Tag Archive : Digital Marketing

25 Ecommerce Hacks To Drive More Traffic, Raise Conversions And Boost Sales

Are you new to online retail? In this case, let me share 25 ecommerce hacks that will help you start and develop your online business in 2021.

Commonly, beginner entrepreneurs lack the experience they need to successfully start and develop their businesses. Of course, as they try out different strategies and approaches, they gradually learn how to deal with typical ecommerce issues.

But often, they make a little bit too many mistakes by this time. That’s why in this article, I have gathered 25 ecommerce hacks that will help you drive traffic to your online store, increase your conversion rates and start making actual money with your business.

1. Target long-tail keywords

One of the benefits of search engine optimization is that this traffic is free. Yes, you do have to invest some money into optimization. For example, certain SEO services like Ahrefs or Semrush require paid subscription. But once you have finished optimizing, you don’t need to pay for each site visitor that comes from search engines.

Optimizing your site for long-tail keywords offers at least two more important benefits.

First, such keywords are usually less competitive than short ones. “T-shirt online” will have higher search volume than “T-shirts with a funny cat print”.

Second, long-tail keywords are much more specific. People using them know exactly what they want and have stronger intentions. If I search for “metal guitar picks online”, it’s most likely I already want to buy this product. As a result, traffic that comes from such keywords converts considerably better.

2. Optimize for mobile

Mobile accounts for 65% of all ecommerce traffic and 53% of online sales. It means that about half of your customers use smartphones and tablets to browse your wares. If you don’t make this user experience pleasant, you’re going to lose customers.

The good news is all AliDropship themes are both desktop- and mobile-friendly!

3. Drive traffic that actually converts

Driving more traffic to an ecommerce site doesn’t necessarily result in higher conversions. There are plenty of ways to make people visit your site. But what’s the quality of this traffic?

If a part of your audience gladly follows links but never purchases anything, you should probably switch to another audience segment or traffic source. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to increase the conversion rate of a given traffic source. But don’t get obsessed with it if nothing works.

Remember, 80% of results come from 20% of efforts.

4. Use retargeting ads

Many ecommerce hacks teach you how to drive potential buyers to your online store. But what do you do with the people who did visit the site and then left?

Regular ads are mostly targeted at people who might be interested in particular products. No matter how hard you try, most people who see such ads have no interest in them.

But retargeting ads follow people who visited your ecommerce store and viewed at least a few products from its inventory. After they leave, retargeting ads keep popping up on other sites they visit and advertise the same or similar products.

This can drive former site visitors back to your store.

5. Use email marketing and remarketing

Another way to get back site visitors is to use emails. That’s why many ecommerce businesses try their best to get visitors’ contact information. Besides, such audiences better convert as they already know about your store and products.

You can send emails reminding them of the products they put in the shopping cart (but never made it to the checkout). Cart abandonment is very common in ecommerce. Coupon and discount offers also stimulate former visitors to come back. Even if a person has bought something, it’s a good idea to tell him or her about new goods or upcoming promotions.

You can also use remarketing on Facebook to get back the hotter part of your audience.

6. Speed up your site

Modern customers are impatient. After all, if a particular site doesn’t load fast enough, there are plenty of other resources in the search results. Same goes for advertising on social media. Even if a user clicks on your ad, in most cases he or she is not interested enough to wait more than a few seconds.

So, make sure you compress all images on your product pages and check their loading speed. SEO Image Optimizer tool can do just that – and help you out with a number of other SEO-focused tasks.

7. Use customer reviews and UGC for advertising

People don’t really trust businesses. I mean, of course, most people don’t believe in conspiracy theories. Still, they do understand that no business will ever tell you about real issues related to their goods and services. But real customers don’t lie!

Therefore, it’s a good idea to use real customer reviews when designing your ads. Additionally, you can use other types of user-generated content (UGC) to show your products making people happy. Photos, videos, posts – anything goes!

8. Stimulate buyers to leave reviews

This is one of the less obvious ecommerce hacks. Using customer testimonials and reviews is smart. But stimulating them to write reviews or send you photos is even smarter!

To do it, ecommerce marketers often launch contests on social media or offer coupons for the next purchase in exchange.

9. Show real discounts

Speaking of discounts. Cutting prices is an old but effective method for increasing conversions. But discounts will work even better if you show the price customers would have paid without it. This simple move makes the value of your offer much more obvious.

10. Use split testing

The problem with ecommerce hacks is that most of them are rather abstract. It’s really difficult to provide detailed instructions on what to do with each step of your promotion strategy. Many things depend on your niche and products, where you advertise and so on.

That’s why entrepreneurs should be ready to solve such issues on their own – by using A/B tests.

Also known as split testing, this method drives equal portions of traffic to two or more product pages, posts or ads. In time, you will be able to tell which one works better.

For this purpose, use AliDropship’s Split Test add-on. It lets you compare different versions of product pages and provides detailed reports on their performance.

11. Use seasonal offers

Even if your niche has nothing to do with traditional holidays such as Halloween or Christmas, you should still create special holiday offers.

Customers expect sales and discounts during such seasons, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. All you have to do is to prepare an advertising campaign and decorate your site properly.

12. Deliver more than you promise

Making promises is easier than keeping them. But that’s one of your tools to interest potential buyers. Overpromising can be dangerous: if you fail to carry out these obligations, your reputation will suffer a lot.

Try underpromising instead! And delivering a bit more than customers expected.

Today businesses can surprise site visitors with free shipping, discounts on larger orders, small gifts they put in packages, etc. Such care tokens can turn random buyers into loyal customers and brand advocates.

To create various offers in your store, try using AliDropship’s add-ons – Gift Box, Bulk Discounts and Product Bundle.

13. Create better product descriptions

When making a purchasing decision, people want to know absolutely everything about your goods. Their size, weight, the materials they were made of, whether an adapter or batteries will be required, etc. – details matter!

Take a look at your descriptions and try asking questions as if you were a customer. Moreover, show your customers how a product works!

14. Use videos and GIFs in product descriptions

Describing a product’s functions takes too long. Besides, reading it will not always be enough to make people believe you. But showing is another story!

Short videos or GIFs demonstrating how a product solves a problem can do wonders. That’s why our team mostly uses videos for advertising as well.

15. Use SEO titles that describe solutions

The same approach can be used when you write SEO titles for product pages. If a title simply describes “features”, it can hardly draw attention. But a name that tells readers what problem they can solve with this product is an eye-catching one. “Car seat leather repair paste” – everything’s clear!

16. Improve your category pages

In addition to the previous ecommerce hacks, you may also want to pay more attention to your category pages. Often customers want to learn more about the products you sell before making a decision. They need guidance, tips and recommendations.

That’s why it’s a good idea to answer all their questions on category pages.

17. Use Facebook lookalike audiences

Understanding what kind of people buy your goods isn’t always easy. Some audience segments simply don’t buy anything. That’s why marketers use Facebook lookalikes letting the algorithm analyze your best buyers and find similar users.

18. Use trust badges

Showing trust badges is very important to convince potential customers that your business can be trusted. Unlike traditional shopping, buyers can’t get their goods right after giving you the money. That’s why all ecommerce stores have various security logos.

19. Provide as may payment options as you can

Imagine a customer wants to buy a product from your store. He can only pay with a PayPal account. But you accept only bank cards. As a result, you lose a customer simply because of a technical problem.

The more payment options your business provides, the more clients it can service.

20. Use exit-intent pop-ups

When a site visitor moves the cursor to close your site, is there anything you can do? In fact, there is!

When it happens, exit-intent pop-ups appear on the screen to offer the visitor who’s about to leave a discount or another special offer that can change his or her mind.

21. Create a sense of urgency

It’s good to know there’s a store selling a product you’re interested in. It’s also good to know the seller offers a discount for this item. But what if the discount is temporary or there’s only a few items left in stock?

A sense of urgency stimulates visitors to make decisions faster as people don’t want to miss rare opportunities.

22. Cross-sells

Imagine a customer saw your ad on Facebook and came to your website to buy this item. That’s a success, but you can actually do better! Although the buyer wants to purchase only one particular item, it doesn’t mean you can’t sell more to him or her.

Cross-selling is when you sell complementary goods along with the one your customer wanted to buy initially. By offering goods related to the initial purchase, one can increase the customer’s order value.

Use AliDropship’s Upsell and Purchase Upsell add-ons to sell more products to site visitors.

23. Notify site visitors of recent sales

You have probably noticed that many ecommerce hacks utilize customers’ fear of missing out (FOMO). This is one more method that makes site visitors worry about getting here too late.

The idea is to make a pop-up that appears soon after a person comes to your store and tells that another visitor has made a purchase.

Use Recent Sales Pop-Up add-on to create such notifications.

24. Make checkout faster

Sometimes buyers add a product to the shopping cart, go to the checkout, but then stop. One of the possible reasons why they do it is because your checkout process takes too long, or you make customers fill in too many unnecessary fields, or there’s something distracting them like an ad.

When customers get to the checkout, this is your final straight, the last lap in the race. Make sure it’s as short as possible and there are no turn offs.

25. Don’t make visitors register

You probably already know that, but I’ll say it anyway, just in case. Most people don’t like it when websites don’t let them do something unless they register. It takes time, you have to come up with another login and password, and maybe you’ll never visit this site again.

A lot of potential customers with the intention to buy something will simply leave. Today most businesses allow people to checkout without registering.

Read other articles on our blog to find even more ecommerce hacks and tips. Additionally, on AliDropship, you will find lots of tools for your dropshipping business including AliDropship add-ons. If you’re new to dropshipping, you can easily launch a new business by purchasing an exact copy of our Premium Stores one of which makes over $2 million a year!

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3 Landing Page Tips To Increase Your Online Store Conversion Rate

Are you looking for ways to increase the conversion rate of your online store? Have you ever considered using landing pages to boost your sales? Or don’t you know how to create a landing page that is able to generate lots of leads? Well, here are the most useful landing page tips for you!

Do you remember The Auto Merch, our advanced online store? Right, this is the store run using groundbreaking managing techniques perfected by AliDropship specialists.

And this is the store that managed to overcome a $2,000,000/year mark due to its creators’ efforts.

Monthly performance of The Auto Merch store with 167,010.31 in total sales

Monthly performance of The Auto Merch

We have already revealed the tactics that let the team behind the store come this far. They are glad to share their invaluable experience to give everyone the opportunity to repeat their success or ever surpass it!

They have already explained how to craft a highly effective product strategy, how to create product pages for the maximum conversion rate, how a perfect Facebook ad should look like, and more.

However, we have not touched upon one more issue that is a decisive factor in the success story of The Auto Merch – its landing pages! Fortunately, the store creators kindly agreed to share their unique self-discovered landing page tips for creating the pages that really convert and bring profit!

Disclaimer: The main part of this article comes in the form of an interview with the creators of The Auto Merch online store that makes over $2,000,000/year. The store is available for copying as a part of our beginner-friendly Premium Stores offer for newcomer entrepreneurs.

What is a landing page and what is it for?

Landing page is a specific type of website page optimized to motivate an Internet user to make a purchase. Traditionally, a landing page describes an item, tells potential customers about its main advantages, and convinces them to buy it. Even a person unfamiliar with a product should be tempted to place an order after visiting a catchy landing page.

an image that shows the example of a landing page

An interesting thing about landing pages is that you can’t leave them to view other pages on the site. Landing pages have no navigation at all: their goal is to focus the visitor’s attention on the product, so you can’t go and see the parent category, or the Homepage, or anything else. That’s why, if you take a look at The Auto Merch landing page, you’ll see you can only go to the checkout page from there 🙂

an image showing a landing page pop-up

The Auto Merch’s landing page itself includes a profound article about the product and a detailed description of its advantages. The checkout page where you are taken after clicking on the ‘Check Availability’ button is designed to convince website visitors to buy a product.

a picture showing how to increase a store conversion rate

The main factor here is a huge discount motivating to buy in bulk (as a gift for friends and relatives). These are the very measures that let us increase the average order value in our store significantly. Meanwhile, we achieved it without increasing the conversion cost.

Why did you decide to promote your products through landing pages?

The point is that we used to count on single products pages only. However, in this case, it’s not always possible to achieve all the objectives such as increasing average cheque, motivating to buy in bulk, etc. To date, landing pages account for 70% of the whole website traffic. Meantime, single product pages account for the remaining 30%.

We have noted earlier that the store visitors wish to buy products in bulk. However, if speaking about our landing pages, people are a lot more likely to buy in bulk due to the special offers we always provide them with.

What are the landing page tips you’ve discovered?

We have tested multiple landing page layouts and managed to find certain patterns of influencing the buyers’ actions. As a result, we found the way to create a perfect landing page that has a high conversion rate. So now we are ready to share the most useful landing page tips with you!

an image showing how much landing pages bring funds

Daily performance of The Auto Merch

We were working on the texts, gallery image, CRT, discount sizes, feedback section, etc.

In our case, it was the team of AliDropship developers who did the most part of the job. We, in turn, prepared the technical requirements, showed them the examples of landing pages that we had been inspired by, found the pictures for the gallery, and wrote the article. While testing, we were pointing out the aspects that required particular attention.

After all the changes, we analyzed current conversion rate to decide what worked best. Here are our top findings!

Landing page tip #1: how to evaluate a landing page performance

There is nothing challenging about tracking and analyzing the results of your landing page performance. So let’s consider the car organizer, one of our bestsellers, and find out which ad campaigns are more successful.

an image showing how much single product page brings

Facebook ad campaigns for single product pages (November, 9th)

an image showing landing page tips results

Facebook ad campaigns for landing pages (November, 9th)

As you can see, ad campaigns for landing pages have a lot higher purchase conversion value and ROAS. Meanwhile, the average order value for single product pages and landing pages is $54,81 and $61,89 respectively. Unfortunately, Facebook Pixel is not able to track all the sales. However, if we recalculate manually, we will see that the average cheques are higher, so does the difference between them.

Landing page tip #2: how to choose the items to display on separate landing pages

When running The Auto Merch, we try to analyze the customer behavior and highlight the items that people often buy in bulk. So this is a signal that we should consider creating a landing page for such a product. What’s more, we are now creating some combo offers, and we would like to promote them by means of landing pages.

Landing page tip #3: how to build landing pages in a couple of clicks without any experience

Initially, while creating a landing page for our well-performing product, we had to ask for our developers’ team help as we had to create the page from scratch.

We saw the need for a smart solution that would simplify this specific task. So the AliDropship team of developers started working hard on a new AliDropship tool.

As the result of the cooperation between AliDropship emarketers and developers, Landing Page Add-on was introduced. Kindly read this article to see how Landing Page Add-on works and what it’s capable of!

Landing page tip: use Landing Pages Add-on to create engaging landing pages in several clicks

With this solution created thanks to the cooperation between developers and digital marketers, you can easily make as many landing pages as you want even if you’re doing it for the first time in your life. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?

And here’s another exciting benefit to note. The landing pages that you create by means of the Landing Page Add-on have a feature that our manually made ones were lacking. This is all about the opportunity to add the shopping cart to a landing page!

In practice, The Auto Merch buyers have been really looking forward to this feature. It would give them the opportunity to buy several variations of the same product and still get the discount for bulk buying. Well, now we are happy that we can improve our offer. So can you!

We hope that the landing page tips of The Auto Merch store creators will help in making the most out of your ecommerce business. Don’t forget that a right landing page is a key to success. And since you are able to build up landing pages in several clicks without any efforts, this success is even closer to you!

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9 Facebook Ad Types To Promote Your Ecommerce Store

Dropshipping business owners mostly use Facebook for advertising their products. In this article, we are going to talk about Facebook ad types available to you.

In digital marketing, one can use a variety of tools and platforms including social media. With over 2.7 billion monthly users, Facebook is the largest social network on the Internet. So it’s no wonder small and large businesses alike advertise products and services there.

Another advantage of Facebook is that marketers can use different ad types for different purposes. Let’s take a look at what creatives you can use for advertising.

Choosing Facebook ad types

If you’re not familiar with Facebook ad creation, let me explain it in a simple way.

After picking a campaign type, you move on to creating ad sets and ad creatives. In the latter section, Facebook lets you choose between a number of options. Available ad types depend on what campaign objective you have picked. Usually you have at least one of the following ad types:

  • Simple image or video
  • Carousel ad
  • Collection ad

Basically, these are all the Facebook ad types you can create. However, they can be further modified.

First of all, you have two options for mobile experience:

  • Add an Instant Experience
  • Add a playable source file (a demo of your app)

Additionally, in the Ad creative section, you can turn the ad into a slideshow (available for both images and videos) or into a video (if you use only a single image).

Choosing an ad format on Facebook and customizing your ad creative

Facebook also lets you pick from a huge variety of sizes, with each suiting a particular placement type (i.e. where the ad will be shown). But our team recommends using the standard placement groups – square (1:1), vertical (9:16) and horizontal (1.91:1).

Picking ad placements when creating Facebook ads

Image ads

Images are probably the most standard type of Facebook ads. This creative consists of an image, an ad copy (i.e. the primary text), a headline, a description and a call to action. In fact, Facebook even lets you pick one of the standard calls to action from its list.

Screenshot of Facebook Ads Manager where the user picks an image for a new creative

Creating photo ads takes little time. Yet, it remains quite effective when it comes to drawing attention. A bright picture with unusual details or an eye-catching headline can make the ad stand out from the rest of the post in the feed.

Facebook also lets you turn images into videos. All it does is makes the picture move a little. But even this simple trick makes such ads more visually attractive.

Video ads

Another efficient way to familiarize your target audience with a product or service is to demonstrate how it works.

A single image has a serious disadvantage: it can only show one item or one scene. Often it is not enough.

But a video can demonstrate a dynamic change. Imagine you see a short video of how a person uses a liquid soap dispenser. Just a few seconds, and you already know what the product does, how it works and how it looks.

Screenshot of Facebook Ads Manager where the user picks a video for a new creative

Although creating video ads takes longer compared to image ads, their efficiency is undoubted.

Carousel ads

Carousels are very similar to video ads in that they can also demonstrate products and their features. However, they can consist of up to 10 video fragments and/or pictures. Thus, even if you only have product images, you can still create a dynamic demonstration with a carousel ad.

Screenshot of how to make a carousel ad - one of the more advanced Facebook ad types.

Additionally, carousels can advertise not just one but a number of products. Marketers often use it to promote product sets.

However, note that users have to manually scroll these images and videos to get to the next one. It means that you need to be really creative to make people want to do it. After all, carousels are “heavier” than most other Facebook ad types.

Post engagement

When you launch certain types of ad campaigns, Facebook offers you to either make new creatives or use existing posts. In this case, a simple post can be used as a regular ad.

Creating a Facebook ad by using an existing post from your page

For example, you can publish a video post and then use it in a campaign. In this case, it’ll work almost the same way a standard video ad does. But I said almost.

What’s important here is that promoted posts can and will get likes, comments and shares. The longer they’re promoted the higher engagement level they get. Later, when you start using the post as an ad, people will still see the number of likes and comments. This in turn motivates them to click on the ad.

Slideshow ads

If for some reason you cannot use videos and don’t want to rely on the “heavier” carousels, there are slideshow ads as well. You can create them from 3-10 still images. When seen by a user, these ads play like videos, which makes them similar to video ads. Facebook also lets you add text overlays and music.

Screenshot of a slideshow being created in Facebook Ads Manager

Slideshows are good for telling stories or revealing more information about a product with a single ad.

Collection ads

Collection ads are very similar to carousels. Both these Facebook ad types can demonstrate different products instead of just one.

Screenshot of Facebook Ads Manager where the user creates a collection ad

But there’s a number of important differences.

First, collection ads are purely mobile and open in a full-screen mode when clicked on. Second, they have a different format. They consist of an image or video followed by a number of product pictures. Finally, the ad takes users to your Facebook store instead of a website.

Instant experience (Canvas ads)

Formally known as Canvas ads, Instant experience is an ad type that combines a variety of formats. When clicking on one of these ads, users can see engaging videos and full-screen images, swipe through carousels, complete forms, read text blocks, view product sets.

Some Facebook ad types can be created by modifying other ad types. This is an example of creating an Instant Experience.

Instant experience allows advertisers to combine different formats to create an immersive mobile experience.

Instant form

This type of Facebook ads is available for Lead Generation campaigns. It looks like standard image or video ads except for one thing. Instead of taking potential leads to your website, this ad lets users instantly fill in your subscription form without leaving Facebook.

Screenshot of Facebook Ads Manager where the user creates an Instant Form

Dynamic ads

Certain ad types can be further modified into dynamic ads. Instead of making unique creatives, you choose a template. Then the ad automatically picks images or videos from your product catalog.

Dynamic ads retarget people who interact with your Facebook page or website and show them relevant products.

A dynamic ad being created in Facebook Ads Manager

This format is good for remarketing on Facebook although it’s somewhat simplified.

Facebook ads have proven to be an extremely powerful way to advertise online businesses and generate more sales. Thanks to them, this online store makes over $2m/year! That’s why we encourage you to experiment with various Facebook ad types and discover the winning combination for your business — or simply go with a ready solution already tried and tested by a skilled team 😉

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10 Tips On How To Avoid Facebook Jail

Facebook is very strict with its users and businesses. If you break the rules, you can get into the so-called Facebook jail. Let’s talk about what it is and how you can avoid it.

What is Facebook jail?

The term “Facebook jail” is another way to say “suspension”. When you break Facebook’s rules, it suspends your account. It won’t allow you to do certain things such as publish posts, send friend requests, etc. The punishment can last from a few hours to 30 days.

People talk a lot about how strict Facebook’s algorithm is. Another problem is the fact that accounts get suspended automatically, by an AI which doesn’t always see who’s right and who’s wrong. It simply follows the program.

Users even created a few Facebook jail memes like this one:

A Facebook jail meme that parodies The Shawshank Redemption

After you do your term, Facebook will unlock all the functions. But there’s usually a 7-day probation period. During this time, you should be very careful. If it has already happened to you and you don’t want to get into “prison” again, you need to know what could make Facebook angry.

Here’s the list of what can get you into FB jail.

How not to get into Facebook jail

1. Don’t log in with previously banned devices

You have probably noticed that sometimes sites with serious protection send you emails saying, “You have logged in with an unknown device. Is it really you?”

Some sites, online games and social media track the devices you use. When Facebook bans an account, it also bans the device that was connected to it. Therefore, it’s not a good idea to use this device again for new accounts.

2. Never close the Facebook app on your smartphone

Another way to get into Facebook jail is to repeatedly close and launch the Facebook app on your smartphone. Actually, most people never do it. That’s why they never face problems like this. But if you’re one of those who hates it when an app is running although you’re not using it… then you’ll have to overcome this habit.

Facebook often bans such accounts because it thinks that you’re using an anti-detect browser. These are browsers often used by fraudsters to hide the “fingerprints” regular browsers leave behind. Simply stay logged in to avoid such suspicions.

3. Don’t suddenly change phone number, email and payment methods

Your account (profile and business page) is connected to a phone number, email and credit or debit cards. Sites use these details as another proof that you are actually you.

But let’s imagine you’re a bad guy! You somehow managed to hack someone else’s account. What’s the first thing you’re going to do? That’s right! You will change the phone number, email and bank cards.

When Facebook registers such actions, it can suspend the account.

In case you do want to change these settings, don’t use Facebook advertising tools for at least a week after that to let FB know that everything’s cool.

4. Use Facebook’s security features

Facebook actually takes great care of security matters. Sometimes even too much! But users can turn off some of these features (like 2 factor authentication). One the one hand, it’ll make access to your profile easier. On the other hand, it’ll motivate Facebook’s algorithm to become more suspicious.

So, if you can, keep these functions on.

Also, consider using the face recognition system on your account. With Facebook’s selfie-check function, it’ll be much easier to get your account back if it was banned. It’ll actually work even if face recognition is turned off, but worse than if it’s on.

5. Avoid getting into Facebook jail by helping it improve

You don’t want to get into Facebook jail? Then become an informator! FB tends to like those users who regularly report inappropriate content or behavior and rate Facebook translations.

But don’t get carried away! There is no need for constant reporting.

6. Keep up your regular activity to avoid getting into jail

As you probably know, Facebook gathers information on users’ activity – what and when they do and how often. Mind that you should keep your personal page alive even if all you want is the business account.

But there’s more! You can get into Facebook jail because you changed your behavior patterns.

For example, if you never liked posts in the feed and then suddenly started doing it all the day long, Facebook may consider this “unusual activity” and suspend the account.

It works the opposite way too! If you used to be active and then suddenly stopped logging in, Facebook can ban you as well.

7. Do not hide your information

If you’re not a criminal, you have nothing to hide, right? Probably, many of you will not agree with this statement… but it doesn’t matter because this is definitely what Facebook believes in.

If you clear your browsing history, or use a VPN service, or restrict your geolocation, Facebook’s bots become suspicious. It won’t necessarily get you into Facebook jail. After all, you actually need to clear the browser history at least once a year, right? Still, it can be one of the risk factors.

8. Don’t post prohibited content

Like many other social networks, Facebook doesn’t allow users to publish certain content types. The list includes nudity or sexually suggestive content, threats or hate speech, violence, and of course spam. Here’s the full list of forbidden content on Facebook.

9. Don’t send friend requests to people you don’t know

Social media let people connect, right. It’s true, but, at the same time, not all users like it when strangers want to be friends with them. There are many fraudsters and scammers out there who simply want to use you somehow.

If you start sending friend requests to each and every Facebook user, most of them will mark your invitations as unwelcome. As a result, the algorithm will put you in  jail shortly. So, before sending requests, talk to people and make sure your friendship is wanted.

10. Don’t let saboteurs get put you to Facebook jail

Sometimes businesses who compete with you can start reporting everything you do in order to put your account to Facebook jail or even get it closed. Even if you do nothing wrong, the amount of reports can be enough for the algorithm to do it.

If it ever happens, simply block such saboteurs so that they can’t even see your posts.

Whether you are going to build a dropshipping store from scratch or purchase a copy of a successful Premium Store from AliDropship, make sure you follow these tips to avoid getting into Facebook jail.

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Top Tips On Making Facebook Video Ads For Dropshipping Products

Advertising isn’t just about informing an audience about your products. One needs to draw customers’ attention to the ad and kindle their interest. In this article, we are going to discuss Facebook video ads and why they’re so useful for ecommerce businesses.

Why are Facebook video ads effective?

There are many ad formats on Facebook ranging from simple image ads to carousels. They all have certain pros and cons, but whenever possible, marketers give priority to video ads. Why?

If compared to texts and images, video content is easier to perceive. Unlike reading (which requires certain efforts), watching videos is a passive process. Additionally, reading takes longer, so a video can tell the same amount of information much faster.

But there is another reason to use video advertising – seeing is believing! Even if you describe what a product does and how good it is, words can lie. And potential customers know it!

On the other hand, a video can show what a product is and how it works. It serves as a proof making viewers believe much better than a thousand words.  Besides, visual information can evoke emotions easier than texts and generate 20% more clicks than images.

That’s why marketers use videos a lot in advertising.

Setting up Facebook video ads

Advertising products on Facebook starts with launching ad campaigns. Facebook lets you choose between a number of campaign objectives. Depending on what you pick, the algorithm will show the ads and posts to users who tend to react in a certain manner.

For example, if you set the objective to engagement, Facebook will look for users who like, comment and share more often than others.

Although there are many campaign objectives you can choose from (including video views), AliDropship recommends running an engagement campaign first and a conversion campaign afterwards.

We usually start with publishing a video post which is going to become our ad and launching a Page Post Engagement campaign to stimulate engagement and thus boost the number of likes, comments and shares for this post.

Screenshot of creating a Page Post Engagement campaign on Facebook

After that, our team creates a Conversion campaign using the same video post. We also keep running the PPE campaign in order to keep raising its level of engagement which positively affects its performance in a Conversion campaign.

Screenshot of creating a conversion campaign on Facebook

After finishing with your campaign settings, you can choose one of your uploaded videos. Although this too is a viable option, video ads created from scratch will have zero level of engagement. Social media users tend to click on videos and posts more often if they have lots of likes and comments.

That’s why our team usually creates a video post first, then launches a PPE campaign to boost it and only after that starts a conversion campaign using the same existing post. Just don’t forget to add a Call to Action with a link and set up your pixel.

Using a previously published video post as a Facebook video ad

What results should you expect from your campaigns?

PPE campaigns

Since Page Post Engagement campaigns are aimed at raising engagement, you want the following metrics to be as high as possible:

  • The number of people who watched 95% of the video
  • Click through rate
  • Cost per unique content view
  • CPM, or cost per 1,000 impressions (note that the number of impressions reflects the number of views but not the number of unique viewers as people can see your ad more than once)

Important metrics for a Facebook PPE campaign

Conversion campaigns

As for conversion campaigns, you want to track the same metrics as well as the following parameters:

  • Unique add to carts (how many people added the product to the cart on your site)
  • Unique checkouts initiated (how many people tried to purchase the product)
  • Purchases (how many of them did buy the product)

Important metrics for a Facebook conversion campaign

Tracking these metrics lets you know whether your campaigns succeed or not. Additionally, they can tell you at which step of your sales funnel you have a problem.

For example, if a conversion campaign generates lots of views and high conversion rates (CTR) but too few purchases, the problem lies in your site. People like the ad and what you’re advertising, but when they get to your site, there’s something stopping them such as customer reviews, the price, or shipping conditions. Or it could be your payment gateway.

Keep in mind though that certain actions cost more for conversion campaigns than for PPE campaigns (for example, cost per content view).

Facebook video ads requirements

  • Facebook video ads specifications

First of all, Facebook allows video files with different dimensions. However, our team usually uses 1080 x 1080 pixels. These dimensions look good enough on any placements both on Facebook and Instagram, while providing decent quality.

As for file formats, the team uses MP4, but you can pick any video format allowed by Facebook.

  • Facebook video ads size

Obviously, you don’t want to use heavy files as they’ll cause problems for Facebook users with a slow Internet connection. However, since we create only short videos, this shouldn’t be a problem at all.

  • Facebook video ads length

Keep your videos’ length not shorter than 15 seconds and not longer than 60 seconds. The AliDropship team recommends making videos about 20-30 seconds long.

  • Ad content

Like all other social networks, Facebook bans content that breaks their rules. Stay away from things like nudity, violence, etc.

Facebook video ads cost

  • The cheapest way to make a video ad for Facebook is to do it yourself. Find materials (even pictures will do) or record a video on your own, edit it and publish on Facebook. Also, consider using Animoto as a drag-and-drop video making tool: it offers a free subscription as well as paid options.
  • Another way to get a video is to order one on Fiverr. There are people making videos specifically for dropshipping businesses for about $20-40.
  • You can also order videos from AliDropship. With our Facebook and Instagram video ads service, you will also get target audience recommendations.

Facebook video ads best practices

1. Make an eye-catching thumbnail

Your video ad might be so good that all people watching it go and buy your products immediately. But what about the people who don’t watch it?

The problem is Facebook videos do not always start playing automatically. You can turn this feature off. Therefore, you have to convince people to play your video ad in the first place. For this purpose, you need an eye-catching thumbnail.

We talked about what thumbnails work best for video ads in one of our previous articles.

2. Let people know you’re advertising

It’s a good idea to make videos entertaining whenever possible. Unusual ads feel fresh and unique. However, concealing your ad by making it look like entertaining content would be a mistake.

Our team once made a Facebook video ad of Halloween costumes that generated lots of views and engagement but resulted in almost no clicks. Soon they realized that people just didn’t understand that they were watching an ad and they could actually buy all these outfits.

3. Put the juiciest part in the beginning

When a user watches your video ad, you have literally 3 seconds to catch his or her attention. Otherwise, the person will simply skip the ad. That’s why you should put the most interesting part of the video in the beginning.

In most cases, our team uses the classical formula – a problem and a solution. Often a solution can simultaneously tell viewers about a problem. For example, if a video starts by demonstrating a person grooming a dog, you can easily guess what problem the product solves.

Some dropshippers order products from AliExpress to film them and thus make unique video ads. Others simply use the videos provided by AliExpress sellers. But even in this case you can and should edit the original video if you think it’ll make the video better. You can change the original scene order and add texts as long as you’re using short phrases instead of long sentences.

4. Show what your product does

To convince potential customers that a product is worth buying, you should demonstrate how it works. For example, if you’re advertising a cooking tool, there’s no point showing how pretty it is. That’s not what people expect from a good kitchen gadget. Instead, your Facebook video ad should demonstrate it in actual action.

Some products don’t have a particular function – accessories, jewelry, decorations. In this case, you can demonstrate how they look in the surroundings they were designed for. Show wall stickers on the wall or a ring on someone’s finger.

In other words, a product should not look like a thing in itself.

5. Use royalty free music

It’s also a good idea to add some music to your video ad. But you absolutely can’t use someone else’s works without permission, especially popular tracks. Instead, use royalty free music which you can easily find on the web.

Facebook video ads are an efficient way to demonstrate the best features of your products and attract visitors to your dropshipping store. If you’re looking for top-selling goods along with marketing materials including videos, consider subscribing to AliDropship’s Premium Products.

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Reach vs Impressions: What Are They And What To Track?

Analytics play a huge role in digital marketing providing data required to improve your promotion strategy. However, sometimes it’s difficult to understand what social media metrics you should focus on. In this article, we are going to compare reach vs impressions.

In digital marketing, it is very important to know what’s going on “inside” your campaigns. Therefore, marketers always gather data and analyze this information to understand what content works best, when they should post in order to reach maximum results, or what audience reacts to advertising better.

You have probably heard these two terms before – reach and impressions. But many beginner entrepreneurs can’t say for sure what they mean except it has something to do with brand awareness. In the meanwhile, knowing the difference is the key to developing a better strategy.

Reach vs. impressions: Understanding the difference

Reach is the total number of unique users who have seen your piece of content or ad. For example, if your Facebook ad “reached” 500 users, it means 500 people saw it.

Impressions is the total number of times your piece of content or ad was displayed. For example, 500 users saw your ad but 200 of them saw it twice, which is 300 + (200 x 2) = 700. And that’s the number of impressions.

Whenever users see your content in their feed, both your reach and impressions rise by one. If the same content is displayed again (for example, after sharing), the reach will stay the same, but the number of impressions will grow.

Which one is more important to your business?

Ok, there’s a slight difference between these two concepts, so what? But both of them reflect how many views your content was able to achieve. Obviously, businesses want both these metrics to be as high as possible. But they usually have to focus on one. Which one is more beneficial depends on your goals.

When you compare reach vs impressions, you could say that one metric is an extensive parameter while the other one is intensive.

Since reach reflects how many unique users saw your content, the higher it is the more potential customers or followers your business gets. If it hasn’t been long since you launched your dropshipping store and you still need to tell as many people as possible about your brand, you want to focus on reach.

But if you consider the number of followers you currently have as sufficient while their level of interaction remains low, you want to raise impressions. To put it simply, even if you raise your reach it won’t change the percentage of the target audience who engage with posts, convert into site visitors or actual buyers.

So instead of showing content to more people, you want to show more content to people.

After a user sees something in the news feed, he or she may just pay no attention to it since there’s nothing special in it. But when people meet the same post or ad at least one or two more times, they may change their minds and click on it thinking that maybe it’s worth checking.

By showing content to the same audience multiple times, you increase the quality (so to speak) of your social media activity.

Besides, your audience will gradually grow even if you focus on impressions and pay little attention to reach thanks to shares.

However, you should be careful here. Since increasing the number of impressions actually means that people see your posts more often, it is very easy to go too far. Showing an ad three times is Ok, but stuffing your audience’s feeds with ads and posts endlessly would rather harm your business.

In other words, reach is about expanding your social media audience and attracting new followers, while impressions are about raising the audience’s interest in your content and your brand. Or you could say reach is about width, while impressions are about depth.

Knowing this, you can develop better social media promotion strategies to increase your sales. But keep in mind that there are slight differences in how popular social networks define and calculate these metrics.

Reach vs impressions on different social media platforms

Facebook reach vs impressions

Facebook defines reach as “the number of people who saw your ads at least once”. The metric is a sum of three data types:

  • Organic reach (unique users who saw your posts for free in their news feeds)
  • Paid reach (unique users who saw your paid content)
  • Viral reach (users who saw your posts because their friends interacted with them)

Facebook defines impressions as “the number of times that your adverts were on screen” and divides them into two categories – served and viewed impressions.

According to Facebook, served impressions are those that were “delivered” by the system regardless of whether such posts or ads were actually seen by users. Viewed impressions are those that appeared on the screen. It doesn’t mean the user actually noticed it: there’s no way to know this. But at least the ad was there.

Facebook uses viewed impressions to calculate this metric.

Instagram reach vs impressions

As for Instagram, the opposition of reach vs impressions here is very similar to that on Facebook. Reach is the number of unique users who saw your post or story. Impressions refer to the number of times they were viewed.

Twitter

Twitter doesn’t track reach. As for impressions, Twitter counts them as any time a user sees one of your tweets.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics uses different terms. “Users” (reach) is defined as the number of users who visited your site at least once. “Page views” (impressions) refer to the number of pages viewed by all site visitors.

When comparing reach vs impressions, keep in mind that neither of them measures engagements. Marketers raise them to increase brand awareness or attract new followers. If you want to convert more social media users into buyers, you need effective product ads. Consider ordering Facebook and Instagram video ads made by AliDropship specifically for your unique dropshipping products.

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Split Testing On Facebook And How It Works

To advertise effectively, one has to take into account multiple factors. However, the problem is you still can’t be 100% sure about how your campaigns work. For such situations, digital marketers use A/B tests. In this article, we will talk about how to do split testing on Facebook.

What is split testing?

Split testing, or A/B testing, is a marketing research method based on comparing two or more versions of the same element in order to find the most efficient one. It is used to test any kind of variation (ad copies, banner placement, video thumbnails and so on) while all other elements of these objects remain the same. Internet traffic is split between the objects equally so that after a while, marketers could see which of these versions perform better.

For example, if I’m not sure which of two headings will bring me more sales, I can test both these options. After a week or two, the test will show that the A variation generates 10% more sales than the B. Now I know what to choose.

Sometimes you need to compare more than two variations. While it is possible to make an A/B test for three or even four options, it’ll take more time: you’ll need to direct enough traffic to each of the options, so the more variations you test the more traffic portions you need.

Another thing to remember is that split testing is used to compare objects that are totally identical to each other except for a single element. Otherwise, the results can be unreliable.

We have already mentioned the importance of testing your marketing materials, strategies or audiences. This time we will talk about how you can use split testing on Facebook.

There are several ways you can launch an A/B test on Facebook.

Split testing: Facebook campaigns

The first method allows users to compare Facebook advertising campaigns to each other. Keep in mind this: whether you want to test particular ads or ad sets, it’ll compare them on the campaign level. We’ll get to it a bit later.

To start, go to your Ads Manager and create a new campaign.

Creating a new advertising campaign in Facebook Ads Manager for split testing

After choosing a type of campaign, Facebook will ask you to customize the settings. One of the fields there is named “A/B Test”. This is what you need. Simply click on the “Get Started” button and continue customizing the campaign structure.

A/B test option in new Facebook campaign settings

This campaign will become your “original” campaign, or the first of the two variations you want to compare.

After you click on “Publish”, Facebook will show another box called “Create A/B Test”. Continuing will let you create another campaign for comparison, or the second variation.

Screenshot of Create A/B Test box in Facebook Ads Manager

In the “Variable” field, you can select what exactly you want to compare. Facebook will make a new campaign identical to the original one except for this particular detail. Your options are:

  • Image (it’ll create identical campaign with different images to experiment with Facebook ad designs)
  • Video (same but with videos)
  • Ad Text (a new campaign with an alternative ad text)
  • Age and Gender (self-explanatory)
  • Saved Audience (will compare identical campaigns targeted at different audiences)
  • Custom (will create an exact copy of the original campaign and let you customize anything you want in this copy; this option is useful for testing multiple differences)

Split testing: Facebook allows you to choose from a list of variable you want to test

After choosing the variable type, click on “Next”. It’ll take you to another page where you will see two versions of your original campaign which you are going to test.

Example of split testing on Facebook. The user has to choose a new ad picture for comparison.

In fact, Facebook will actually make three campaigns: the original one, a Version A (Control) which is an exact copy of the original one, and a Version B (Variant) which is going to contain an alternative variation.

Here you’ll have to pick this variation. In my example, it is an alternative ad image. After that customize the rest of the settings. Pay attention to the daily budget settings: this sum will be split by Facebook between the two versions equally.

Another important field here is “Key Metrics”. By choosing one from the list, you tell Facebook which ecommerce metric to use when deciding the winner such as the cost per conversion, cost per link click, etc. For example, “Cost per Purchase” will probably be the best option for conversion campaigns aimed at converting users into buyers.

As for the “Estimated Test Power” index, don’t take this information too seriously as Facebook’s estimations are pretty vague.

After that, click on “Create Test”. Facebook will create three campaigns that you can see in your Ads Manager, two of which will be scheduled for split testing.

Another way to launch an A/B test on Facebook is to tick a box near a desired ad, ad set or campaign and click on “A/B Test” on the panel.

An alternative method of creating a split testing campaign in Facebook Ads Manager

This method will also create a split test on a campaign level just like the method I have described above.

As I mentioned before, although you can choose variables for comparison, Facebook will actually test campaigns. If you want to compare standalone ad sets or ad variations within one Facebook ad campaign, you’ll have to use another method.

Split testing: Facebook ad sets and ads

In order to run A/B tests on Facebook for ads and ad sets, you need to have an existing campaign. Pick an ad or an ad set and click on “Duplicate” under its name.

Screenshot of duplicating a Facebook ad in Ads Manager

In a new box, click on the “Create a test…” button under “Original campaign”. Unlike the previous method, this one will create a copy of the existing ad or ad set within an existing campaign, so you will end up with just two test subjects. The original becomes the test A and the copy becomes the test B.

Click on “Duplicate” to continue.

When duplicating an ad or ad set, you can create an A/B test to compare it with the original one

In the new box, you can edit the copy, thus making different variables. Although you can make a completely different ad, marketers usually change only one parameter. Also, pay attention to the budget section.

The “Daily Budget” line shows how much money you wanted to spend on the initial ad or ad set. The “Original” and “Copy” lines indicate how this sum will be split between the newly created test subjects. Make sure it’s split equally.

After finishing with the settings, click on “Publish”. Now you can see these two ads or ad sets in your Ads Manager being scheduled for testing. This is how you can test Facebook ads and ad sets without creating a new campaign for each variation.

Facebook Experiments

There’s yet another way to launch a split test on Facebook from the Experiments section.

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However, this method lets you compare either ad sets, campaigns or campaign groups, which will be hardly useful for small businesses like dropshipping.

Split testing on Facebook lets you analyze your marketing materials, targeted audiences, ad placements and other nuances. By using this information, you can pick the best performing ads and substantially improve your dropshipping business.

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What Is Remarketing? 6 Tips On How To Retarget Customers On Facebook

What is remarketing and why is it important for your business? In this article, we are going to talk about when you should use it and what kind of ads work best for retargeting Facebook audiences.

What is remarketing?

Remarketing, or retargeting, is a digital marketing strategy that implies advertising products or services to the part of a target audience who have somehow interacted with a business’ website. In most cases, such ads are served to the people who watched your video ad, visited your website, or put products into the shopping cart.

Online businesses aim at raising their conversion rates (i.e. the number of actual buyers) as high as possible. However, the majority of the initial target audience never buys anything.

At this stage, we call such people a cold audience: they never heard of your brand and never interacted with your website, products or services. Most of them show no interest in the ads they see and will never convert into site visitors or buyers.

Those of them who somehow interact with your business become a warm audience: they show a certain degree of interest and are more likely to convert. Those who purchase products or services (and don’t complain after that) or those who get to the checkout but leave for whatever reason become a hot audience: they already trust you and often agree to spend more money after seeing another ad.

Why does your business need remarketing?

As you could guess, hotter audiences are smaller. As you move through your sales process, you lose potential customers, but they can be brought back. With remarketing ads targeted at your warm audience, you have another chance to convert them into buyers.

Targeting a warm audience is a huge benefit of remarketing. Those are people who are already familiar with the type of product you advertise and your online store. Moreover, since they interacted with your ads, posts or website, they are sincerely interested in your product, which is why they are much easier to convert.

Some of them simply need to be reminded of your offer, others need to know a benefit you didn’t mention in your initial ad. Some people just need time to think about your offer.

AliDropship team’s experience with our self-owned dropshipping stores shows that remarketing campaigns work much better than standard advertising campaigns on Facebook. Even when regular advertising campaigns only cover the expenses, remarketing can fix it and make advertising profitable.

Remarketing basics: Whom to target?

Our team starts advertising products on Facebook with Page Post Engagement campaigns designed to trigger engagements (likes, reposts, and comments). After that, we launch advertising campaigns targeted at Facebook interests or lookalike audiences. Clearly, both of them are cold audiences: they’re not familiar with our offer yet.

After these people see our ads, the warmest part of this audience can be divided into at least four categories:

  • Users who watched 95% of our video ads. Since our team mostly uses video ads, we can tell if a person is interested in our product when he or she watches the ad to the end.
  • People who go to our website. Each Facebook ad contains a call to action which leads users to a corresponding online store. Obviously, if someone clicks on it, he or she must be interested in the product.
  • Site visitors who put a product to the shopping cart but never bought it. Obviously, this category of potential customers is the warmest.
  • People who put products into the shopping cart and even visited the checkout page. Although they never bought these products, they tried to, which means this is a very hot audience.

In theory, one could also target people who made a purchase (the hottest audience), but in this case, you will have to pick a different product. Besides, if the purchase was made not long ago, offering another product (before the buyer has received the first one) could annoy rather than convince them to purchase again.

To attract this part of the audience, I would recommend offering them new deals, seasonal goods, special offers (discounts, coupons, etc.). And do it after they received their first orders.

For promoting dropshipping stores, AliDropship team recommends launching a remarketing campaign when your warm audience has at least 500 potential customers.

Audience exclusions in remarketing

If you create more than one remarketing audience, certain users will get into several lists.

For example, one and the same user has visited your website and put a product into the shopping cart but never bought it. Now you want to create two remarketing campaigns targeted at site visitors and those who added products to the cart. As a result, this person will get into both these lists.

You want to avoid it for at least three reasons.

  • First of all, seeing too many ads in the feed can annoy people.
  • Second, you may want to use different ads for different audiences so that you could appeal to different motivations.
  • Lastly, launching two ads that follow the same list of people will cost you twice more money with little effect on their efficiency.

That’s why you need to exclude potential doublings.

When creating a new audience for remarketing on Facebook, one has to exclude certain sections

On the screenshot below, we excluded those who visited our site from the audience who watched 95% of our video ad.

Here we have picked a section to exclude from our remarketing audience on Facebook

If you divide all users who could get into remarketing audiences into categories, you will see that all categories belonging to higher tiers also belong to lower tiers. Let me demonstrate.

Let’s suppose that one thousand Facebook users watched your video ad. This is a low tier category. Some of them visited your site. This is a high tier category. Not all people, who watched the ad, decided to visit the site. But all the people, who visited the site, had also watched the video ad.

Likewise, all the people, who put something into the shopping cart, had visited the site, but not vice versa. Keep that in mind when making exclusions.

Facebook remarketing tips

1. Make several ads for each ad set

Facebook’s algorithm can analyze how different ads perform and pick the best one. After that the platform will start spending more money on the winning ads. That’s why we recommend creating more than one. Set the budget to $2.5 a day and wait till you have a clear winner.

Screenshot of how Facebook breaks down your advertising budget

Since you can’t set a budget for each ad individually, you will have to make some calculations. For example, if an ad set has four ads and you want to spend at least $2.5 on each of them, set the ad set budget to $10, so that the algorithm could divide the money between the ads within this ad set. Same goes for campaign budgets.

2. Keep an eye on your campaign

Sometimes Facebook keeps spending budgets on ads that bring no results. Actually Facebook should stop doing it when it sees it’s ineffective, but sometimes it just wouldn’t. That’s why we recommend monitoring the campaign and turning off such ads on your own.

3. Keep an eye on the frequency

Frequency shows the average number of times a single user has seen your ad. We recommend keeping this parameter at 3-6. But sometimes even 2+ is enough to bring sales.

Screenshot of Facebook ads and their frequency metric

4. Number of views doesn’t equal number of conversions

As a rule, the more people see your ad the more of them convert. But sometimes an ad generates lots of views but too few sales. So, keep an eye on these two metrics and don’t hesitate to turn off the ads that don’t result in sales despite a high number of views.

5. Match ad copies to audience’s temperature

Don’t forget that a remarketing audience can be divided into sub-audiences, with each having different temperatures, i.e. levels of interest. Or you could say that different segments of the audience have different interests.

Therefore, we recommend creating ad copies with corresponding content. Motivate potential customers with different arguments, pictures, videos or calls to action to match their level of interest.

6. Retarget recent visitors

Even if a person has visited your website, he or she will get “colder” as time passes. A visitor from a week ago is much warmer than the one from half a year ago. Therefore, retarget only those who interacted with your business not longer than a month ago.

What is remarketing? For ecommerce entrepreneurs, it is the most effective marketing strategy that can push your business from stagnation to regular profits. A successful dropshipping store also requires sought-after goods, which is why I recommend checking AliDropship’s Premium Products that come with marketing and remarketing materials as well as target audience recommendations.

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Ecommerce Testing: This Is Why You Need To Test Things Before Investing Money Into Marketing

Ecommerce testing can be a useful method of improving a dropshipping business

Business requires thinking and being able to predict how the market will react. The problem is no analysis can be 100% accurate. In these cases, you need ecommerce testing! Keep reading to learn what to test and how.

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On the AliDropship blog, we keep telling our readers, who want to start a dropshipping business, about how important it is to test everything you do or use. Why?

Unfortunately, your education, talent or intuition cannot always be right. For instance, sometimes even after a thorough analysis, entrepreneurs target a wrong audience. After all, it’s almost impossible to take every single detail into consideration.

In other words, at each step of your sale process, there can be surprises awaiting you. They can be both beneficial and harmful. In order to minimize risks or maximize benefits, one needs ecommerce testing.

But before we begin, remember this:

  • First of all, you don’t test each and every part of your marketing strategy at once. Test them one by one. If something works well, leave it be! But if you’re not happy with something (for example, the number of site visitors from social media), that’s where you might want to start testing.
  • Testing costs money! Even if you set the minimum budget to your ad sets in Facebook, you will still have to spend a lot before you get reliable results. Our team usually runs tests for about a week.
  • Ecommerce testing for dropshipping is an advanced approach. It’s difficult, expensive and isn’t always reliable. But it can reveal opportunities you couldn’t see before. For example, you can discover a target audience which converts much better than the one you target right now. This allows you to invest in promotion more efficiently.

Now, let’s get started! Here’s what you can test.

Ecommerce testing: Ad creatives

Ads are the part which converts social media users into website visitors. First of all, one can test different ad types and formats to see which brings more traffic to their online store. Experience shows that video ads work better than other types, so you probably want to focus on these.

But you can also test a variety of ads. For example, even if you decide to follow our recommendation and use video ads, you should make at least two or three creatives and test them.

The safest way to do it is to start an advertising campaign and launch a number of ad sets (one ad creative per each) with a minimal budget. Then simply watch how they perform. Turn off the ones that obviously bring little to no results; keep waiting for at least a couple of days if there are several ads that perform well and pick the best one after that.

This is how it works in theory, but what exactly should you do to make ads different from each other? This is what you should think about.

1. Testing ad picture

If you choose to use pictures for your ads, obviously you can experiment with the images. It is actually crucial which one you pick because images are what social media users see in the first place.

An ideal picture shows what kind of item you’re advertising, what it does and how it works. This is how you inform potential clients of your product. If a Facebook user sees something weird and can’t tell how this thing works is a second, he or she will just keep scrolling the feed.

Testing ad pictures will show you which one won’t let that happen.

2. Video thumbnails

Same goes for thumbnails you want to use for video ads. To see its content, a user has to play the video. But if the thumbnail doesn’t look interesting, funny, intriguing or attractive, people won’t touch it. That’s why it’s a good idea to test a number of thumbnails for the same video.

For this part, use the same criteria as for ad images: ideally, you need to explain what your product is, what it does and how it works. Read this article for more tips on how to make the best-performing video thumbnails.

3. Ad copies

A good picture or thumbnail can catch a user’s attention. But it’s not enough to make them click on the ad. So, the next step of your ecommerce testing agenda should be the ad’s content.

In case of image-based ads, pay attention to the texts. It’s difficult to tell what can be beneficial and what could hurt your ads since it depends a lot on the type of product you promote. But consider these tips:

  • Make ad copies short and clear. Nobody wants to read small fonts or analyze long paragraphs. Go for simple and comprehensible phrases.
  • Don’t describe your product’s features. Describe the benefits buyers will enjoy after purchasing it.
  • Make sure to place a call to action in your ad such as “Shop now”, “Click here”, etc.
  • If applicable, try informing users of sales, promotions, discounts and any other bonuses you can offer. As a rule, these details trigger interest very well.

4. Opening part of video ads

Just like with ad copies, you can also experiment with the content of your video ads. However, I recommend paying more attention to the first three seconds of your videos as this is often the segment which determines whether people will or will not watch the video to the end.

So, if you don’t want to spend more time by testing the rest of the video (you probably don’t), focus on these three seconds and try different approaches.

5. Testing target audience

Lastly, when we talk about ecommerce testing, we should also mention target audiences.

Although a good entrepreneur always analyzes potential customers, there’s always a chance you made a mistake or missed a large portion of people who could be interested in your product.

At the very least, I recommend trying target audiences based on Facebook interests and lookalike audiences. Our own experience shows that sometimes one of them prevails, but you never know which. So make sure to try both before raising the budget.

Aside from that, you can try testing targeting options within these two audience types.

Audience based on Facebook interests

I’ve already described how our team searches and tests Facebook interests in one of our articles. Basically, this is exactly what you need to do. After finding a number of interests which seem to be related to your product, you want to create ad sets, with each targeting a particular interest, and see which one brings more sales.

Testing can be useful because the obvious interests don’t always prove to work well. For example, our team was once testing audiences for a product related to gardening. To our surprise, “garden design” and “landscape design” didn’t work at all. At the same time, the first three positions were taken by “backyard”, “Groupon” and “Ikea”.

Lookalike audiences

Facebook is capable of creating audiences by finding users similar to a prototypical audience – for example, people who watched your video ad to the end, or users who visited your dropshipping store, or those who put something into the shopping cart or even bought something. The algorithm finds similar users, thus expanding the initial audience from, say, two thousand users to a lookalike audience that can consist of as many as two million people!

However, this lookalike audience is not homogeneous. It consists of segments, with each being similar to the prototype in a certain way. When setting your audience, you can choose which segment of your lookalike audience you want to target.

Screenshot demonstrating how a Facebook lookalike audience can be divided into segments

Here you can choose between 1% to 10% (similarity degree). The point is that 1% won’t necessarily convert better than 4%. In this case, your job is to find out which segment is the best. Our team usually tests 1-5% like you can see on the screenshot.

But you can also compare percent ranges such as 1-2% vs. 3-4%.

Screenshot demonstrating how you can pick segment ranges from Facebook lookalike audiences for ecommerce testing

In both cases, you create one ad set corresponding to one segment and test the group for a few days.

Ecommerce testing:  Product page

The main purpose of social media ads is to lead users to your site, namely to the page of the product you advertise. However, it doesn’t guarantee visitors will actually put the product into the shopping cart and click on the “Purchase” button. In fact, some people don’t buy anything even after they add goods to their shopping cart.

There are plenty of possible reasons. Sometimes it’s the item’s price or the shipping cost that discourages them; sometimes they simply misunderstand your initial offer and expect a product of a different kind. In other cases, your product page fails to convince visitors that:

  • The product’s quality is high enough;
  • The item is capable of performing certain functions;
  • Your ecommerce website can be trusted.

Remember: the worst part of online shopping is the fact that you can’t see or touch the actual product. All you have are pictures, videos, GIFs, descriptions and other customers’ reviews. And this is where you can change the situation.

At this point, an online store owner can test different combinations of the above to create the best user experience possible and dispel any doubts.

Sometimes a detailed description works best. Sometimes potential customers don’t want to read long texts – all they need is a short list of specifications to make sure the product is what they think it is. Certain goods can be demonstrated well with just a few high-quality pictures, while other products require a detailed video or a GIF file.

If you’re using a number of AliDropship add-ons that let you create special offers, you might also want to do a little software testing to see which kind of offer works best by choosing between coupons, discounts, gifts, bulk offers, etc.

You should also keep an eye on your site’s download speed. Today even the most interested customers will leave a site if it takes more than 6-8 seconds to load. In this case, it doesn’t matter how good your product page is. So, consider sacrificing certain videos or the quality of photos if it makes the page too heavy.

Since you can’t be sure what will work best, think of two or three combinations, and create a corresponding number of pages. Then split all the traffic between the pages to see which one shows a better conversion rate (i.e. generates more sales). That’s called A/B testing.

To do it, create two identical ad sets that target identical audiences and show them identical ads, except these ads have two different links, with each leading to one of your product page variations.

Screenshot of a Facebook Ad Creative where you can test different designs of product pages

With identical budgets, the audience should split more or less equally. You can also create several advertising campaigns identical in every aspect except for the links, but it’s not a good idea to duplicate this much data.

Although this test can’t be as accurate as a normal split test, it’s an easy method to check which product page works better.

As you can see, ecommerce testing is a useful, but difficult way to improve your business, especially for those who built their dropshipping stores one their own. If you want to make things easier, consider purchasing one of our ready-made solutions – Established Stores and Premium Stores created by our team after thorough analyses and testing.

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7 Facebook Advertising Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Business

Do you keep promoting your dropshipping store on Facebook with no results? Perhaps, you’re doing it wrong! Here’s a list of Facebook advertising mistakes you should avoid.

Facebook is a great platform to advertise a product or service, especially for a small business. With over 2.7 million people using Facebook every month, one can reach any target audience for a reasonable fee.

However, things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes entrepreneurs keep spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but the sales just won’t rise. Some people even think they’re wasting money and switch to other promotion channels.

There can be many reasons for it – from a wrong niche choice to common advertising mistakes. Let’s see what they are.

Facebook advertising mistakes: #1 Testing each and every product idea

We at AliDropship often recommend testing everything before investing money. This includes selecting products to dropship, choosing Facebook creatives and ad types, customizing target audience and so on and so forth. The point is you can’t be absolutely sure what will work and what won’t, which is why testing comes first.

But too much of a good thing is good for nothing! Some dropshippers start testing each and every product from AliExpress they find interesting despite the fact that even a little testing requires investments. As a result, people spend small sums of money here and there, but after a month, the total amount spent equals hundreds of dollars.

Here’s what you need to remember: making Facebook ad mistakes is Ok. They’re inevitable. The question is how often you make them and how much they cost you.

Solution

Whenever you find a product or when a product idea just suddenly occurs to you, the desire to test it is understandable. But there are other methods of evaluating dropshipping goods before launching a real ad on Facebook.

In one of my previous articles, I described how our team tests product ideas. The best part of it that you only have to pay for an ad analyzing platform. In our case it was AdSpy which isn’t cheap, but you can use the cheaper BigSpy. Every other step won’t cost you a penny.

This way you will be able to sieve away the worst of your ideas without having to pay for test ads on Facebook.

Mistake #2: Not paying attention to product pages

One may think that this has little to do with Facebook mistakes: after all, this problem lies in your website rather than in advertising. But the truth is that in digital marketing, landing pages are as important as ads leading to them.

When someone clicks on your Facebook ad, it means he or she is interested. But it doesn’t mean this person has a serious intention to buy. When users get to your product page, they can still leave if they don’t like it.

Solution

Your tasks here are:

  • Not to scare away potential customers
  • Convince them that the product is good and buying here is safe

To do that, you need high-quality photos as well as videos and GIFs if available so that visitors could see all the details or how the product works.

Detailed description is another important part of a good product page as it can tell potential buyers about the product’s materials and dimensions, about the purchase condition, shipping options, etc.

Also, make sure to import customer reviews with real customer-made photos because they are the best testimonials you can ever have.

Here you can learn more about how to make a perfect dropshipping product page. Also, you’re welcome to watch this experience-based, FREE webinar on running a successful dropshipping store: everything from creating a powerful product page to launching a winning promo strategy is covered!

Facebook advertising mistake #3: Wrong ads

This category embraces a number of Facebook ad mistakes one can make.

First of all, beginner dropshippers often invest a lot of money in an ad campaign that uses low-quality creatives, i.e. ads. The problem may lie in the quality of pictures, your ad’s thumbnail, the calls to action you use, what ad copy you write, etc.

Ok, sometimes you just happen to create a bad ad. But the mistake here is to keep spending money on something that clearly isn’t working.

This leads us to the second common mistake – not to test different creatives. Often you can’t be certain what your potential customer will or will not like, what will or will not draw their attention. That’s why we recommend creating several ads, testing them and picking the best performing one.

The third Facebook mistake is not to use video ads. Using pictures is certainly easier than looking for a suitable video on AliExpress and then making an ad from it. But in practice, a single video ad can be much more effective than several banners.

Solution

To summarize the above, always create several ads and test them. If you see that one of them isn’t working, turn it off before it “eats up” all your budget. Finally, whenever possible, use video ads.

Read this article to learn how to make great ads for Facebook.

#4 Not optimizing Facebook advertising campaigns when they run

Even when you test ads before picking one and investing larger budgets in an ad campaign, there are still surprises awaiting you. How an ad performs can reveal new details about audience targeting. As the campaign keeps running, you can accumulate enough data to change the original settings.

However, some entrepreneurs simply ignore these new facts.

A similar mistake is when dropshippers make up targeting strategies based on their subjective feelings and keep running these campaigns despite the new information.

Solution

A good entrepreneur never stops analyzing his or her ad campaigns or targeting strategy. Whenever the statistics show that something can be changed for the better, they do so.

#5 Running Facebook advertising campaigns with no strategy in mind

One of the worst Facebook ad mistakes is to launch a campaign (or several) with no particular expectations or plans.

First of all, you shouldn’t expect them to work if they don’t have a clear goal, or a clear target audience, or your ad copy is just a random text written with no regard to the audience’s interests and needs.

The second problem is that such a campaign… can actually work. On the one hand, it’s good. On the other hand, this approach will hardly work again. But this time, you will have no idea why your ads aren’t working anymore because last time it worked all right and what should you do about it?!

Solution

Always do your homework. Analyze potential customers, write interesting ad copies, make relevant videos and banners, analyze your mistakes and improve your ads.

#6 Not trying new Facebook advertising audiences

Picking the right target audience is a very difficult task. Even after the initial analysis, you still have to test them on real ads or PPE campaigns before making the final decision. Most businesses on Facebook use the social media’s “interests” to define their target audiences. However, this method has its limits.

Not always can you define which “interests” will correlate with your product. AliDropship’s team had plenty of cases when they discovered new “interests” long after the initial campaign was launched.

Besides, these “interests” reflect people’s hobbies or concerns, but a target audience is a much more complicated concept. That’s why by sticking to your initial target audience, you may be missing other opportunities to make money.

Solution

Along with the target audience built mostly on the basis of Facebook interests, you should consider using a lookalike audience.

In simple terms, a lookalike audience is created by Facebook based on the behavior of users who visit your site, react to your ads, etc. The platform analyzes this data and looks for similar Facebook users to show them your ads. Read our Facebook lookalike manual to learn more.

#7 Making your Facebook audience too small

Most entrepreneurs realize that targeting every single user on Facebook is useless and too expensive. If you sell female clothing, there’s no point advertising these goods to men. That’s why we need a target audience.

However, by narrowing down the circle of potential customers, you risk making your Facebook audience too small. Although such targeting can (and most likely will) be effective, one can hardly expect a large profit since there are too few potential buyers.

Solution

Instead of sticking to small audiences, sometimes it is more efficient to target more users even if the conversion rate of such advertising campaigns drops. 2% may seem like less than 5%. But 2% of a thousand is much more than 5% of a hundred.

If you don’t want to make these or other Facebook advertising mistakes, you can subscribe to our Premium Products service. Every week, we will send you new dropshipping products which we tested in our self-owned shops. Moreover, along with product data, we also share marketing materials and target audience recommendations.

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