at a store or online.
This is particularly striking in the consumer electronics sector, where only 30% of the UK consumers surveyed made their last purchase in a store. And other product categories are likely to follow, for example luxury brands, which was found to be one of the top categories for showrooming at a global level.
Showrooming (as I found out for myself) is a serious problem for traditional retailers and one that can be combated with some smarts in technology and wiliness to adapt to the every changing world of commerce.
You see, I care very much about the world of offline retail as I was raised in a women’s fashion retail store and my father still is running his label and even though he is not directly affected (most of the clothes are custom designed) he still sees showrooming being done constantly in store.
What would I do if I was an offline retailer and getting smashed by showrooming you asked? Of course I have a strategy for it.
First thing I would do is dominate using Google Adwords. With a bit of hyper-local mobile targeting you can almost zero in on your store and serve ads for those cheeky enough to search for products you have in store.
So in my imaginary store called ‘Parisis Shoes’ I sell the Phillip loafer. With Google Adwords and targeted hyper- local mobile strategy when the showroomer searches an ad will pop up with some smart text saying “Parisis Shoe Customer – In store looking for loafers? Click to receive instant 10% discount coupon” get the picture.
So this is great in a few ways (if I do say so myself)
1) You hopefully don’t lose the customer as your campaign is highly targeted and Google Adwords appear way before and SEO listings when your search on mobile.
2) You send a coupon to the smartphone that gets added to Apple Passbook or Google Wallet. (more about that below)
3) You find out exactly who was showrooming and offer them a smile and extra special personalised service so they feel the love and want to shop from you again.
Point two above brings me to a very important strategy that will change the game and finally start connecting multi-channel retailers closer to the offline world.
With the likes of Apple Passbook and Google Wallet now making an appearance on people’s phones, retailers can connect even easier with their customers. These apps allow users to store information such as store coupons, tickets and customer reward cards.
“When you have a ‘Pass’ in Passbook, it’s another valuable way marketers can connect beyond showrooming because as consumers walk past a store, an alert message appears on their phones telling them a location is nearby where they can use their passes,” Jack Philbin, cofounder and CEO of mobile marketing solutions company Vibes, told Mashable.
Remind your customers of your presence without being invasive. Without the need to download another local marketing coupon app (Apple passbook and Google wallet is native). As a retailer avoid being locked down to monthly fees and push to send fees of those stated local coupon marketing apps.
If you want to get started using Apple passbook you can have a look at pass source that comes with many templates and easy creation of passes (you may need some technical knowledge for advanced stuff but still easily to use).
You can find out more about Google wallet coupons here.
So I know what you’re thinking? What ever happened to the couch right? Well we still have not purchased the couch. I was too embarrassed to go back to that place and ‘look’ at it again (possible showroom it again).
I also quickly got over the showrooming awkwardness, with my fiancé explaining girls know how to spend money while saving money at the same time and you can take that to the bank. I will also take it to my next strategy meeting with clients in women’s fashion and apparel.
I would love to hear your stories or comments on showrooming below. Are you a showroomer on occasions?
If you’re an offline retailer and struggling to combat showrooming or in general sales, please checkout my Showrooming Defender course by clicking here.
Google Universal Analytics is the next generation of Google Analytics and since last month has been moved to public beta. I originally guestimated that it would be only available for Google Analytics Premium users but Google has once again surprised me. They are still very much staying true to the Freemium model of business.
To know the customer is a key to any business. Tapping into this knowledge and information about customers and the journey they take on your online web presence is one of the most important metrics when it comes to measuring engagement and good old ROI.
Google Universal Analytics Its more about the behaviour than the sources
Universal Analytics moves away from tracking the source of a visit, and tracks the behaviour of visitors. It models user data together across platforms and devices, and can track activity on any web-enabled device. That includes websites, mobile apps and point-of-sale systems, which means that Universal Analytics can track offline conversions too. Connecting your CRM was the missing link between online and offline tracking specially with the old Google Analytics.
In addition to the standard Google Analytics features, Universal Analytics gives you:
- Simplified feature configuration: Universal Analytics exposes options in the Analytics admin interface that were previously only accessible through the development environment. With Universal Analytics, it’s easier to customize configuration settings, like your campaign timeout handling and search term exclusions.
- Custom dimensions & custom metrics: Custom dimensions and custom metrics are like default dimensions and metrics, except you create them yourself. Use them to collect data that Google Analytics doesn’t automatically track.
- Multi-platform tracking: With the Measurement Protocol, and additional collection methods introduced by Universal Analytics, you can collect and send incoming data from any digital device to your Analytics account, so you can track more than just websites.
Google Universal Analytics gets serious about APP Analytics data
A game changer (pardon the pun) for the app world is that now Google Universal Analytics better caters for the needs of developers. Being able to track installations, geographic information, custom tracking of plays and in app purchases has removed the need of other platforms.
This is something that has remained untouched for many years in the app world until now with the release of Google Universal Analytics.
Offline Conversion from your CRM to Google Universal Analytics
Cookies are gone for tracking; they are unreliable sometimes over cooked and generally a pain in the A** especially in Europe with the new laws in place that has to warn all visitors that cookies may be used on sites.
So to replace cookies Google is now using actual ids per visitor. These are called User IDs and can be tracked for a very long time.
Just imagine handing out loyalty cards or any other form of discount card to your customers in store then these can be tracked at great detail if and when they get used online by your CRM and Ecommerce site all through Google Universal Analytics.
I want Google Universal Analytics NOW!
For all our app developers out there you will be given a SDK you can work with quiet easily to integrate.
Better understanding on user behaviour will always provide a business with greater yield. You can make better decisions with the correct data and Google Universal Analytics is the way forward.
Yes it’s still in beta and not everything is supported but like most good things Google released expected quick and accurate development.
You can download an advanced cheat sheet for Google Universal Analytics from SwellPath by clicking here.
For all the wordpress users a plugin for Google Universal Analytics can be found by clicking here.
How do you think Google Universal Analytics will change the way you look at your analytics either being a small business to a large corporate?
You are wrong! A very important factor when you start getting serious about conversion rate optimisation for your website is understand what you did wrong to make them leave. The harsh reality is that 96% of your visitors are saying no to you every day.
Let me set the scene (I love setting scenes):
You were hesitant to go down that path. Let’s face it you tried it before and it didn’t work. Some of your friends had the same experience and others had amazing stories to share about how well it worked for them.
You bit the bullet and started updating your information. Before you knew it, you had what looked like a good start point and pressed submit. It was scary and you did hesitate going back and forth analysis the information you added making sure it represents you the right way. Nobody likes a creep or a show off and you were none of those right?
So now you had to wait for their approval. So you waited. ‘What’s to approve’ you thought it’s just little old you.
An email arrived not long later giving you a nice little rush as it stated in the subject line ‘your approved.
Bursting with excitement but trying to keep a cool, calm exterior you slowly but clumsily tried to log on and see them. ‘Could I find the one?’ you thought. Before dismissing it with negative thoughts and the harsh reality you probably just wasted a whole bunch of money.
Then something magical happened… Just like that they appeared, like a small ants on a world map making its way across countries with no borders no passport just freedom to move as it pleased.
You watched one in particular; you could tell this one was different. She moved from one page to another. Your heart fluttered every time she changed page, then you noticed she moved into another part of your pride and joy. You see her sitting on the checkout page. She just stood there ready, willing and able but with no more interaction. Your heart stops. Your blood starts rushing to your brain. “Is she looking for her credit card” you babble out loud as you stand up and maximise the browser window on Google Analytics REAL-TIME.
Then, just as quick as she appeared she disappeared off your screen. You are hoping, wishing and praying that the next page she appears on is your thank you page. But it doesn’t happen. She is gone and may never ever to return.
Now this happens over and over and over with others… your beautifully crafted Ad words campaign is bringing them to the party but your just not converting.
Capturing the voice of your customers is a lot harder online. There are a few tools that help you understand what they are doing and how they are acting and reacting to certain parts of your websites.
You need to find out quick smart why people are not converting. When I say find out. I mean with evidence not take a guess. You need to work out what part of your page is under performing and why.
What you may think works on your site may suck for 96% of other people…
This is very straight forward. You need to look at your site as an outsider. Not a business owner but as a customer. What would sh*t you as a customer online shopping on someone else’s website would probably sh*t the visitor to your website that didn’t convert.
The first step is to use the right tools in order to identify what your visitors are doing.
1) Google Analytics – No [email protected] i hear you say…
Google Analytics (GA) should be one of the first things you enable on your site even before your site is ready for production. I won’t go into the benefits right now of having GA in the testing to live phases of your website launch but one thing you will notice really quickly is its power.
You can start following the funnel process using GA very early in the journey of your visitors. This will help identify places they may drop off.
What are Google analytics Funnels?
Google Analytics Funnels allow you to follow your target audience through at every stage of the conversion process to find out where potential customers are dropping out; to find out at which point in the conversion process these potential customers decide to not continue with the conversion.
How do I setup Google analytics Funnels?
To set-up a conversion funnel, if you have never done this before, follow the quick tip guide below and begin to reap the benefits of tightening up your optimization analysis possibilities within just a few hours.
When you are in the profile in which you would like to set up a Google analytics Funnel, click on the button marked “admin” to begin.
Select the “goals” tab from the drop-down menu.
Select the option to open a blank goal and select “+goal” (add goal)
At this point you will need to select “URL Destination,” input the backslash icon and follow that with the text that signifies the page Internet users will arrive to once they have completely gone through your entire conversion process.
Walk your way through the site’s checkout or conversion completion process and make a note of every single URL along the way. our site’s conversion process might include any or all of the following…
- a cart page
- a shipping selection page
- a review of the shipping selection page
- an advertisement page
- a thank you page confirming the order has been successful
- maybe even a special offer page at the very end to encourage even further conversions
You should set up a funnel for every single URL – every single page – to determine when in the conversion funnel process your potential customers are leaving the site and why.
Notice along the way at what step people are dropping off and then you found a BOTTLE NECK or a ROAD BLOCK to conversions. This is the important stage. You need to go back and investigate why the page is just not working for your clients.
Is it to cluttered, not enough information or calls to action to move the visitor to possible next step? Do you need to add some trust symbols and testimonials for example. You could be asking for to much information too early in the conversion process.
Going CRAZY with Crazyegg.com
Above I mentioned that GA funnels are super important to find out where the visitors drop out. Now with crazyegg.com we can work out why they are dropping out using heatmaps and scroll maps to assist us understanding how our customers use the site and where they are clicking exactly. No guess work involved.
With heat mapping it’s important to remember that these are your visitors showing you what they are doing and how they are interacting with your site. You can see every click they make and what they are clicking a lot of and if they are actually missing the call to action. I have seen millions of examples of a heat map screaming out at a client asking them to make a whole sentence clickable instead of just using the CLICK HERE to purchase. Really powerful stuff don’t you agree?
Ever wondered how far visitors scrolled on your page? Then crazyegg will help you there too. A scroll map shows exactly what HOT points or most of the attention has been taken up by your visitors and will show how some areas below the fold are failing your site. Specially if you have calls-to-action in the non visited zones.
Another must have tool… LuckyOrange.com Stalking with VIDEO.
I bumped into lucky orange on one of these internet marketing daily deal sites. It wasn’t without its problems but firing through some super suggestions to the owner and developer the platform really really started working well for our clients and our sites. It’s a NO brainer for $10 a month and works like a charm.
This software records 100 last visitors to your site and the actions they have taken. So its basically a REAL visual of the Funnel from Google Analytics. It is awesome to watch to understand and appreciate how visitors are using your site to transact or not.
Luckyorange also provides heat maps and live chat which is great considering how affordable it is but I must warn you that the insights from both crazyegg and luckyorange are interesting and helpful so use both if you can afford it.
Conclusion to this love story…
You can’t make everyone love you or buy from you… you can’t by love (depending who you ask) but you can buy super honest information to make you more desirable online.
Remember that your site has to serve… Most visitors are focused on what’s in it for me. So make sure your conversion rate optimisation practices and methodologies are based around this.
I would love to hear your feedback how you have made significant improvements just by changing small elements of your website.
You may have heard… Ecommerce sites for big retailers in Australia generally suck. When I say suck I mean big time. It’s like they throw a site together using corporate branding and say FU online customers you know who we are you better buy or your missing out.
We know better. We know Australians are more savvy and sometimes more security conscious for online purchases than the rest of the world. I mean many of us have shopped Amazon once or twice. Even our credit card has been riddled with ASOS charges every now and then.
So why are the Australian retailers treating us like chumps? Didn’t they learn anything from ‘Click Frenzy’ can’t they see that people want to buy and sometimes can’t when something has been so ramped up with so much marking and PR hype?
This article will make the agencies or in house teams responsible for miserable ecommerce experiences shiver. I’ll expect hate email but that’s just me.
So what are the big Australian retailers doing wrong and why are they not winning our trust as buying connoisseurs. From a marketing and conversions rate optimisation points of view (and of course mine).
David Jones – (DJ’s)
Once had Miranda Kerr as an ambassador and was one of the pinnacle mega stores in the Australian market.
Miranda may have tried to buy online at shop.davidjones.com.au but decided not to for possible reasons I have listed below.
1. Use the top header bar like a boss!
Look at any site… the header is the header is the header. The most important and expensive virtual real estate on a website and ecommerce site.
This example shows David Jones and the branding police not using the space correctly.
2. Did someone forget the Add to cart button?
Now in this example has variables that need to be selected like size, colours etc. But why are we not giving the visitor a chance to buy direct of the product page without needed to pick the variables first.
Through heat map tracking and videos I have personally found 15% of products are ‘ADD TO CART’ from the product page.
3. Where did my shopping cart go?
Above the fold or it won’t get sold… is one of my favorite sayings… I have a whole chapter on it in my e-book 14 Ecommerce Hacks to Double Profits.
Below is what David Jones are using as a Shopping Cart page that is suppose to move people from Shopping Cart/Bag page to the final checkout process.
The only problem is… The CHECKOUT SECURELY button, is about two pages down. That’s right, two pages. This is a massive NO NO. You are wasting visitor’s time looking for how to pay you, this will lead to massive drop offs in conversions.
The red border is the first page (Above the fold).
To conclude I just want to say I don’t have anything against David Jones or the marketing team or the agencies involved in its creation and innovation. Actually, quite the opposite.
I want online retail to succeed in Australia. I don’t always liked to be dragged through large department stores by my fiancé when I know I can easily be doing this online.
David Jones call me… maybe? Hehe
What do you think about online retail in Australia? Do you agree or disagree with my short audit above? Leave a comment below
There is no denying it, people love to be touched. I know it sounds creepy and I also know your probably thinking what the *** does this have to do with conversions.
Let me set the scene:
You have a super cool landing page and you know it converts. So the prospect that is filling out details and getting ready for your gift, bonus or product is already in the mood.
Then they get to a thank you page. Thank you page is pretty much boring. Contains your typical THANK YOU (Boring) text at the top and a link to download content or a receipt.
You may even have stepped away from this and have actually thought about asking people to LIKE your company or connect with you on linkedin. This is a start.
Below is one example of a thank you page being done right:
In the hubspot example above. They do a few things really well.
1) The download is clear and its easy for you to download.
2) Clear call to action to SHARE on social media or email. People need direction you direct them to share if not chances are they wont.
3) Get them talking to your sales team – The offer for FREE demo is clear on the right hand side and the lead is super hot, take advantage of it.
4) The Icons at the bottom keep them exploring the site and more interesting facts. Time on site builds rapport with clients.
On my last point I mention rapport. Building trust. Reciprocity is one of those social triggers that help visits become life long clients.
So the headline; Thank you, Touch me again is related to this post how? Well when your connecting with people (Yes believe it or not your website visitors are usual PEOPLE) you create certain touch points.
Touch points are usually sources of traffic. For example email, social media, face to face, TV, radio. All these facets are touching people physiologically. Pushing messages across to make them take certain actions.
Your thank you page should be considered a red hot touch point because the person is already engaged in what you have to say. All you need to do is touch them with the right information to point them in the next logical step of your marketing or sales funnel.
Internet marketers and online advertisers need to understand the importance of web testing before taking a plunge into web optimization and setting up advertising campaigns.
Keep it simple
Starting with a campaign that you can control or setting up a simple PPC landing page is a good way to approach the process of web testing. Splitting the test between the control and the test page is highly recommended if you are worried about the results. An 80-20 or 90-10 ratio is considered to be low risk and though these may take more time to accumulate ample data, setting up these pages is the best way to reduce risk while building confidence.
Launching the web testing process
Once you name your test, choose the page that you want to test and decide what it is that you would like the users to do when they reach that page. Testing tools generate codes that tag pages and sections or elements and you can get IT help for this part of the process. Once you enter test variations into your testing tool, you can launch the web testing experiment.
Once the page starts collecting data, you can start analyzing it after a suitable length of time. Check important elements that contribute to the data such as headline for statistically significant differences in variation results. Good and well written headlines are the only way that users decide whether the page has the information that they are looking for or not and it encourages them to engage more seriously with it. Testing page elements is also highly recommended as it can significantly impact conversion rates. Though each element has a different impact on the conversion rate, higher priority should be given to the more important elements. Go section by section and avoid testing too many variables in too many sections at the same time.
Multiple testing options
A/B Test-This is a good test to start with as you test two variations of a variable or just two pages against each other. Large scale changes such as page layouts and designs can be tested to see huge differences faster.
Multipath Multivariate Test-Use this test to see which test combinations of elements across various groups of pages work best. You can also specify more than one conversion goal in a ‘Do Anything Test.’
Linger tests use time as a conversion metric on a page while Click testing targets a specific click or event. The Split-Path Test is ideal for checkouts and other linear conversion funnels and paths as visitor navigation usually follows a non-linear fashion.
Most marketers have no clue about how to test their website, who needs to be consulted for the process, and how web testing contributes to meeting the needs of their customers or how it will affect their website. The goal of any website is to meet the specific needs and requirements of their customers through an online environment that it provides.
Every B2B lead generation campaign is primarily geared towards getting valuable leads into the sales pipeline. Prospects are those who are interested in the product or service that you offer and the sales process involves convincing people who have little or no time to speak with them and convert them into prospects. With most businesses looking at sales calls as unwelcomed interruptions in their already hectic schedules, getting these leads is quite challenging for any sales team.
- To be successful, lead generation campaigns must have great offers that help people overcome inertia, moves a prospect to action and along the buying cycle, and most importantly, it imitates the persuasive power of a salesperson.
- Hard offers could be a free seminar or a free consultation and these require more effort on the respondent’s part and they tend to emphasize the business value. Though these receive fewer responses when compared to soft offer, the leads are more qualified.
- Soft offers include sweepstakes, free premiums like T-shirts or USB flash drives, and educational pieces like white papers. These offers that require lower commitments combine broad appeal and high perceived value with a low risk of having to talk to a certified sales professional.
There are hard and soft offers that attract profitable customers.
- Sales training is all about asking the right questions; these are the ones that lead to sales success and not dead ends. A part of attracting qualified leads is to stop wasting time chasing the wrong leads. To avoid this, the sales team needs to listen to what the contact is saying about their specific needs and requirements. Even if your product or service is awesome and has some amazing features, potential customers who think that the sales representative is not taking the time to listen will just find another person who will. Consultative selling goes a long way in getting more valuable leads into your sales pipeline because buyer needs are always indentified before suggesting products that satisfy those needs.
- Creating a leads qualification system is essential for online products and services. It could be as simple as placing ads on Google to target potential customers to creating free ebook or report that can be downloaded only after people answer a few questions. Including links to blog posts that offer more information about the product or service is another great way to generate targeted leads. There are different sales funnel and analytics software that offer valuable information and metrics that enable you to close deals for as many qualified leads as possible.
- A sales trainer must conduct training for new and existing sales staff, document it, and also take feedback not only as a part of their professional development but also to share their formula for sales success. This consistent strategy ensures that every certified sales professional is qualifying leads in the same way and having a system in place help a company duplicate their success having shared it with all the members of their sales team.
Facebook Exchange; a real-time bidding ad system where visitors to third-party websites will be shown real-time bid ads related to their web browsing based on their cookie data is currently being tested by Facebook and is to be launched shortly. With a view to improving the specificity of ads and making direct advertising more relevant, these ads will be displayed based on visits to the most recent websites when users return to Facebook. Expected to be a huge revenue generator as big premiums will be paid by advertisers for highly-accurate targeting, Facebook Exchange is currently in the testing phase with eight advertising demand-side platforms (TellApart, Triggit, Turn, DataXu, MediaMath, AppNexus, TheTradeDesk, and AdRol).
So what does this mean in non AD LAND digital marketing language you ask? It means advertisers can use real time bidding to build audience pools outside of facebook then advertise them creative related to the external factors inside facebook. Got it?
Though users will have the option to opt out of Facebook Exchange via third-party demand-side platforms, opting out of the program completely from within the social network is not possible right now. The feature will be rolled out in the next few weeks for traditional Facebook sidebar ads charged at cost-per-thousand-impressions. However, this will neither be extended to mobile nor Sponsored Stories. Facebook Exchange or FBX as referred to internally may also fuel time-sensitive advertising as these ads are delivered to users in real-time during their browsing activity. With this new feature, users may see ads directing them to a live sporting event or a TV show. Though viewed as a hub for institutional or brand advertising, direct marketers have not benefitted from Facebook. This is because when compared to Google where the purchase intent is a lot stronger, users do not focus on making any purchases when they are on Facebook.
The social media juggernaut confirmed that users will not be offered an easy one click option to deny Facebook the ability to target them based on cookies from all DSPs. This is because Facebook has no control over whether DSPs would drop cookies or not, although Facebook alone can decide whether they would like to use these cookies. This is a slightly more aggressive advertising mechanism that they have in place and the goal is to make Facebook Exchange ads the same as any other retargeted ads around the web. The privacy protection in place is also pretty strong as Facebook will not allowing retargeting to be combined with their own ad targeting data.
Estimates suggest that Facebook’s share will grow to 16.8% of the predicted $15.39 billion market in 2012 if Facebook Exchange gains traction. The company already leads the overall display advertising market in the US. The social network’s share of market revenue grew from 11.5% in 2010 to 14% in 2011 which totaled $12.4 billion. This dramatic move from ad targeting based solely on user-entered personal information and interests to both browsing behavior and activity within apps means that users will not see more ads that are not just annoying distractions but are for products that they would actually like to buy and services that are on the lookout for. The combination of demand generation and fulfillment using Facebook Standard Ads and FBX ads will definitely have a positive contribution to the long-term health of the company.
We are on the tester list.. waiting to give it a try 🙂