Ecommerce Growth

The Smarter way ecommerce stores can deal with the iOS 14 update

iOS 14 has made Ads less effective. You now need clever ways to drive ecomm sales. Here's 5 methods to deal with the iOS 14 update & drive more checkouts.

The Smarter way ecommerce stores can deal with the iOS 14 update

Facebook has generated billions of ad revenue in the past and still seems to be a very popular platform to reach the masses, especially for ecommerce businesses. 

Back in 2014, Facebook had already recorded nearly $12.5 billion in revenue from advertising with 46% of that coming from the U.S and Canada. 

So, it’s no surprise that ecommerce companies rely heavily on Facebook advertising. And that’s generally for two main reasons — it’s affordable and offers enormous reach (currently on 2.6 million users!). 

The recently launched iOS 14.5 update caught the attention of the ecommerce world as it meant major changes pertaining to running ads on popular social media platforms. 

Apple has now made it mandatory for users to provide explicit permission for apps to collect and share data. 

This means that Facebook and other such social channels will now see significant limitations to their existing tracking capabilities — specifically, they will no longer have access to crucial data points such as what their iOS users click or search from outside the platform. The impact of this change is severe as it limits the possibility of personalizing campaigns to maximize conversion. 

The bottom line: Ads will become less effective in the long run when it comes to generating leads.

Optimize for people — not just for the algorithm

If you’ve ever searched for a solution to this problem, you probably would’ve come across a heap of articles regarding “How to prepare for the latest ios 14.5 update”. And they all talk about popular optimization techniques to maximize your ROI from Ads. 

We say –– rather than continuously optimizing for algorithms of facebook and other social platforms, tailor your ads to resonate with humans. 

With that goal in mind, here are few key fixes for your facebook campaigns:

Focus on creativity and copy optimization

While everyone focuses on optimizations and hacks, you'd want to get more creative instead to hook your audience. Considering that it’ll be harder to personalize ad campaigns, spend time and money on effective content marketing. 

Moreover, social media users aren’t really avid readers, they usually prefer skimming through their feed. When reading, they naturally resort to something called the F-shaped pattern of reading – scan the upper parts of a page horizontally, scroll and scan the later bits and then a medium paced vertical movement to swiftly go through the content. 

So, to grab their attention, let’s focus on the two key areas of a compelling ad:

Write for humans and not robots 

Avoid copies like  “This is what everyone is buying, join the trend now” or Get 50% off on your next purchase”. They are too generic and myopic. Instead, rock your brand and write like an energetic human. 

While it might be hard to understand each member of your audience, keep going back to your persona document to understand their personality and problem areas. That alone should give you enough information to speak your reader’s mind. 

And this goes without saying, show your audience the humorous and cheeky side of your brand. A little personality never hurt anyone and sure as hell make them look. 

Here is an example of a more human ad copy: 

example of a more human ad copy

Use images that convey a message (ditch stock)

Visual marketing has taken over and has become equally important to text based ads, if not more. 

If you want to make it work for your business, avoid using too much stock footage from Bannersnack, uplash, pexels etc. 

Everyone runs ad campaigns with such visuals but the best performing ads craft the best images for their brand, driving trust and relatability among viewers. The following tips can help you craft perfect visual ad campaign: 

  • While you can pick images from open source platforms, edit them to represent your brand messaging, logo and colors.

  • Jump on the meme train and try building meme based visuals to get your message across. People (especially millennials) love memes and appreciate those who create memes that put a smile on their face

  • Leverage user generated content of your brand and products. People ultimately trust people and this tactic saves you time and money while getting the message across

  • Can’t get the images right — try videos instead. They are highly influential in building sales. A study concluded that nearly 65% of facebook users purchase more products after watching a video. But make sure to keep them short, clear on the messaging, relatable and focused on customer problems

Here’s an example of a fun facebook ad by Starbucks that hit the right note with their images. 

example of a facebook ad by Starbucks

Why it worked? –– The 3 visuals clearly depict a coffee date which is the primary messaging of the campaign. Also, it’s not too fancy and is smartly branded (checkout the tissues).

Messenger ads ––  build a 1-1 connection

Facebook’s messenger ads were launched in 2019 and took the ecommerce world by storm. It essentially allows users to start a personal conversation with any brand, providing businesses a lot of scope to build a great connection with prospective customers and convert them faster. 

The platform offers three types of Messenger Ads:

  • Destination ads
  • Sponsored messages
  • Home section ads

While many have replicated this feature on their website directly, there is a huge opportunity to grab if this tactic is implemented well. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when diving into the messenger ads:

  • The same rules and tips apply to these types of ads  –– keep it crisp, compelling and more human

  • While the most ideal way to run this would be to assign a few experts to engage with customers, chatbots are also a great way to automate this process without losing the human touch. But avoid using many of the platforms pre-written texts and try crafting templates of your own

  • These ads generally perform better for a segment of your audience. That way, your message templates don’t seem pre-written or out of place and hits the right mark when it comes to personalization

  • Treat the first message you send as a separate project. Texts like “hello, here’s our product and people love it” won’t get the conversation going. Once again, pull out your persona doc, focus on the problem areas or core benefits and start with that. And don’t forget to test out different messaging for a subset of your target audience

  • Use emoticons wherever necessary. Facebook users, especially the younger ones, are all about emoticons. They find them fun, creative and relatable. But don’t over do it –– that’ll just seem too scammy or awkward

  • Keep the need to type to a minimal for every user. Have well crafted and clear options to choose from. This keeps things moving faster

There are a lot of examples out there but we’re always on the lookout for simplicity and creativity. Something like the one below:

examples of a messenger ad

The Long term solution: double down on other channels

While the tips and tricks we covered above are crucial in the short run, the fact is that you’d probably want to invest more efforts in other popular lead generation channels to neutralize the negative impact of the update. 

As you read further, you might come across a few strategies that you already carry out. But we focused on what brings you the biggest bang for the buck with each of them –– what separates top performing brands from the rest. 

So, let’s get started.

Grow your email list naturally

If you’re looking to explode your email revenue, ditch those purchased email lists. 

Why?

  • The emails generally go to spam 
  • Many of emails tend to bounce 
  • And you catch people off guard –– this only results in unsubscribes

Instead, try out some innovative ways to grow your email list through inbound efforts.  

If you’ve tried this out and not getting many sign ups, here are a few simple tips to up your game: 

  • Create website popups that are not annoying: Stop throwing a popup at your visitors face–– instead, study your Google analytics reports to understand their behavior, navigations and average session time to identify the right moment to display your popups.

  • Like we said before, get creative with your copies. Make it more human and filled with personality. Here’s a quick example of a compelling exit-intent popup.
example of a creative popup
  • Run quick 1 or 2 question surveys on your website to help gather more information and collect email addresses. Keep the surveys multiple choice for maximum responses

  • Offer a compelling incentive for people to sign up and be associated with your brand. “Free shipping” doesn’t cut it anymore, you would need to be a bit more generous –– maybe offer a small discount to get their attention

Personalize your email outreach strategy

While facebook and other social media ads are now hard to personalize, email marketing is a great avenue for personalization. 

But it includes much more than segmenting your just email lists basis region and source, and addressing them with their first name. 

The winning technique is to segment customers based on where they are in their shopping journey - and send them *only* super-relevant emails.

This approach of behavior based segmentation eliminates the need to rely on a list-based approach and brings a customer-centric view to email marketing. 

For instance, if they’ve browsed through your website and left without buying, send a browse abandonment email that wins them back. In fact you can take it a step further. Let’s say that a visitor drops off at the checkout page, you send them a cart recovery email that has a recall to their product. 

Here’s a simple example of such an email sent by Madewell.

Madewell's  - cart recovery email

Turn more of your visitors into shoppers

When a visitor lands on your website, it's 100% guaranteed that he or she is going to buy from you, right? 

Not at all. Customers are always looking for products to solve their problems or meet their wants. Running online sales or a website with the assumption that every customer wants to buy from you by default will only lead to bad news. 

Most of the top online retailers, the likes of Amazon, walmart, ebay etc., focus heavily on conversion rate optimization (CRO) –– the series of activities and changes to your website and/or marketing that drive maximum checkout rates. 

This strategy is absolutely necessary to your business for a couple of reasons:

  • PPC costs aren’t getting any cheaper and competition keeps rising each day.
    To make the most of your ad spend, it’s important to maximum the conversion rate from the traffic your site receives. Whatever your bid might be on Google or social media, the only way you stay ahead of your competition is if you maximize the site’s conversions.

  • The growth of social media combined with upgrades in technology has significantly reduced the attention span of people today. What’s more is that the bar for convenience and seamless navigation on a website has become quite high. When you adopt a conversion centric approach, your business is able to cope with these rapidly changing expectations.

  • Unlike with SEO, CRO can  result in a hike in metrics a lot faster, even in mere days.

  • Conversion friendly = customer friendly –– this implies that it directly or indirect paints a great picture of your brand and service in your customer’s minds. 

If you want to get started with CRO, your first step is to identify gaps on every page of your website. An easy way to attain this analysis is to run a full audit of the website.  Post this, you should ideally prioritize these changes based on the impact it will have on sales and go from there. 

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Increase the CLV of your customers

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is an important metric for every D2C business. It gives the business a fair idea of how their products are performing in the market, their position among competitors and their image among customers. 

In other words, it impacts every area of your ecommerce business. So, it’s pretty obvious how important it is to see an increasing CLV rate. 

But what can you do to get the most value from your customers? 

To get started, here are some fresh ideas:

  • Upsell/cross sell to increase your aov –– Ecommerce sales isn’t a one and done effort. You need to make sure your drive repeat buys and customer loyalty. Studies prove that upselling can generate at least 4% of your total revenue. To maximize your upselling:
  • Optimize your product page and landing page to suggest recommendations to every customer based on what they’re buying.
example of product recommendations on the product page
  • Run email campaigns that are solely focused on upselling to existing customers. When it comes to copy, craft emails that are not so pushy and are personalized to the customer’s activity on your website. 
sonos's product email
  • Employ the decoy pricing strategy –– presenting decoy product options to drive sales of your highest value items. Here’s an example. 
decoy pricing
  • Offer free samples of new products to get customers interested and understand its value. Check out how Sephora does it:
example of free trail of products by Sephora


  • Offer a option to subscribe to some of your frequently selling products –– this applies to perishable products or items that are bought multiple times

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Never a better time to start influencer marketing

As social media advertising is getting restricted and more expensive, it doesn’t mean that it's a useless marketing avenue any more. 

Social media is filled with influencers. Someone grows into a small celebrity every day. And since nearly 90% of all marketing experts state that the ROI from influencer marketing is better than other avenues, it’s worth the investment involved. 

You don’t need to necessarily reach out to internet personalities with millions of followers. Identify smaller social media accounts with about 50k - 500k followers from your target audience and work with them to boost your reach. 

Reach out to influencers on reels and tiktok to get them to promote your products through demonstration videos or a typical product review. 

For example –– Top sports and clothing brand, nike, collaborated with @colormecourtney to showcase their “quarantine outfits” 

example of influencer marketing on reels

Stay ahead of the curve

With apple updates happening more frequently than before, it’s important to stay ahead and work towards maximizing the benefit or reducing the effects of these changes.

If the new iOS update has taught us anything, it’s to not place all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your marketing and sales strategy and adopt conversion rate optimization to make the most of all your channels. 

Let us know in the comments below how the latest update has impacted your business or tweet to us @convertcart by using the hashtag #iosupdate. 

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