holiday shopping

Weekly Roundup #45 – Email Basics, Holiday Shopping & AdWords

It’s weekly roundup time! We’ve categorised this week’s roundup into manageable sections for you to pick and choose what you want: SEO, social media, email marketing and some digital marketing news. Did you miss last week’s roundup? See it here. 

Social Media

Instagram Shopping: What You Need to Know

Instagram has evolved from the FOMO land of celeb selfies and travel snaps, now its 500m monthly users are making sure that even companies like the Financial Times are finding success there. Facebook are now looking to support brands who want to sell through the platform. Last week they announced they’re now going to give brands the ability to more effectively promote their products in their Instagram posts. So here’s what you need to know:

– Brands can tag products in their Instagram posts and when these tags are present, users will see a ‘tap to view’ icon in the bottom left corner of the post. When a user clicks it, the tagged products will be highlighted along with their price. A bit like when you view user tags. You can tag up to 5 products in a post.

– They’re doing this because Instagram has recognised that “mobile has changed the way people shop” and it sees potential for the platform to play a far bigger role in the mobile shopping ecosystem. “You browse products while waiting to be seated for dinner, make purchases on your commute into work, and compare prices online when you’re at a store to see what’s the better deal.” They continue, “In fact, more than 84% of smartphone users in the US browse, research or compare products via a web browser or mobile app.”

– The feature is currently being tested by 20 US retail brands such as Kate Space and JackThreads. The company noted, “instead of having to transition over to the JackThreads app, our customers will be able to shop seamlessly from their social media feeds—allowing us to reach guys where they’re already hunting for what’s new.” If this test goes well, then it’ll be open to the masses pretty soon. Keep your eyes open.



3 Common AdWord Mistakes


Source: Google


AdWords is a great way to get yourself noticed by customers actively seeking what you’re selling. But, it’s a very technically difficult tool to navigate and it can be expensive if you mess up. “Spend money to make money” is most relevant for pay-per-click marketing but it doesn’t mean you can’t really work your budget. Here are 3 common mistakes people make that we think you need to avoid too:

Not Using Google Shopping Ads for Physical Products

Text ads are totally fine for marketing services and generally intangible offers, but Google Shopping Ads are a way better fit for physical products. They grab more attention than text ads by showing the product images, prices and they have a generally more purchase-oriented presentation. They get prime real estate on mobile searches as well ask desktop. They don’t just appear above text ads, but also within the Shopping tab of a Google Search. Try it out.

Not Using Negative Keywords to Exclude Low Quality Traffic

So with pay-per-click advertising, a high clickthrough rate on your ads can be a bad thing if that traffic is worth nothing. It’s just vanity metrics if that happens. You want your ads to show up for only the most relevant searches, and building a negative keyword list is a good way to exclude that low quality website traffic. Let’s imagine you’re selling every colour of shoes but black – it doesn’t make sense for your shoes to appear in a search for black shoes. So add ‘black’ to your negative keywords list. Don’t appear in results when you can’t deliver what they’re after. Common negative words are ‘cheap’, ‘free’, and ‘wholesale’, if you still needed a hint.

Not Linking Your Ads to a Relevant Landing Page

If you consider the entire journey from search intent to sale, and how each step advances shoppers close to purchase, then you need to think about your landing pages. Your ad copy sets expectations, and if those expectations are not met on the other side of that click then you’re in trouble. If you’ve mentioned a specific promotion in your ad, then make sure a landing page is met that has that ad on it. Simple as that – it’s a grave error to do otherwise.


Digital Marketing News

Shoppers Set to Buy Just as Much Online as in Store

The second annual Christmas Consumer Pulse Poll from Rubicon Project (or CCPPRP for short) has suggested that 76% of shoppers plan to shop online, equalling the number that plan to shop in-store. A significant number of them are going to be moving entirely online, with almost one quarter (24%) not planning to do any of their Christmas shopping in-store.

The Managing Director UK & Nordics for Rubicon Project said, “UK consumers are increasingly looking for an easier way to navigate their way through what can traditionally be a stressful holiday season. The results of this study show that the savvy shopper is making the most of the convenience and efficiency that technology affords, by utilising digital shopping when they can.”

The study also asked UK shoppers which were their most popular retail destinations, to which they answered mostly with multichannel retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Argos and, of course, eBay. Parents are planning to spend on average £1,033 this Christmas, millennials spending £870 and men are spending £828 – between them, they’ll drive most of the Christmas spending this year. Twenty-six percent of people have already started their Christmas shopping, so it’s an early start this year!


 Only 8% of Shoppers Use Retail Apps

holiday shopping

Source: Time Out 

It has been well established that consumers have been using smartphones as shopping assistants in stores for quite a while. Now we’re starting to discover how we can tap into that in-store usage.

inMarket’s new research offers some insight, albeit contradictory, into the growing body of information about in-store smartphone usage. They examined the mobile behaviours in-store of about 2,500 US smartphones users and found that the most common in-store smartphone use is shopping related research (55%)  – not surprising. Thereafter however we have “messaging unrelated to shopping” and “listening to music”.

In the survey, only 4% of shoppers were using social media in stores, so this conflicts with evidence found by Euclid Analytics that found that Facebook was widely used while shoppers browsed in stores. While the real reasons they use Facebook in-store aren’t explored in their research, there is still a strong implication that the app is being used for shopping-related activity.

The thing both studies do have in common however is the fact that retailer apps in-stores is a total minority case. Only 8% of consumers are using a retailer’s app. So overwhelmingly, even across a few different sources of research, barely any consumers are using the apps while in store. The inMarket study that supports that 8% finding from Euclid Analytics serves as an argument that retailers should work with third parties with greater distribution and abandon their own app development efforts. Interesting concept.

(ED NOTE: I don’t trust these stats at all, and would suggest that the amount of people using apps in-store is around 1% globally. Everyone else is busy sending pictures for their mum’s approval on Whatsapp.)



3 Marketing Basics to Always Remember

The new report ‘The Fundamentals of Email Marketing’ has been released by eConsultancy and it’s packed full of wisdom. As technology advances at an exponential rate, it’s easy to get lost in the finer details of email marketing. Which is why we’ve decided to share 3 email marketing basics that you should never let get lost in the noise:

The 3 Vs

There are a lot of tactics out there for garnering subscribers, but let’s bear in mind the 3 Vs. Make sure your email calls-to-action are visible. Here’s some areas to put them on:

– Product/landing pages
– Social media pages
– In transactional emails
– In transaction confirmation pages

Next you want value. Why should they subscribe to you? What’s in it for them. Express why you’re really worth signing up for.

And lastly, we have velocity. Email sign up has to be speedy. Nobody wants to be filling in a lot of details. It’s needy and irritating. Just simply allow them to put in only their email and a confirm button. That’s all you need. If you really need more than this, then collect it further down the line.


SMART Objectives

It’s marketing 101 this stuff, but you’d be surprised how many times people can forget about them and lose their way. Set these objectives for every single email:


If you can centre your objectives aruond this acronym you can clearly establish the right KPIs and monitor your progress.


Identifying the Right Metrics

Clear objectives reveal the appropriate metrics to catch. These can be split into process metrics and output metrics. Process metrics are:

– Bounce rate
– Accepted rate
– Open rate
– Click through rate
– Click-to-open rate

Output metrics are:

– New subscribers
– Conversion rate
– Email address value
– Cost per acquisition
– Lifetime value
– Average order value (AOV)

Don’t get lost in all the jargon – sometimes it’s most effective to stick to what you know.


We churn these out weekly. Subscribe to keep updated.


Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.