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How to promote your eCommerce business in 2020

As online platforms and publishers look to grab bigger shares of digital commerce budgets, the number and variety of paid and organic formats available to marketers  to promote their e-businesses have taken off in the last few years, including shoppable media options.  Below is a list of current options.

Product Shopping Ads

These are feed-based sponsored product ads that started on Google Shopping and have proliferated across nearly every channel, including Snapchat, Microsoft Advertising, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, Amazon, Pinterest and other marketplace and retailer sites. These ads feature a single product.

Multi-Product Shopping Ads

As shopping ads have gained popularity, platforms have been iterating on the format. Google Showcase Shopping ads feature multiple related products and typically show on broader category queries. Facebook and Instagram offer multi-product, swipeable Carousel ads as well as the newer Collection ads which combine brand and direct-response elements. Snapchat’s Collection ads are full-screen ads featuring a set of products. Users can tap each product image to surface more product details in the ad.

Dynamic Product Ads

These can be effective, but also need to be managed well. Dynamic product ads are the ones users often complain about seeing after they’ve already purchased a product. The ads automatically show users the exact or similar products they recently viewed on an advertiser’s website or app. Many platforms, vendors and publishers support this type of advertising, including (but not limited to)
Amazon, Google, Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat, Verizon Media, AdRoll and Criteo.

Shoppable Influencer Posts

Brands know influencers (celebrities and creators) can drive sales from their social posts and videos. Social platforms have been testing formats that let users click to shop right from influencers’ posts. Instagram and TikTok are among those experimenting with this type of format for influencers on their platforms.

Product Display Ads

These are similar to standard Product Shopping Ads, but aren’t associated with search. Amazon’s version is now called Sponsored Display. The ads feature a single product and can be targeted on and off Amazon to audiences based on relevant Amazon shopping activities

Shoppable Posts/Images

These are organic (unpaid) posts on social networks that can be used to promote and link to products. Examples include Pinterest product pins, Instagram shoppable posts, and the new Amazon Posts, currently in beta.

Shop the Look: A variation of Shoppable Posts, Pinterest was the first to offer an organic, interactive Shop the Look format with clickable hotspots on products featured in images. Fashion and home decor marketers can tag products shown in their images (items in an outfit or furniture shown in a living room, for example) manually or work with Pinterest Marketing Partners Olapic or Curalate. Google has tested a paid version called Shoppable Image Ads in Image Search.  Publishers are also testing Shoppable Media solutions that can help brands shorten the gap between product discovery and purchase. Verizon Media’s Touchpoints ads, for example, are full-screen interactive mobile ads that enable users to tap on products to learn more and click to shop from the retailer’s website. POPSUGAR publisher Group Nine is testing shoppable ads for brands that feature the products they sell on Amazon and Walmart.

Shoppable Video Ads

These ads let users take buying actions right from a video on their devices, including TVs. In addition to YouTube and social platforms, over-the-top OTT (or advanced TV) vendors are making television content and ads shoppable as well.

Shoppable UGC

Turn content your customers are creating into authentic and effective marketing content. Marketers can do this themselves or use a vendor such as Olapic or TINT to re-purpose UGC content into shoppable, sales-generating social posts.

Shoppable Story Ads

Snapchat’s Shoppable Story ads can run in Discover and between stories. Instagram’s version lets marketers add Product Stickers to their Stories that users can click on to see more product details and a link to the company’s website.

Comment Selling

Yep, you can use comments to sell products on Facebook and Instagram posts directly to commenters. CommentSold, Soldsie, PopItUp and Shoppe are among the vendors in this space.