More than 3.4 billion people use Facebook every month to connect with friends and the brands they love. And as of 2021, Instagram has 1 billion users worldwide.
These digital platforms have grown exponentially and have become staple marketing channels and now shopping marketplaces for today’s merchants. The way consumers shop has drastically changed. Selling across multiple channels has become more of a necessity as omnichannel shopping is the “new normal” now.
Social commerce channels such as Facebook and Instagram should be part of your omnichannel strategy to promote your brand, showcase your products and reach a larger audience that uses these platforms every day.
Facebook for BigCommerce helps merchants access the tools they need to sell more across Facebook and Instagram. You can seamlessly integrate your BigCommerce store catalog to your Facebook and Instagram shops in just a few clicks.
In this guide, we dive into why Facebook for BigCommerce is right for your business, share merchant success stories and our top tips and best practices to help you succeed.
What is Facebook for BigCommerce?
Facebook for BigCommerce provides a broad suite of Facebook Business tools that help merchants grow and thrive with access to new sales channels, ads and measurement opportunities. It simplifies the process of setting up your shops on Facebook and Instagram, making end-to-end business management even easier.
Why Use Facebook for BigCommerce?
With 200 million businesses, Facebook and Instagram are proven partners to make online selling easy for merchants to reach people where they are. There are many opportunities to grow your customer base, optimize your posts and measure results.
- Find new customers: Harness the power of Facebook tools to connect with new audiences across Facebook and Instagram with targeted ads.
- Measure results: Conversions API works with your Facebook pixel to help improve the performance and measurement of your Facebook ad campaigns.
- Automatically sync your catalog to simplify inventory management, creating ads and tagging products.
The integration is quick and easy so you can start having an instant presence in those channels. You also will provide a holistic brand shopping experience across both Facebook and Instagram while proactively reaching the right audience for your business. And there are no fees until 2022!
Merchants who join Checkout on Instagram through BigCommerce will have their selling fees waived until June 20, 2022. See details here.
Note: Fees only occur when buyers purchase directly on Facebook or Instagram. This does not impact buyers who are checking out directly on the sellers website.
Merchant Success Stories
Based in Austin, TX, Pride Socks, an apparel company, wanted to drive conversions and also share their brand’s mission — spreading love, pride, respect and inclusion through their Instagram Shop.
Rachel Smith, founder of Pride Socks, saw an instant increase of views in their stories when tagging products and loved seeing the new engagement. Since January 2021, Pride Socks saw a 36% increase in sales that came directly from Instagram Checkout and the Facebook integration.
“When we started tagging our products, we saw a huge increase [in engagement] because [the response was], ‘Oh cute. I like that look. I want that for my niece, my grandma or brother.’ Then click… and people loved it because it took them immediately to where they wanted to go versus searching.”
— Rachel Smith, Founder of Pride Socks
Social media is also playing a significant role in Skullycandy’s overall digital success. Skullcandy, a headphone and earbud company, enabled the Facebook Shop integration to provide their customers with a seamless shopping experience on both Facebook and Instagram.
“We are really taking bets on social commerce, leveraging built-in BigCommerce integrations to serve product catalogs across social channels where orders start in the social channel, and seamlessly drop into BigCommerce’s control panel for streamlined fulfillment.”
— Kathryn Smith, Global Brand Director at SkullCandy
How to Get Started
Launching your shop on Facebook and Instagram is quick and easy.
Your BigCommerce store’s catalog will connect seamlessly to your shop on Facebook and Instagram so consumers can easily discover your products, share them with friends and checkout directly on Facebook/Instagram. Orders from Facebook and Instagram are managed from BigCommerce just like storefront orders.
Once you connect your BigCommerce store to Facebook via Channel Manager, you can start tagging your products from your catalog directly in your Instagram photos. Instagram users can discover more information about your products and can link directly to your store for purchase.
Stores based in the US can also apply for and enable checkout on Instagram, which allows shoppers to purchase the products they discover on Instagram without ever leaving the app. When enabled, new products you tag in posts will use the in-app checkout process instead of redirecting to BigCommerce for checkout.
Note: Checkout on Instagram is only available to US stores and shoppers using USD currency.
Once your store has met the requirements, Instagram will review your connected accounts. Then, over the next week, you’ll receive a notification in your Instagram account.
Merchants who have already been invited by Instagram may get notified sooner. If you haven’t already connected your BigCommerce store to Facebook, follow the steps below.
Once connected, you can link your Facebook and Instagram accounts, allowing you to tag products in your Facebook and Instagram posts.
Before You Begin
- Make sure your products are not prohibited under Facebook’s Commerce Policies.
- Make sure you are logged in to Facebook with the account you want to use with your store. This account should be an admin in the Facebook Business Manager you’ll connect to your store.
- If you haven’t already, create a Facebook Business Page.
- You will need your banking account information ready when setting up Payments.
Send Your Catalog to Facebook
1. Go to Channel Manager › Facebook and click Connect. If you haven’t already, Facebook will have you log in with the account you want to use with your store.
2. In the Facebook popup that appears, you’ll select your Facebook Business Page, Business Manager account and Ad Account. You’ll also set up your Ad Account and Facebook Pixel or create new ones. After setup on Facebook is complete, you’ll automatically be returned to BigCommerce to finish setting up.
3. Enter your shop details, including your business address and tax information. You’ll need to enter your state registration number for each state you collect taxes in (nexus). When you’re done, click Next. Learn more about how Facebook determines tax rates.
4. Set up your shipping options. This is how orders that come from Checkout on Instagram will be shipped. You must set up at least one option but may have up to three (standard, expedited and rush). Note that orders must be marked as “shipped” within 3 days of being placed and include tracking numbers. Learn more about shipping policies for orders made through Checkout on Facebook or Instagram.
5. Set up your Return Policy. You must allow at least 30 days (up to 90 days) for returns and provide an email address for customer service contacts. When you’re done, click Next. Learn more about accepting and closing returns for orders made through Checkout on Facebook or Instagram.
6. Click Accept Terms to agree to Facebook’s Commerce Product Merchant Agreement, then click Setup Payments. In the popup that appears, complete the requested business details and banking information. Learn more about accepting payments on Facebook and Instagram.
Note: If you run into issues setting up your payment information, contact Facebook Commerce support here.
7. For Category Mapping, set up your Default Category (this is a Facebook category). This will serve as a “catch-all” category for uncategorized products, so choose something that most closely fits your business or the category of products you sell most. Next, map your BigCommerce categories to the closest matching category on Facebook. You don’t have to complete all your categories now; you can move on and come back to finish later if you want. When you’re ready, click Next.
8. Click Export to send your BigCommerce catalog to Facebook. You can leave this page and the export will continue. Depending on the size of your catalog, this can take up to 2+ hours. Once the export is complete, you’ll get a report on which products were successfully exported. See our section on troubleshooting products that failed to export to Facebook for examples of why certain products fail, and how to fix it.
Connect Your Facebook and Instagram Accounts
You must have an Instagram business account to enable product product tagging on Instagram and allow customers to checkout directly within the app.
Follow the instructions here to connect your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Once approved, you’ll receive a notification from Instagram that you can start tagging products in your posts.
You’ll also see a notification in the app, so make sure you have the latest version installed on your device.
Enable Checkout on Instagram
1. Go to Channel Manager › Facebook and click the tab for Instagram.
2. Click Enable Channel. On the next few screens, you’ll select your Instagram handle and complete any other required setup steps.
3. Once completed, your store will be queued for review by Instagram. They will let you know your connected accounts are under review and you can return to this page later to check your approval status. Some stores that have already been notified by Instagram may be approved immediately.
Tools and Best Practices
With so much opportunity available through Facebook for BigCommerce, merchants need to be strategic about creating optimizable content that drives conversions.
Here are our top tips we’re seeing work for brands:
1. Use Product Tags Frequently
Every month, 130 million people tap on product tags to learn more about brands they see on Instagram. Product tags enable you to highlight products from your BigCommerce catalog and help customers learn more about what you’re selling.
Using product tags is essential for giving shoppers an easy way to find your brand, but also to make a convenient purchase. Product tags should be a part of your baseline Instagram strategy and you should leverage them whenever posting images of products.
Pro Tip: Facebook recommends posting images with product tags at least five times a month. In addition to tagging in your posts, you can also tag products in Instagram Reels and Stories, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
When shoppers tap a product tag on a post, they will redirect to a product detail page. A product detail page shows all relevant information about an item: pricing, descriptions and media (photos and videos).
Product detail pages pull in all media where the product is tagged. Here’s how to tag your products on Instagram:
- Enable product tagging. When creating a post, tap “Tag Products” to open the tagging menu. Here you’ll be able to turn on this feature.
- Tag your product. Tap the photo you’d like to add product tags to, and be sure to select your BigCommerce catalog. Make sure you don’t overcrowd your content with tags so that people can see the items clearly.
- Review before you publish. Review the product tags you’ve selected, then tap “Done” to return to the feed post creation page.
The most successful Shopping businesses use product tags frequently across different formats in feed, stories, Reels, IGTV, captions and Live because people spend time in different places on Instagram.
Using product tags consistently to create more shoppable posts can help you reach new shoppers and get the most out of your shop.
2. Keep Your Catalog Up to Date
You’ll need a product catalog to use product tags on Instagram, and having a robust one will help you be successful. Always consider the shoppers’ point of view: They see your post in their feed or discovery; they want to learn more and tap the image. They see the product tag and advance to the product detail page.
Important things to consider when updating your catalog:
- Inventory: Only products with inventory can be sold. To start selling products, update your catalog with accurate inventory counts (so you know when items sell out) and product category codes (for taxes).
- Product names: Keep product names concise and consistent with your website on Instagram, so shoppers can see how to utilize a product.
- Product descriptions: Include the item description, including length, materials, cut and size considerations. For non-US sizes, remember to include size conversions.
- Sizing: For products that need sizing consideration, make sure details are precise. If a product has multiple sizes, ensure you have inventory for each size.
- Pricing: Make sure the price is accurate and consistent with your website.
- Shipping Fees: You have the option to set different types of shipping fees, including free shipping minimums at various service levels. Put your shipping options in your Commerce Manager settings.
Pro Tip: Without more images or videos to swipe through on a product detail page, shoppers can easily churn. Provide at least two photos of the product.
3. Make Your Content Actionable
Consumers engage with shoppable posts and videos throughout the app. Regularly creating engaging and actionable posts about your products across posts, Reels and Stories can help amplify your reach while building shopping behaviors.
- Use clear calls to action to inform consumers how to shop for your products on Instagram.
- Update your Instagram profile to let shoppers know that they can buy from you directly on Instagram. For example, adding phrases like “Start shopping below” to your profile will help clarify that visitors, especially new customers, understand they can shop your product directly via Instagram.
4. Plan Your Posts Ahead
Identify what cultural moments matter to your brand and your audience, then create content relevant to those moments. This planning ahead will not only be beneficial for your upcoming product launches and announcements, but also helps establish an emotional connection with customers and build brand affinity.
5. Design Your Shop to Reflect Your Brand
When merchants enable shops on Facebook and Instagram, you get access to merchandising features to curate and customize the shopping experience for your customers.
Products can be organized with collections around seasonal moments, promotions and upcoming launches.
Visual merchandising can also provide a custom look and feel to highlight your brand. Remember to arrange the layout and order of your collections so that people see your new and featured collections first.
According to Facebook data, merchants that tag 5+ days per month on their feed, see on average:
- 278% increase in product page visits
- 231% increase in purchases
- 216% increase in sales
Is there any additional cost or extra fee for enabling Facebook Shop for my BigCommerce store?
Other than the Facebook Payments processing fee of 5% per transaction or $0.40 if the transaction is $8.00 or less, no, there are no additional costs or fees.
Merchants who join Checkout on Instagram through BigCommerce will have their selling fees waived until June 20, 2022. However, sales generated through Facebook Shop and other built-in BigCommerce integrations are counted in your store’s GMV/sales.
Increased sales/revenue could result in your store being automatically upgraded, depending on your current plan. See BigCommerce Pricing for more information.
Is my personal Facebook account shared?
No. Even though you may use your personal Facebook account to create your business page, your personal account identity and information is not publicly shared or shown on the page.
Why is my Facebook page grayed out during setup?
The Facebook account you are currently logged in with may not have admin permission for that page, or the page may not be published.
What happens when a product’s stock reaches zero/runs out?
Out of stock products will continue to sync to Facebook as long as they are marked “visible”. The products will continue to show on Facebook but will not be purchasable.
Do hidden categories/products in hidden categories export/sync?
Products that are in hidden categories, and the hidden categories themselves are still “visible” in Facebook Shop and will export/sync. These categories/collections can be marked as “Unpublished” in your Facebook Shop settings.
Why is the product I want to tag in my Instagram post not appearing?
Every product in a catalog is reviewed for policy violation. If a product is not appearing, it may have been disapproved or is a duplicate product. Your BigCommerce store’s system error logs can provide insight to why certain products may have been not approved by Facebook or Instagram.
My product was not approved. Where can I fix this and what does it look like?
Facebook reviews all products to ensure they don’t violate any Advertising Policies before appearing in ads.
If your product violates Advertising Policies, it will not be able to be used in your Instagram shopping ads. Businesses can try to update the product in the catalog with a non-trivial change (e.g. new image), and it will trigger a new review process.
Facebook is working on implementing a manual review process for rejected products on Instagram Shopping, but don’t have timelines at this time.
You can contact the Facebook Commerce support team for Instagram Shopping questions issues through this support form.
Walmart has grown into a globally recognized brand and dramatically changed the retail landscape since opening its first store in 1962. In fact, because 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store, it has become the go-to retailer for in-store shopping.
Walmart launched its online marketplace in 2009 to create a trusted and transparent platform to ensure customer and brand loyalty. Its presence in ecommerce has made it the world’s largest omnichannel retailer and provided merchants the opportunity to sell their products on their marketplace in front of 120 million unique monthly visitors.
With more and more shoppers turning to digital channels to make purchases, it’s imperative to have the right mix of sales channels to expand your customer reach and increase brand recognition and revenue.
In order to grow, merchants need to revisit their omnichannel strategies and explore more digital marketplace opportunities beyond their ecommerce stores.
Forecasters expect multichannel sales to make up close to 46% of all ecommerce sales by 2023, up from 40.3% in 2019. Retailers selling through a single branded ecommerce site like BigCommerce saw a 58% revenue growth after adding a marketplace. Selling on a secondary marketplace can increase revenue by 106%.
“Omnichannel shopping is quickly becoming the baseline expectation for customers. Suppliers, sellers and retailers alike must embrace that if we’re going to succeed together.”
— Michael Mosser, GM of Entertainment, Toys and Seasonal, Walmart
Walmart Marketplace is a strategic channel merchants should consider in their omnichannel strategy. Third-party sellers get significantly more exposure on Walmart.com compared to Amazon.
As the world’s largest physical retailer, Walmart’s incredible infrastructure and the ability to provide shoppers the freedom to buy online and pickup/return in store (BOPIS and BORIS).
In this guide we’ll dive in on:
- Why Walmart Marketplace is right for your business.
- How to get started with Walmart Marketplace.
- Best practices and success strategies to drive sales.
What is Walmart Marketplace?
As a large-scale cross-category digital retail platform, Walmart Marketplace is the second largest marketplace after Amazon and offers over 35 product categories with products appearing directly in Walmart.com search results.
In order to ensure a positive experience for both vendors and shoppers, Walmart is selective of its sellers and has an extensive vetting process. This means that customers get better quality products and merchants have less competition. In fact, merchants see 13x more sales on Walmart Marketplace than Amazon.
Walmart Marketplace Audience
The average shopper on Walmart Marketplace is between the ages of 23 and 38, is married with children and owns a home. Like so many other consumers, Walmart shoppers are increasingly buying more online across a variety of channels.
Findings included the top five purchase categories: groceries, personal care, health, household cleaning products and beauty products. Customers also tried new digital tools (pickup & delivery, Walmart.com) to shop versus going in-store to make purchases.
Why Sell on Walmart Marketplace?
Walmart’s brand recognition allows merchants to reach new audiences and provides businesses with an impressive amount of exposure. Walmart Marketplace sellers receive roughly 27,000 monthly visitors compared to 2,100 on Amazon.
As a Marketplace seller, you’ll have control over your business, including inventory, retail pricing, fulfillment and customer care. Merchants who sell on Walmart Marketplace gain access to many benefits, including:
- Incremental revenue stream and ability to reach millions of shoppers.
- Options for fast shipping, easy returns and pickup, plus top-notch customer service with Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS).
- Self-serve advertising portal to target the right shoppers.
- Competitive pricing structure and transparent referral fees.
- Centralized management of Walmart and other sales channels.
Merchant Success Stories
VitaBox, an essential goods company, connected its entire product catalog of 8,500+ products to Walmart in as little as two days. Since becoming operational on Walmart Marketplace, Vitabox increased sales an additional 25%, with Walmart quickly becoming the company’s second-largest sales channel.
Stone Coat Countertops, a DIY remodeling supply company, wanted to increase their audience reach and get their brand in front of new customers, specifically Walmart in-store shoppers. They knew the application to sell on Walmart Marketplace can be a long process and looked to BigCommerce for help.
“We had been trying to get our products on Walmart since last Q4, but BigCommerce was able to escalate our application and get us on Walmart very quickly. We also know Walmart is making this big e-commerce play… [and] we’ve seen that some of those online brands whose products are most successful on Walmart Marketplace are also getting their products in stores, which exponentially increases sales volume.”
— Jeffrey Jensen, Site Leader, Stone Coat Countertops
How to Get Started
BigCommerce consultants are here to help with every step of the way with the application process and any questions regarding the integration. Merchants who apply to list on Walmart through BigCommerce are placed in a priority review queue.
The application process takes half the time to process compared to non-BigCommerce merchants (7 days instead of 14).
Here are the steps:
1. Create a channel in BigCommerce’s Channel Manager — Go to Channel Manager and click + Create Channel
2. Connect to Walmart — Under Marketplaces, click Connect to Walmart
3. Apply to sell with Walmart — On the next page, click Apply to sell to begin the application process.
4. Submit application with Walmart — After clicking Apply to sell, the seller will be redirected to Walmart Marketplace.
5. Choose a preferred integrator to connect BigCommerce to Walmart:
- CedCommerce (SB): Easily connect and automate your products and order management directly with Walmart from within BigCommerce. A great fit for small businesses who are also looking to integrate with various channels based in countries around the world.
- Codisto (SB/MM): Seamlessly create, manage and optimize your Walmart Marketplace listings, inventory and orders directly from within BigCommerce. Codisto will also enable you to sync your products with other global channels, including Amazon, eBay and Google.
- Feedonomics (MM/ENT): Intelligently optimize your product feeds on Walmart Marketplace to enhance your brand’s performance. BigCommerce will be the inventory/order hub for transactions completed on Walmart.
- Sellbrite (SB): Easily sync your product catalog with Walmart Marketplace and other global marketplace channels, like Amazon and eBay. This solution will serve as your hub for inventory and orders, and will also integrate with various 3PL options like Deliverr.
- SureDone (SB/MM): Sync, sell and ship your products on key online marketplaces like Walmart. This solution will serve as your hub for inventory and orders, and will enable you to export and repurpose your data across all of the channels and fulfillment services you integrate with.
- Zentail (MM): Centrally automate listings, inventory and orders from your marketplaces and BigCommerce store. This solution will act as the hub for your inventory and orders, making it a good fit for merchants with more complex operational workflows.
“Omnichannel doesn’t mean you apply the same practice in every channel, right? It’s a matter of being in all the channels. I think you need to leverage the data and tools that you have in each of those channels to be successful. As you look at Walmart Marketplace and your business going forward, it would be looking at things specifically like what inventory is currently selling on the platform and what are the prices that it’s selling at, again, making sure that you’re being competitively priced.”
— Michael Mosser, GM of Entertainment, Toys and Seasonal, Walmart
Walmart Marketplace has a variety of in-depth tools and omnichannel programs to attract more customers and drive sales. Sellers have access to view and manage their data, programs to increase product visibility, buy box wins and conversion rates.
Here are our top Walmart tools to help you succeed in selling more on Walmart Marketplace:
Today’s shoppers expect free and fast shipping. Luckily, Walmart Marketplace offers free delivery in two days on eligible listings. This is a great free program to use to show customers you can provide free delivery in two days.
The delivery program is available to all Walmart Marketplace sellers with two ways to opt-in, primarily based on how directly you manage fulfillment and what’s best for your business:
- Seller-Managed: You manage your fulfillment network, shipping items from your warehouse(s) and possibly additional fulfillment partners for some items. Performance criteria must be met to be eligible for this option.
- Third-Party-Managed: You can use a BigCommerce and Walmart’s joint partner such as Deliverr or Shipbob, to fulfill all orders on your behalf.
Pro Seller Badge
A Pro Seller badge optimizes your listings and lets customers know you consistently provide great shopping experiences with on-time delivery and free returns. No application is needed to get the Pro Seller Badge, and Walmart will automatically add the badge to a merchant’s catalog.
Walmart has the following criteria to be eligible for the Pro Seller Badge:
- Listing Quality Score : 70% of a seller’s trending catalog must be above 60%.
- Delivery defect rate: <10%.
- Cancellations: < 2%.
- Orders: More than 100 in the last 90 day.
Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS)
WFS offers merchants fast, low-cost fulfillment services to reach customers. Sellers are able to store inventory at Walmart fulfillment centers and access Walmart’s Free & Easy Returns program.
When a customer places an order, WFS picks, packs and ships the item to the customer on a seller’s behalf and handles customer support including returns. There are product requirements that apply:
- Products must ship to Walmart fulfillment centers within the United States.
- No perishable or regulated products.
- Maximum product weight is 30 lbs.
- Maximum product dimensions: 25” x 20” x 14”.
If interested to apply for WFS, fill out the application here.
Utilizing Walmart Sponsored Products increases your visibility by allowing you to reach and engage shoppers at every stage of their journey. Your ads appear on the first page of search results, category pages and item pages to drive traffic to your products.
Sponsored Products help consumers find and purchase products that you sell on Walmart. They’re cost-per-click ads, so you only pay when a shopper clicks on your ad.
Sponsored Products are selected based on a combination of relevance and bid:
- Products advertised must win the buy box.
- Products advertised must be in stock.
Once a merchant is live on Walmart, our partners such as Tinuiti and Teikametrics can amplify your listings and manage sponsored ads on Walmart.
- Tinuit’s comprehensive program helps your brand scale up on Walmart through effective advertising management, creating content and media designed for conversions, and refining your operations program.
- Teikametrics provides robust reporting options and additional data, giving a more holistic view of advertising and business performance.
Listing Quality Dashboard
The Listing Quality Dashboard is a free tool to optimize your listings to stand out. The dashboard provides a measurable quality score and a detailed breakdown of contributing factors to improve your listings.
The Listing Quality Score is calculated by what drove a customer to purchase similar items using an algorithm. Recommendations are also provided, including best practices on competitive pricing, detailed descriptions and your customer service rate.
Shoppers expect a consistent and easy experience regardless of whether an item is sold by Walmart or by a Marketplace seller. There are many ways to be successful on Walmart Marketplace and here are our top tips:
How to Optimize Your Listings
1. Make your product name count. The first thing people will see is your product name, so consider including words that are product-specific and unique. We recommended keeping your product name between 50-75 characters long.
Pro Tip: Use a descriptive title such as adding a color if it’s something your customer will most likely search for.
2. Keep your catalog up to date. This is extremely important to provide the best shopping experience for potential customers. Accurate pricing, correct images with robust descriptions of your product are a must. Don’t forget to include length, materials, size and any additional information relative to your product.
3. Choose clear and various images. All listings must have at least two images. They must also be in focus, professionally lit and photographed. Don’t show accessories that do not come with the item.
4. Pick the right categorization. Walmart lets you pick categories and subcategories for your listings, but finding the proper category isn’t always obvious. Refer to Walmart’s Categorization Guide for additional information.
Pro Tip: Avoid selecting “other” as the category unless necessary, as it may reduce the level of customer traffic to your product.
5. Provide the right UPC. Walmart requires you to provide a Universal Product Code (UPC) for every listing. For more guidance, click here.
Does it cost anything to sell on Walmart Marketplace?
There are no setup, subscription or monthly fees. Walmart deducts a referral fee once a sale occurs on Walmart Marketplace.
What types of items can I sell on Walmart Marketplace?
Walmart allows an extensive range of products on their site. Sellers are required to follow Walmart’s policies, which include some limitations, so please review Walmart’s Prohibited Products Policy for more information.
What is Walmart Fulfillment Services?
Walmart Fulfillment Services (WFS) is a program that allows sellers to store their inventory at Walmart fulfillment centers. When a customer places an order on Walmart.com, WFS picks, packs and ships the item(s) to the customer on a seller’s behalf. WFS also handles all customer support and returns for these orders.
Products fulfilled by Walmart qualify for TwoDay delivery and Free & Easy Returns programs.
What are Walmart’s shipping requirements?
Walmart has five shipping methods available. You can select the carriers, shipping price and shipping method to set up your seller profile in Seller Center. Orders must be shipped in non-branded packaging and can’t include materials from any company other than Walmart.
What are Walmart’s returns and customer service policies?
Returns for Walmart Marketplace purchases are designed to offer customers a consistent experience across Walmart.com. You can view the full return policy on Seller Help. Your customer service information (including customer service email address, hours of operation and customer service phone number) will display with your item listings on Walmart.com.
What will my items look like online?
They will look like other items sold on Walmart.com but include your company information, such as shipping, return policy and contact information.
No matter who you are, or where you’re from, the holiday spirit is alive and well.
For many holiday shoppers, that means finding that perfect gift for your loved ones. For many retailers, however, that means gearing up for a wild ride.
To ecommerce business owners and marketers alike, it’s more than just a festive season.
It’s about creating holiday gift guides and giveaways. It’s about using SEO skills to optimize your landing pages. It’s about getting new subscribers to your email campaigns and bringing back loyal customers. It’s about building that perfect messaging. It’s about bringing those unique holiday marketing ideas to life.
Whether it’s Amazon, Walmart, a new online store or anything in between, the holiday shopping season is a great opportunity to drive business. It’s a lot of work and pressure, of course, but the potential reward can be a game changer.
A good marketing strategy can boost holiday sales and beat last year’s numbers. A great one can last a lifetime.
BigCommerce, along with our partner PayPal, researched the most iconic holiday marketing campaigns in history. Here’s a snapshot of the last 150 years of these memorable holiday retail marketing campaigns from some of the world’s most well-known brands:
Best Holiday Marketing Campaigns in History
Before the days of email marketing and social media hashtags, many brands used influencers and even their own mascots to create holiday ads that ran throughout the Christmas season. Those marketing efforts were impactful and laid the foundation for what we see and use today.
Did Coca-Cola create the modern day Santa Claus? Did a department store really invent Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Is Mr. Potato Head responsible for reshaping holiday TV advertising? How did a single advertising campaign raise over $40 million to fund children’s vaccines?
It’s time to find out:
- Macy’s Holiday Window Campaign
- Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
- Coca-Cola Invents the Father of Christmas
- Budweiser Celebrates the End to Prohibition
- Montgomery Ward Employee Invents Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
- Campbell’s Soup Speaks to the ’50s Housewife
- Mr. Potato Head Becomes First Toy Ever Televised
- NORAD Tracks Santa’s Journey Around the World
- Norelco Popularizes Stop-Motion Animation
- Kentucky for Christmas! Why You’ll Eat KFC in Japan
- Folgers Advertises the Intangible
- Hershey’s Holiday Bells Defy Ad Agency of Record
- Coca-Cola’s Sledding Polar Bears Humanize Global Warming
- Coca-Cola’s Christmas Fleet Brings Truckloads of Cheer
- M&M’s Stumble Upon Santa –– No One is Left Standing
- Starbucks Red Cups Spark Consumer Salivating (and Controversy)
- Target’s Black Friday Catalog Focuses on Price
- Pampers’ “Silent Night” Raises $40 Million
- Give a Garmin Hits on Travel, Humor and Holiday Stress
- John Lewis Focuses on Storytelling Over Brand
- Macy’s Believe Campaign Raises $10 Million, Involves Schools
- American Express Small Business Saturday Supports Local
- Apple Makes Technology and Family a Priority
- REI’s #OptOutside Campaign Bucks Tradition
- Amazon’s “Give a Little Bit” Campaign Gives a Lot
- Spotify’s “#2018Goals” Campaign Speaks Loudly
- Google Home’s Alone Again with Google Assistant Campaign is the Ultimate Nostalgia
No matter which channels you use, for many brands (and likely even you), the holiday season — from after Halloween to Thanksgiving to Black Friday and Cyber Monday — is a make or break time, especially during the pandemic.
Perhaps these memorable campaigns can provide some inspiration for your content marketing team this year.
Welcome to The Make it Big Podcast, a bi-weekly audio series about all things ecommerce by BigCommerce.
In 2021, digital marketing is marketing. Co-Founder of DigitalMarketer, Richard Lindner, joins Melissa Dixon, BigCommerce’s Director of Content Marketing, to discuss the current state of marketing and where it’s headed.
The past year has forced brands to get even more creative in order to stand out in a crowded digital space and connect with customers. But, the basics still remain true: It’s the marketer’s job to channel and direct customers’ desires, not create them.
All episodes of The Make it Big Podcast are now available on Spotify, Apple and Google.
Here are a few excerpts from Episode 1:
Melissa Dixon: Tell us a little bit about how you got started [in marketing] and also ultimately what led to you founding DigitalMarketer?
Richard Lindner: “Absolutely. I got started 100% by accident. I did not intend to go into marketing much less digital marketing.
“When I first started, I didn’t really understand the Internet and wasn’t all that tech savvy, but I [came across] a business mentor who was a serial entrepreneur and had just transitioned from the traditional brick and mortar into online. [I] was able to mentor and almost apprentice under him as he really went from offline to online and quickly grew up [a] $20 to $40 million business in a very short time, just leveraging the Internet in very, very early days…
“The thought of founding a company or co-founding a company that taught other people how to market effectively and efficiently online, I would’ve never imagined the path from that to where we are today.
“We maintain that serial entrepreneur bug and launched a ton of new businesses launched or acquired, leveraged the media that we own to stand up new properties and new businesses and saw a ton of growth. We started teaching what we were doing because different founders and principals were being asked to speak on different events and share what was working. And we started productizing some of that knowledge and charging for it, making courses in very early course days, but we always saw it as a way to sell the by-product of what we were doing to reinvest into our ‘real businesses.’
“We started an event called Traffic & Conversion Summit 11 years ago and had the first one in Austin, Texas. And the third year in a row, 1,000 people paid to come. That was before DigitalMarketer existed.
“It was then that we stood back a little bit in all and said, ‘I don’t think this is what the kids would call today a side hustle.’
“So I think we’ve engaged in audience and we need to serve that audience. So it was day two of Traffic & Conversion Summit 3, when we made a commitment to launch DigitalMarketer. And because we are the consummate planners, we announced it on day three of year three at Traffic & Conversion Summit.
“So there was something about that extreme ownership, extreme accountability, and just going all in. That’s where it accidentally started and how we ended up here with DigitalMarketer.”
MD: Let’s talk about the current state of marketing. I know it may sound like maybe an overly simplified question, but how would you describe marketing in 2021 and what does it mean to you?
RL: “Melissa, I’ll tell you, I love that you asked the question how would you describe marketing? Because most people say what’s the state of digital marketing? How would you describe digital marketing? Here’s the great news in 2021, all marketing is digital marketing.
“Digital marketing is marketing. It’s just marketing now, at some point, no matter where you’re marketing through a digital platform or not your marketing transitions over to digital, right?
“It’s either digital ad space or you’re going to the web at some point. So everything is becoming digital. Radio ads are driving to digital, TV ads are driving to digital, print ads are driving to digital. So the origin of marketing, the origin of how you engage or make your person aware of your marketing message.
“Maybe [there’s] one thing that may not always start digitally, but everything comes back to digital. So digital is mainstream…
“Digital marketing is now marketing, all marketing is digital. What we saw this year, this past year during the pandemic is we saw 10 years worth of growth in online sales. I mean, that’s crazy. So what the pandemic forced, it can never take away. There are new habits. We all form new habits.
“The first three months of COVID, 10 years of growth. There’s no signs of stopping. And even though the world may open back up and we may go back to some aspect of what used to be as we’re establishing our new normal, those buying trends are not going away.
“What we expect as consumers from even non-online businesses, those expectations will not be reduced back to pre pandemic days. All marketing is going to be digital. That is not industry specific, business model specific. That is world specific.”
MD: What is your perspective on how to really become an expert in empathetic marketing and how to truly understand your audience and build that connection? What are some of the ways they can do that?
RL: “I fully understand that a lot of marketers and a lot of ecommerce store businesses and any kind of digital marketer, there’s a high probability that they are potentially an introvert. I get that, I can suffer from that as well.
“I can play an extrovert on TV, but at the end of the day, I’m an introvert. And I preface this because I’m pre-apologizing and I’m telling the introverts out there, you can do it. It’s okay.
“The first step in figuring out how do you clearly articulate what your customers are saying or feeling. What’s the conversation that they’re already having, whether or not you’re participating or not? She got to talk to him, you have to talk to him. And I don’t mean through a phone, like 100 customer conversations. That should be your goal. When the headline on your website is just a tightened-up version of something your ideal customer has said to you 15 times or more, when their ideal customer that’s never heard of you hits it. It’ll resonate with them.
“The type of content you’re creating should just be content that would solve the problem or make the average day better of that customer you’ve already talked to. You need to have real conversations with your customers to understand that pain, to understand the desires and to kind of start to walk a mile in their shoes, for lack of a better term.”
MD: From your perspective, what do you view as some of the fundamentals of good copywriting and why you think they’re so important?
RL: “Copy is copy. [Copy] should be broken up and chunked out and copy chunks should be used to drive to two bigger copy chunks, but what I see all the time is someone pulls up Microsoft Word or a Google Doc. And instead of having a conversation like you and I are, it becomes very formal even today, even when you think, like, I don’t know.
“I remember this’ll date me that I remember having to learn how to in middle in high school, write a formal letter, write a business letter. I see marketers that just revert to this tone of formal, speak in marketing messages. And that is the best way to not form a connection.
“So the conversational tone is critical. I think the next step is knowing who you’re talking to. And again, if you understand that, I love what you said, that empathy or empathetic marketing. If you understand the hopes and dreams, the desires and the outcomes of your customer, and you understand the frustrations today, then that’s step one.
“Now we have to clearly articulate those. Here’s where you’re at and here’s where you want to be. And here is how whatever I’m offering you will expedite your journey there. So, so much of marketing is conversational. But it’s very clear and concise, it’s benefit-based, we start with the benefit. And I think I see in marketing people confuse features with benefits.”
MD: When it comes to graphic design and enhancing the brand experience, what do you think that brands should really focus on?
RL: “The physical manifestation of that brand. Or physical embodiment, the human embodiment of that brand. I think everything has to be in alignment. If you look at your copy, your message has to be there. And if you’re messaging empathy and understanding, then the voice in your podcast that has to be there. The design is just a little bit deeper in, but it has to all say the same thing, like images need to represent your customer’s core desire.
“Think of the average day of your customer, today and think of the desired average day. No matter what it is, if it’s a widget, if it’s clothing, if it’s coffee does not matter, what are you selling?
“Remember, what are you marketing? Are you marketing happiness? Are you marketing luxury and [its] status, elevation, but images need to represent the before and the after.
“So when you’re looking at your site, whether it’s a landing page or a product page, or a cart, your checkout, how are you reinforcing that message?”
For full episodes, stream The Make it Big Podcast on Spotify, Apple and Google.
Rapid growth in ecommerce sales and digital adoption across the globe opens up a world of opportunity for businesses looking to expand. The numbers alone make a compelling case: In 2021, ecommerce sales are expected to make up nearly 20% of total retail volume. By 2023, global ecommerce is projected to hit $6.2 trillion with the majority of retail ecommerce growth occurring in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and Africa.
And it’s easy to see how this shift is occurring in real-time — new ecommerce customers are logging on every day. Take Europe, for example. In 2020, the digital adoption rate jumped from 81% to 95%. As people confronted new challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, similar acceleration occurred worldwide.
The projected growth of ecommerce markets makes expansion more attractive than ever, with opportunities for businesses to tap into a new customer base, establish new partnerships, increase revenue and become a global brand.
So, considering the tremendous opportunities for growth, why don’t more businesses go global? There are some real barriers that keep businesses from branching out. Some of the ones companies frequently cite:
Localization. Website translation, adapting payment options and lack of market expertise — these are just a few of the obstacles of fitting into a new market.
Compliance. Navigating the tax considerations and regulatory environment in different jurisdictions can be highly complex.
Shipping and customs. Managing duties, tariffs and return costs often keep businesses from selling cross-border.
Accepting payments. Launching local payment methods requires months of work teams across your organization, including legal, business development, engineering, product and finance.
Managing customer support. Meeting customer expectations, generating word of mouth and protecting your brand from a distance requires some careful preparation.
For many businesses, the task of addressing all of these issues is daunting and cost-prohibitive. And the reality is going global is a major undertaking. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. With the right partner and smart planning, you can successfully navigate these challenges.
3 Steps to Take for International Ecommerce Growth
There’s a lot to consider before you venture across borders. Following a basic strategy can help you take a careful, thorough approach. BigCommerce has partnered with Stripe, a global leader in payments infrastructure, because they enable businesses to accept payments in 195 countries and dozens of local payment methods when using Stripe on BigCommerce. Stripe recommends a three-step framework for going global that helps businesses think through their options and take smart steps toward international growth.
Step 1: Evaluate
As with any big adventure, a great tool to start with is a map. It might seem simplest to choose your closest neighboring countries or the most developed regions where ecommerce is already strong. But taking a broader sweep and evaluating markets around the world can help you identify your path to expansion.
Considering not only where the market stands today but where it’s headed can also help inform your decision. India, Brazil, Russia, and Argentina are projected to see 26% growth rates in ecommerce in 2021. Asia-Pacific alone will account for nearly 61% of all retail ecommerce sales worldwide compared to North America which will claim 20%. And as of 2021, 94% of the world’s internet users are outside the US. — so taking a careful look far and wide may lead you to greater growth potential.
Let’s look at some regions you might want to consider and the key numbers that will factor into your decision.
- $1.7 trillion GDP
- 37 million population
- $52 billion annual B2C ecommerce growing at 15% in 2020
- 83% credit card adoption, 86% smartphone adoption, with 33% of ecommerce flowing through mobile
Top countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa
- The UK
- $2.8 trillion GDP
- $233 billion annual B2C ecommerce, growing 11% annually
- 55% buy online via mobile
- $2.8 trillion GDP
- $106 billion annual B2C ecommerce, growing 13% annually
- 39% buy online via mobile
- $3.8 trillion GDP
- $108 billion annual B2C ecommerce
- 50% buy online via mobile
Top countries in Asia-Pacific
- $1.4 trillion GDP
- 13% ecommerce growth rate
- World leader in contactless payment adoption, with 4 out of 5 in-person payments
- New Zealand
- $205 billion GDP
- 10% ecommerce growth rate
- 91% internet adoption
- $2.7 trillion GDP
- 1.4 billion population
- 26% ecommerce annual growth rate
- 43% buy online via mobile
- $1 trillion GDP
- 269 million population
- 31% ecommerce annual growth rate
- Payments split: 35% cash, 42% bank transfer, 10% wallet, 5% credit card, 3% convenience store, 5% other
- $5.2 trillion GDP
- 126 million population
- $183 billion B2C ecommerce, growing 7.7% annually
- 85% credit card adoption, 79% smartphone adoption, 42% of ecommerce flowing through mobile
Top countries in Latin America
- $1.9 trillion GDP
- 210 population
- 89% mobile adoption
- $1.2 trillion GDP
- 126 million population
- 34% ecommerce annual growth rate
As you’re taking stock of different markets, you’ll want to also compare and consider the following:
- Market size. What’s the ecommerce GDP in that particular country or region? What are the growth projections for that market?
- Market attractiveness. In a given market, how many customers fall within your target demographic? Is that number likely to grow? What are the country’s digital adoption and smartphone penetration rates? What is the competitive landscape?
- Ease of entry. When it comes to the logistics and costs involved with doing business, not all markets are created equal. You’ll want to be familiar with the following areas and how simple or complex each one is in your chosen new market:
- Localization requirements
- Data regulations
- Shipping partners
- Tax considerations
- Cross-border regulatory environment
After a thorough evaluation, you’ll be ready to make a strategic choice and start selling in a new market.
Step 2: Launch
Once you’ve chosen your new cross-border market, it’s time to launch. When you start doing business in a new country, it’s critical to ensure not only that you’ve chosen the right market, but your company is ready for cross-border transactions. To set yourself up for success, you’ll want to do the following:
- Offer local payment methods that are familiar to your customers. Payments are personal. Understandably, customers want to use payment options they know and recognize. Up to 16% of shoppers abandon their cart if their preferred payment method isn’t available. Sales data from Stripe found that of more than 6,000 businesses who sold to buyers in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Poland and Austria, on average saw a 40% lift in sales when they turned on European payment methods. If you’re working with BigCommerce and Stripe, you can easily turn these on with no additional work.
- Optimize your checkout flow. No matter where you’re doing business, friction chases customers away. And while your checkout may work without a hitch at home, it may be a trouble spot for customers in another country. Keep your checkout flow seamless with responsive forms that adapt to address formats across countries. And make sure your site offers dynamic, real-time confirmation of network acceptance across banking systems.
Some other crucial areas to pay attention to:
- Maintaining compliance with local regulations, including Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and Strong Customer Authentication
- Managing taxes, especially Europe’s Value-Added Tax (VAT)
- Managing customer support
- Handling shipping and customs
Each of these issues can be highly complex for a business to navigate in a new region, but remember you don’t have to manage it all on your own.
Step 3: Optimize
After you’ve opened for business internationally, it’s time to refine your operations for optimal performance. Now you can focus on maximizing your revenue and minimizing costs.
Consider opening a local entity.
This option requires a big investment, but as your business expands, it’s something to think about. You can do a lot virtually, but having a physical location in the market you’re serving can help you further boost revenue and add local expertise to your team.
What’s the advantage to opening an on-the-ground local shop? First, there’s significant cost savings on transactions. Domestic card transactions have about 10% better authorization rates than cross-border transactions. And domestic transactions eliminate cross-border fees, which can save you more than 2% on a $100 transaction.
Another advantage is that by hiring regionally, you tap into local knowledge, experience and expertise, which can lead to better products and marketing. Ultimately, this can help your business establish deeper connections with customers and drive brand loyalty.
Taking your business global is exciting and introduces immense opportunities for growth. But the challenges to venturing beyond your own borders aren’t insignificant. In fact, they can be highly complex and difficult to untangle.
The good news: BigCommerce and Stripe together are a great fit for ambitious businesses looking to expand. With the right partners in your corner, you can tackle those big next steps with confidence. To learn more, about how Stripe and BigCommerce work together, start your free-trial today.
A holiday season wouldn’t be complete without some shopping.
Whether it’s on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or throughout the holiday shopping season, millions of customers rush to get their hands on gifts for friends and loved ones. That means retailers must be ready in advance.
For ecommerce business owners and marketers, a winning holiday SEO strategy is one way to stand out.
By investing early in seasonal optimization, you can ensure good positions in SERPs ahead of the competition in order to capture more traffic and convert more sales.
So let’s make the search engine optimization (not-so-) magic happen. Here’s how you too can optimize your holiday content and landing pages to rank higher and maximize organic traffic.
SEO is a long-term game. No matter what some “mythical” SEO tips suggest, you can’t double organic traffic volumes overnight. But the earlier you start — the faster you’d climb to the top of search results and the more keywords you’ll rank for.
If your brand is ready to optimize for holiday-specific traffic, here are the five main steps to take:
- Assess Your Site’s Current Load Times and Performance
- Study Last Year’s Trends
- Identify Relevant Keywords for the Holidays
- Create Landing Pages for Black Friday and Cyber Monday Offers
- Coordinate SEO with Your Other Marketing Efforts
Assess Your Site’s Current Load Times and Performance
At any time of the year, ecommerce sites need to load fast and function well. Slow page loading time, missing images, glitching forms and non-intuitive navigation spike bounce rates.
For Google, all of these are a strong indicator of a no-good website. The algorithms rank your online store lower than your competition, even if you are otherwise excelling in digital marketing.
So before you dive into anything else, focus on optimizing your website’s technical performance. In particular, audit for:
- Slow website loading speed on desktop and mobile devices
- Mobile-friendliness score
- Broken URLs and in-content links
- Incorrect or missing canonicals
- Website indexing issues
- Outdated and redundant website pages
- Duplicate content
- Inconsistencies or complexities in website architecture
- Orphaned pages
- Unsecured pages and page resources (no SSL certificate)
Also, look for other shortcomings in user experience. For more on how to improve performance, check out our guide on Google Core Web Vitals.
1. Best Tools for Assessing Site Performance.
You don’t have to be an SEO-pro to figure out where targeted re-optimization can make the biggest impact on site performance. You just need to use the right tools:
- Google’s PageSpeed Insights locates performance-busting issues within your website code. Analyze your homepage, along with other main product, category and content marketing pages. Then forward the recommendations to your development partner.
- Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool scores your mobile-friendliness and mobile website speed. You’re also told what code or design elements need to be re-optimized.
- WebPage Test is a free tool to measure your website load speed. You also get a score with suggestions for fixes. Again, test multiple pages.
- Siteliner analyzes your website for broken links, duplicate content and number of internal/external links per page and compares your results to others.
- The “Index Coverage” report on Google Search Console helps review any indexing errors.
- Screaming Frog is a more advanced freemium tool for technical SEO audits and helps uncover deeper-level issues.
Study Last Year’s Trends
To anticipate where your holiday traffic will come from in the new year, look back at last year’s Search Terms report in Google Search Console.
This is a great start point to work out:
- Which pages generated the most traffic last year during the pandemic (and likely to do so again)?
- Which queries did people use to discover your products and deals?
Next, analyze data from other Channels. In particular, look for your top referral sources — affiliates, social media websites, email campaigns. Determine which channels drove you the most conversions and prioritize them for this year’s strategy.
Lastly, both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are as helpful as they are complex. If you’re new to them, give yourself extra time to study different reports and metrics and before the holiday shopping madness kicks in.
1. Google Analytics Tips for Ecommerce.
Google Analytics allows you to view real-time information about your site. This includes how many people have visited your site, what regions your visitors live in, which of your holiday marketing tactics are driving the most traffic and much more.
You can also view which of your users converted into sales, your visitors’ behavior within your pages and which pages are getting the most traffic.
To drill down the most valuable insights, try this:
- Explore Reverse Goal Path report to determine which content attracted the most website visitors and triggered the highest number of conversions.
- Prepare a set of custom URLs for planned ad and referral marketing campaigns to help track on-site customer behavior after they landed on your site.
- Analyze data from last year’s conversion funnels and/or set up new ones for this year’s holiday SEO campaigns.
2. Tips for Using Google Search Console.
Unlike Google Analytics, Google Search Console is more tailored for providing you with technical website data. In short, this tool reports how search crawlers ‘see’ your website and interact with it to determine its value for users.
You’ll want to make use of the following features:
- Performance: Google Search Console lets you select a custom timeframe, where you can then compare total clicks, impressions, click-through rates and more.
- URL Inspection: Under this tab, Google Search Console allows you to check the performance of individual pages.
- Coverage: In this section, you’ll receive a breakdown of all the pages on your site and their current status (valid, valid with warnings, error or excluded). This can be especially helpful for quickly identifying broken pages, as well as which of your pages your robots.txt file block or appear as “noindex.”
You should familiarize yourself with Google Search Console to have the most up-to-date information possible regarding your site and its performance.
Identify Relevant Keywords for the Holidays
Keyword research is a huge part of a successful SEO strategy. Targeting irrelevant keywords or those with no purchase/product research intention translates to budget waste. Going after overly-competitive keywords that every other online store is after means low chances for success.
To create your holiday keyword plan, first look into historic data from last year. Did you see any interesting keywords that shoppers used to find you? Check the Queries report on Google Search Console from last year.
Then, you can paste some of those keywords into Google Keyword Planner for extra ideas. Ignore PPC metrics such as bid cost for now and focus on seasonal keyword volumes. Segment keyword suggestions by month to find trending keywords for the holiday season. The wrinkle is that GKP doesn’t give away exact search volumes (only a range), plus their competition score is for paid search, not organic results.
So it’s best if you have extra keyword research tools in your box such as:
All of them let you see the exact monthly search volume for a keyword, get more “related keywords” auto-suggestions, plus review which domains currently rank for your target keyword (and how hard it will be to bump them).
P.S. If you’re unfamiliar with keyword research, check this helpful guide first.
Steps for Finding the Perfect Holiday Keywords.
When it comes to holiday keyword research, you have to pick your battles carefully. During the holiday season, you’d need to rank fast. So don’t go after overly-competitive broach keywords such as “buy cosmetics online.”
Why? Because your business would be competing for shopper attention with carousel ad results, Amazon product listings and category pages from other national retailers.
A smarter SEO move is to go after an array of competition keywords with a purchase or product research intent.
Here are the steps to find such holiday keywords:
- Pick a general high-volume keyword such as “gift ideas” or even “christmas gift ideas.” That’s a top of the funnel query a lot of people will use when casually browsing for ideas. In most cases, they’ll bounce off your website without buying anything. (Unless they are on a therapeutic shopping spree).
- Zoom in one level deeper and think about your customers’ purchase intentions. Who are they shopping for this year? Create a spreadsheet column listing all the relevant “gift ideas for…”
- Next, think about relevant holiday gift types.
Prioritize keywords with high search volumes, low competition and high relevance to your niche.
Your main goal is to make a good list of long-tail keywords to fuel your evergreen content strategy.
1. What to Look for When Searching for Long-Tail Keywords.
Long-tail keywords are low search volume, highly-specific keywords that are likely to match exactly what the user is searching for.
They’re the actual goldmine for attracting relevant traffic with high chances of conversions on your product pages.
Since most of us are familiar with Google search, we rarely use those exact match keywords, unless we’re very into our product research. So people who want to say “buy a diamond ring online” are more likely to be shopping around and comparing prices among online stores, rather than those who are mid-way into their journey.
Such shoppers are more likely to be looking for more specific products such as “princess cut 1-carat diamond ring” or even something like “diamond rings that look good on short fingers.”
When they see a highly relevant result, they are more likely to click and perhaps even convert.
Questions are another great example of long-tail keywords. Such queries are more popular for top-to-mid-of-the-funnel shoppers seeking holiday deals. This makes them an excellent choice for content marketing resources — gift guides, video tutorials, product comparison blog posts or round-ups.
When you assess every long-tail keyword ask yourself this:
- What’s the user intention behind it — research, consideration or purchase?
- Is it relevant to my product range?
- Does the search volume justify the difficulty level (low-comp/high search volume is the best combo)?
To find some interesting long-tail keywords around your main product categories, you can also use free keyword research tools such as Ubersuggest, LSI Graph and Answer the Public.
2. Use Google Trends to Determine the Seasonality of Keywords.
Google Trends is another excellent (and free) tool for seasonal keyword research. Use it to review the latest changes in search trends and discover emerging search queries. Plus, the real-time search volume dynamics behind them.
Click around to explore related topics and queries to discover even more long-tail keyword ideas. Then assess them using the three criteria we mentioned in the previous point and add the strongest contenders to your plan.
Create Landing Pages for Black Friday and Cyber Monday Offers
To increase your chances of showing up on Black Friday and Cyber Monday-related search queries, it’s important to create pages that target relevant keywords. (That you’ve discovered during the previous step).
To find the best prices available, users will often search for keyword combinations with “[brand name] or deals, discounts, promos”.
You can research which options are trending in your product vertical using historical results from Google Trends. Depending on the industry your business is in, it may be beneficial to create a Black Friday or Cyber Monday page for each product you plan on offering at a discount.
Also, don’t wait until Thanksgiving to create pages and target relevant keywords. Use an alternative strategy.
Create the pages ahead of time, then use a 302 redirect — a temporary redirect, as opposed to a permanent 301 redirect — so that the pages remain hidden until needed. This will give you ample time to optimize the pages for holiday shoppers, as well as give website crawlers time to scan the site.
You could even create an entire “mini-site” of holiday-related pages that are not visible to visitors until it’s time to start ramping up for the holiday season.
Once you create the pages, you must add them to your XML sitemap as well as your site’s navigation. The goal of creating these new landing pages is to drive traffic from search queries that include holiday-related keywords.
However, you should still have a way for returning customers to access the new pages if they’d like to see your holiday deals. By adding the new pages to your sitemap, you’re providing a roadmap for crawlers to quickly find your pages and index them.
With these two simple steps, you’re making it easier for users and crawlers alike to view and access your new holiday landing pages.
Coordinate SEO with Your Other Marketing Efforts
All parts of your holiday marketing strategy need to be well-aligned with one another. This will provide users with a unified experience that shows them exactly what they’re looking for.
The best way to do so is to think from the top to the bottom of the funnel. Use social media to increase brand and product awareness. Leverage paid search in tandem with SEO to convert buyers in the middle of their customer journeys. Measure all your efforts carefully to understand which channels work best and prioritize them.
1. Paid Search and the Holidays.
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only two days out of the year, it’s important to coordinate your paid search efforts with your SEO strategy. This way, you’ll have the most cohesive omnichannel experience for your users.
Similar to your SEO efforts, your paid search campaign quality should be based around a mix of historic ad performance data and new keyword findings.
Apart from that, here are a few things to remember when planning a holiday PPC campaign:
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday ad bidding can be brutal for your budgets. Be careful when selecting target keywords for search ads.
- As holiday shopping starts early this year, run paid promo campaigns before the big days when the competition is lower.
- For paid social media campaigns, match your campaign objectives to the right stage of the funnel.
- Leave some ad budgets for ad experiments. Try inventory Google Ads, LinkedIn sponsored posts (if you are in B2B space) or TikTok advertising tools (if you are in B2C).
2. Leverage Social Media to Drive More Traffic.
Like with SEO and paid search, you should begin planning your social media strategy for the holidays well ahead of time. First and foremost, you should determine the start and end dates of your social campaign, as well as which channels you plan on using.
From there, you should also study the social media tactics that your competition has used in the past and use the strategies that apply to your business.
For Facebook and Instagram, be sure to promote your brand and showcase your products, including the use of product tags and updating your catalog.
3. Measure Real-Time Success.
With site performance-optimized, keywords lined up, seasonal content live and paid promotions in full swing, you’re fully prepared for the holiday season. But how do you know if the grand sum of these efforts is successful?
Google Analytics and Google Search Console offer a variety of reports to help you identify your results. While every ecommerce business is different, there are several universal metrics worth monitoring:
- New vs returning shoppers (Audience > Behavior > New vs. Returning)
- Traffic channels report (Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels)
- Referral report (Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals)
- Search terms report (Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms)
- Ecommerce conversion reports (Conversion > Ecommerce > Overview > Shopping and Checkout Behavior)
These reports can break down your site’s traffic by total visitors, click-through rate and much more.
Other SEO Holiday Tactics to Try Out
If you’re still in the mood for a gourmet dessert after our big feast of holiday marketing tactics, shove your plate with this handful of holiday SEO tips. They are bite-sized, but won’t leave you traffic-hungry!
1. Update Product Descriptions for the Holidays.
You already know that ecommerce product descriptions impact conversion rates. Spruce up your copy with more emotional words for holidays. So that shoppers could picture how much joy your product could give them or their loved ones.
How do you make your copy joyful and persuasive? The Yale Attitude Change model suggests that people are more likely to respond to persuasive claims if they trust the ‘messenger’ and believe in the credibility of their words.
In that sense, all your marketing pitches need to focus on two things:
- Come from a source with the appropriate expertise/ethos, relevant to the product.
- Provide solid evidence as a backup.
2. Repurpose Last Year’s Pages.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday come and go. But the original URLs stay stashed in your admin panel. Instead of creating yet another duplicate page, re-use the ones from last year.
Doing so not only saves you design time but also carries some SEO benefits.
Instead of trying to rank a brand new page with less page authority and no backlinks, you’d be re-optimizing an already solid asset. The best part? You can repeat the trick next year to compound the benefits further.
If you plan to change the URL structure from /black-friday-2019/ to /black-friday/, set up a 301 redirect.
3. Don’t Forget About Local SEO.
With the rise of ecommerce, it’s easy to forget about the local crowd your brick-and-mortar location can serve, too. While most holiday shoppers plan to prioritize online channels, some will also shop in-store.
Convert local online traffic into online visits by:
- Updating and optimizing your Google My Business profile
- Creating local content marketing resources
- Acquiring press coverage from community publishers
- Advertising alternative delivery options — BOPIS, curbside pick-ups
- Regularly update your inventory levels to get included in the line-up of “nearby” filter results on Google Shopping
SEO is tricky for ecommerce websites, especially the smaller, local businesses.
To increase your odds of climbing to the top of SERPs, prioritize keyword research. Go after long-tail keywords that bigger competitors have missed. Capture top-of-the-funnel prospects with inspiring, educational and oh-so-jolly content that helps them make their best choices. Create Black Friday and Cyber Monday landing pages ahead of time and optimize them around a custom mix of keywords, sources from historical trends and new industry developments.
Keep your SEO efforts working in tandem with other marketing tactics and you’d be golden during this year’s holiday season.