Mobile and video are key to reaching shoppers on Facebook

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Mobile and video are key to reaching shoppers on Facebook

Consumers watch more than 100 million hours of video on Facebook each day.  Facebook’s U.S. e-commerce head Jeremy Lewis recommends retailers start experimenting with video now.

The traditional marketing funnel is dead says Jeremy Lewis, head of U.S. e-commerce at Facebook.

“People have so many different ways of discovering products,” he told attendees at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition. “They have so many different ways to research and so many different ways to buy.” he said. Therefore, retailers must adjust.

Mobile optimization is the first step because mobile is becoming more prevalent in our lives.

“Mobile isn’t a thing. Mobile is THE thing,” he said. “All of us use phones to get information, to consume news and be entertained. What better way to reach consumers?”

Lewis said 1,000 mobile apps are submitted to iOS and Android app stores for approval every day, showing that there’s a demand for apps. 45% of all shopping journeys contain some type of mobile interaction and 37% of purchases in 2015 took place on a mobile device, he added.

What’s more, millennials prefer mobile. 83% of millennials say they research products on mobile devices, 69% buy on mobile, 61% download retailers’ apps, and 44% prefer shopping through a mobile app, according to Facebook.

Mobile is growing in importance, but it isn’t the only thing retailers should be thinking about. “Every marketer is going to have to learn how to leverage video. It’s just the reality,” Lewis said. Consumers watch 100 million hours of video every day on Facebook.

Take some of the fear out of creating videos, he said. When merchants approach video, they shouldn’t look at it like TV commercials or the 30-90 second videos many retailers put online. It’s all about the first three seconds, he said. Consumers see videos in their feeds, but they will keep scrolling down the page if they’re not interested in the video. Additionally, when Facebook videos automatically begin playing in people’s feeds, there’s no sound. Because of that, retailers may want to consider using text overlay in Facebook videos, Lewis said.

“It doesn’t have to be a massive expensive production; It can be recorded on someone’s phone,” he said. “The most important thing is to learn, experiment and test with video.” By 2020, 75% of mobile data will be video, Lewis said.

Video can help diversify the way retailers engage with customers. For instance, Kate Spade, No. 140 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, uses video ads on Facebook to initially capture consumers’ attention. They then re-engage with the shoppers with a shopping carousel with products that customers could buy, Lewis said. “A combination and sequencing of ads will drive better results for your company than just doing one type of ad.” The best way to start sequencing ads is to start simple and do A/B testing to see what works, he said.

Lewis also spoke about Facebook Messenger and how retailers can integrate the platform in their businesses. He said the advantage of Messenger is that it allows companies to have one-on-one communication with customers in a scaled way to drive action. For example, men’s and women’s apparel retailer Everlane Inc. (No. 314 in the 2016 Top 500) uses Messenger to send Facebook messages to customers confirming their purchase, then again to provide shipping and tracking information and then later again to retarget with products customers may like.

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