Ecommerce marketers put a lot of effort into making their funnel a success. And one of the newest ways to make the most of the funnel is leveraging the product catalog and product data.
So how can a product catalog help you reach shoppers, delight and engage, and drive sales? Let’s try an example, breaking the process down into 3 stages.
First step: find your customers and get them to care
How do we find our target shoppers? If our user is like 37% of Americans, they hang out on Instagram. So our first step is to make a splash on channels like Instagram and Pinterest.
Traditionally, we might say something general like “look at our brand. We’re a cool brand with a variety of products.” However, these days we can showcase specific, dynamically chosen products. We can say “hey look at this product that directly matches your personality.”
To do this successfully, we take our basic, raw product images and infuse them with product data. We make them noticeable, on-brand, and more like marketing materials than pure product images. On channels like Facebook or Instagram, we can add logos, sharp colors, or maybe even turn them into a product video. And we don’t even have to be a huge global company to make product videos, we just need good product feeds. (More about that here!)
And now these images tell that user exactly what we sell and exactly what products they should put on their wishlist.
There are of course tons of targeting tactics depending on your particular channel, but here are 17 great ones to get you started.
Next we can boost those social posts to create ads. This brings us to….
Step two: great ads make for great leads
We’re going to nurture those previously engaged users through retargeting. Display ads, Facebook ads, Google, Criteo, affiliate networks, YouTube ads. The keyword is ads. And also email nurturing.
Our secret ingredient will be optimized data and personalized ads that dynamically pull products. At first, we might struggle because we’re lacking data. We don’t know what that shopper wants, or what works or doesn’t work. One great option is to use the custom labels in our product feed to create groups of products that are the most promising. With a powerfully labeled product feed, we then target the user with best sellers, popular collections, and other top performers.
As we collect more data, we learn more about that user. We see what they click and what specific products they are interested in. And because pretty much every platform we use offers dynamic retargeting - including Google, Facebook, Pinterest - we start sending ads featuring that exact product they love. __Plus, dynamic ads show the product information, on-brand images. __
Last stop: make the sale
Finally we move on to shopping channels like Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay. Our success in this area is a bit of a numbers game. We need to be on all of that user’s possible shopping channels. Walmart, Cdiscount, comparison shopping engines, and a lot more.
On top of this--whenever possible--we ensure that our product pages have as much information as possible. Check out this example below.
We also make sure product availability is up to date. Otherwise, the shopper might land here and see an “out of stock” message when the product is actually in stock. Or, even worse, they place an order for an out of stock product. Which would lead to an annoyed consumer AND maybe even a bad review.
But, one more thing: let’s say the shopper ends up on our own website. This is perfect, because we have control over it. This means we can really ensure all of the data is perfect and pristine and… we have tailored our product content to support on-site search. Reliable on-site search does wonders for a shoppers’ experience. It can make or break whether they find the product they’re looking for or if they can discover new ones they never thought of. That means, when the shopper decides “hey I actually want a lamp, instead,” they can find that lamp.
- Organic platforms at the top, where we intrigue and engage with great images.
- Then we retarget using custom labels and dynamic ads.
- And then we seal the deal by being on all the right shopping channels.