Ep. 4 – How Will Apple’s iOS14 Update Affect Your Online Store?

Ep. 4 – How Will Apple’s iOS14 Update Affect Your Online Store?

SHOW NOTES

What’s the big deal about Apple’s latest iOS 14 release, and how will it affect your business?

Today, we’re going to explain what the software update is, how it will affect your ability to advertise your online store, and what you can do to prepare for the change. From Facebook Pixels to ad tracking and retargeting, we talk about what you need to know to get your store ready.

If this is your first time listening to our podcast, welcome! On our podcast we share practical and actionable information around how you can sell more on your online store. We also interview some eCommerce powerhouses and take you behind the scenes of some of the most successful online stores. 

If you’re ready to sell more on your online store, this is the podcast for you.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

  1. The effect on Facebook ads & tracking [03:36]
  2. How does this affect us as online store owners? [06:32]
    1. Facebook’s adjustments to support the iOS 14 update [10:07]
    2. The 7-day window (tracking Facebook ads) [12:43]
    3. A look back at organic reach & the early stages [13:58]
    4. Recapping the effects of iOS 14 on online store owners [15:46]
  3. What can we do to prepare our online stores? [17:55]
  4. The fundamental principles of marketing & advertising haven’t changed [21:21]
  5. Small business owners have greater agility to adopt new methods compared to big brands [23:05]
  6. Thoughts on being retargeted for ads & being tracked [24:26]

LINKS MENTIONED

Ep. 3 – How to Choose the Right eCommerce Platform

Ep. 3 – How to Choose the Right eCommerce Platform

Shownotes

When you first start to join the world of selling online – or if you’ve been at it for a while – it can be really confusing and a bit daunting on which platform to use to sell your products.

Do you go for third-party platforms like Etsy or Made it? Do you go for the big guys like Amazon and Ebay? Or should you get your own website and sell from there?

We discuss the different platforms available for selling your products online, the pros and cons of each, the questions you need to answer before choosing the right platform to suit your business now, and into the future – and we also let you know our favourite platform and why we love it so much. 

If this is your first time listening to our podcast, welcome! On our podcast we share practical and actionable information around how you can sell more on your online store. We also interview some eCommerce powerhouses and take you behind the scenes of some of the most successful online stores. 

If you’re ready to sell more on your online store, this is the podcast for you.

Episode Highlights

  1. Ask yourself, are you selling a brand or a commodity? [03:18]
  2. Pros and cons of selling in third party marketplaces [06:18] 
  3. How important is pixel data in the eCommerce world? [07:53]
  4. Third party marketplaces and their limited advertising structures [09:23]
  5. Using third party marketplaces to jumpstart your brand [10:15]
  6. What are the available platforms to start your online shop? [11:15]
  7. What makes Shopify an excellent eCommerce platform? [12:58]
  8. Determine your goals and assess your skills before choosing a platform [17:33]
  9. Be smart when working with web developers [19:34]
  10. Shopify is simply built for eCommerce [21:13]

Links Mentioned

  1. Get started with Shopify
Ep. 2 – How to Set Your Product Pricing

Ep. 2 – How to Set Your Product Pricing

Shownotes

Want to know what holds people back from having a successful online store? Often, it’s that their prices aren’t right. 

When we start working with online store owners, the first thing we do is look at their numbers to determine if they are running a business… or if they just got themselves a hobby. 

Unfortunately, most of our students and clients realise that they aren’t charging enough and that they fall into the “hobby” category.

In this episode we talk about why you absolutely must know your numbers, what metrics you should be measuring and the benchmarks we like to aim for and how to make sure that your prices are set so that you are running a profitable business. We let you in on a few secrets around pricing including value perception, why a bargain hunter will never become a loyal customer and how to work out what your prices should be. 

If this is your first time listening to our podcast, welcome! On our podcast we share practical and actionable information around how you can sell more on your online store. We also interview some eCommerce powerhouses and take you behind the scenes of some of the most successful online stores. 

If you’re ready to sell more on your online store, this is the podcast for you.

Episode Highlights

  1. The mistake of not knowing how low your margins are [02:10]
  2. Price perception: selling a brand vs selling a commodity [03:24]
  3. Calculate your expenses, both variable and fixed costs [06:36]
  4. Aim for an 80% gross profit margin [09:00]
  5. Putting discounts and shipping fees into consideration [11:46]
  6. Including the year-end tax and the GST to your prices [14:20]
  7. Never adjust your price according to the bargain hunter’s needs [16:51]
  8. Stop asking people to put a price on your products and services [18:42] 
  9. What makes pre-selling a great pricing strategy? [20:58]
  10. Always follow through with excellent customer service [23:22]
  11. Own your price! [24:24]
How to Prepare Your Business For the iOS 14 Update

How to Prepare Your Business For the iOS 14 Update

Because 2020 hadn’t already thrown enough at small business this year, we now have widespread panic about Apple’s iOS 14.4 release set to happen in early 2021.

So what is the big deal about this latest software release and how will it affect your business?

Let us start by saying it’s not all doom and gloom. We will certainly see changes to the way we can use data to track and target people using ad platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, but there are measures you can take to make sure your business keeps striving forward… regardless of this update.  

According to Apple

“Privacy is a fundamental human right and at the core of everything we do. That’s why with iOS 14, we’re giving you more control over the data you share and more transparency into how it’s used.”

“You can now get information on the App Store to help you understand the privacy practices of every app before you download it”

According to Facebook

“Apple has announced changes with iOS 14 that will impact how we receive and process conversion events from tools like the Facebook pixel. Businesses that advertise mobile apps, as well as those that optimise, target, and report on web conversion events from any of our business tools will be affected.

Specifically, Apple will begin to require that all apps in the App Store show a discouraging prompt to users on iOS 14 devices, in accordance with their AppTrackingTransparency framework. Apple’s policy will prohibit certain data collection and sharing unless people opt into tracking on iOS 14 devices via the prompt. As more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, ads personalisation and performance reporting will be limited for both app and web conversion events.”

“Apple’s new iOS 14 policy will have a harmful impact on many small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat and on the free internet that we all rely on more than ever.”

In English

In short, Apple has released a new privacy addition to their next update of iOS 14 which will enable users to turn off tracking for any app (i.e Facebook) they use on the phone. On one hand this may seem great for you as a personal user, but on the other hand this means as advertisers, and business owners, if people opt out of tracking we loose the ability to run personalised ads to them.

It’s important to note that users will have the option to opt out of tracking, it’s not a blanket application. 

Facebook ads are a powerful tool for eCommerce business owners and allow us to show a personalised message to people based on where they are at in the buying funnel. It’s this personalisation of the right message at the right time, to the right person that makes Facebook ads the success that they are for many eCommerce stores large and small.

If you’re not familiar with how we currently use Facebook ads to grow eCommerce stores check out:
How to use Facebook Ads to Deliver the Right Message to the Right People

The 5 Pillars of Successful Facebook Ads

The Effects

Turning off this ability will certainly change the way we run Facebook ads in the future.

Not only will we not be able to track when someone makes a purchase after seeing an ad, we also won’t be able to show ads to someone who has viewed a product or added it to their cart. The dynamic ads showcasing the exact product they were looking at, or had in their cart, have always generated the highest returns for Facebook ad campaigns.

Facebook is adapting as fast as possible to the changes – as you can imagine this will affect their bottom line – A LOT!

One change is your pixel may only optimise for a maximum of 8 conversion events for each domain.

Conversion events include things like ‘PageView’, ‘ViewContent’, ‘AddToCart’, ‘InitiateCheckout’ and ‘Purchase’.

Facebook will initially configure the conversion events they believe are the most relevant to your business based on your activity, making all other events inactive for campaign optimisation and reporting.

You will then be able to manage your preferences in Events Manager. When you create your ad set you’ll choose only one of the 8 designated conversion events to optimize for (same as normal). Any existing Ad sets that were optimising for a pixel conversion event that is no longer active, will be paused so you will need to update these.

If you’re in eCommerce I believe the 5 events listed above are all you need so I wouldn’t stress too much about this change. The only reason you would need to narrow down to 8 is if you are using lots of custom events such as ‘PurchasedTop’, ‘PurchasedBottom’ etc.

Outside of the iOS update for apps other measures have already been put in place including ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention) for Safari, Apple’s internet browser closely followed by ETP (Enhanced Tracking Prevention) by Firefox.

Some of the effects from the browsers include limiting Cookie Data to a 7 day lifespan. This means:

  • You won’t be able to track conversions attributed to your ads that happen outside of a 7 day window. This means 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows will not be supported. You will need to prepare to transition to the new 7-day click-through attribution.
  • Re-targeting audiences such as Viewed Content, Added To Cart, Initiated Checkout or Purchased will be limited to the last 7 days (currently up to 180 days). This will change the whole re-targeting game.
  • If you’re running Lookalike audiences built from the above custom audiences your seed audience will be reduced to the last 7 days, greatly reducing your audience size and ability to create a lookalike as you need to have a minimum 100 people in the same country in your seed audience. So if you don’t have 100 purchases in 7 days you won’t be able to create a Lookalike audience from that event.

What Can You Do?

So other that hide under the Christmas tree with your eggnog, what can you do?

  • Narrow down to using only 8 Facebook events or less.
  • Remember the principles of marketing and advertising haven’t changed (and they never will).  
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Facebook ads in their current state are amazing, but as things change make sure you have other ways to re-target your customers. Start collecting emails from your website visitors so you can interact with them via email once they leave your site. Consider running a competition to entice them like they do at https://picnicseason.com/, the old 10% off your first order is not enticing these days as it’s everywhere.
  • Sync your email lists with Facebook. As you’ll want to be able to target old customers, or exclude recent purchases and likely want more than 7 days data it’s a good idea to sync your email lists with your custom audiences so you can use these audiences to target and exclude. We recommend Klaviyo which makes this super simple.
  • Get super clear on your customer avatar. This is particularly important if you have been relying on Lookalike audiences and Broad audience targeting. Narrow down your avatar’s interests so you can start targeting people that way.
  • Verify your domain with Facebook. We’ve started seeing issues in creating ads for our clients recently and our Facebook rep has suggested all accounts verify their domain to ensure there are no further issues with pixel integration etc. There are 3 ways to do this. 

It’s not all doom and gloom – the fact that Privacy is becoming a top priority for large digital corporations is a good thing overall, just inconvenient for those of us who use the data to place ads! Facebook is trialling a new tool already which we are setting up for some of our clients which will replace the pixel all together. As updates continue to happen we can be sure Facebook will continue to evolve to the current climate – after all their ad revenue is their business model and they’re not going down without a fight! 

For now stay calm, take the steps mentioned above and keep an eye on out for our email with any further updates.

Here’s to an amazing 2021 for your business!

Written by Karyn Parkinson

Karyn AKA Karyn with a Y is a Facebook ad specialist with a side dose of eCommerce marketing, particularly website optimisation.

When she's not behind the computer you'll find her at the beach with her fur babies or on the roller derby track as Pink Fury!

How to set your product pricing

How to set your product pricing

One of the first things you need to do when you start your online store is to set your product pricing.

This can often be a confusing and daunting task as your pricing sets the tone for your brand and your products. 

At the end of the day you’re running a business not a charity, so you want to make money. And if you’re not making a profit, then it’s essentially just a hobby.

Price Perception

We’ve all heard the sayings “cheap and nasty” and “you get what you pay for” and trust me you don’t want to hear either of those in relation to your products.

Sometimes the reason people can’t sell their products is that they price them too low. They source great quality materials and create a beautiful product, but then try and compete on price with someone that’s imported questionable quality products from China. When someone sees their product and then the low price, they make the assumption about the quality based on the price. 

You don’t always have to set your pricing based on costs. Let’s take a look at the following black polo tops.

$8
Kmart

$149
Ralph Lauren

Expensive Chanel Black Polo

$3,380
Chanel

The prices range from $8 – $3,380 but they are all made from essentially the same amount of material and they are all the same colour. The only real difference (aside from some quality) is the little logo in the corner.

When you’re buying a Chanel polo top, you’re not just buying a black polo, you’re buying the prestige of wearing a polo top that people know cost you thousands.

Although it’s not my cup of tea to spend $3k on a polo, some people LOVE Chanel and they will drop the coin without a second thought.

They are selling the brand, not just the polo. So you need to decide are you selling a commodity – a polo top – or a brand.

When you have a brand you can build a loyal following of people who love your product and are excited to see what you bring out next and have their wallet open ready to buy.

When you’re selling a commodity, you have to compete on price, because your product has nothing else going for it. And as Megan loves to say:

“When you compete on price it’s a fast race to the bottom”

So now that you know you don’t have to be the cheapest to succeed, let’s take a look at what do need to know to calculate your prices.

Your expenses

When you’re calculating your prices you do need to know how much your products are costing you. This includes variable and fixed costs.

Variable costs

Your variable cost change based on your quantity sold. The more you sell the more you can lower your variable costs. To start, set your pricing based on your higher variable costs, and know that when you sell more you can increase your profit margin or reduce your prices.

Variable costs include:

  • Branded packaging
  • Time to pack and send
  • Shipping costs
  • Raw materials
  • Wholesale prices

Tip: Contact your suppliers and negotiate a lower rate with them. If they say no, ask when and how you can qualify for a reduced rate in the future – get it in writing 🙂

Fixed costs

Fixed costs are the expenses that you’d pay no matter what, and that stay the same whether you sell 10 products or 1000 products. They’re an important part of running your business, and the income generated by selling your products needs to cover these as well.

Fixed costs include:

  • Your website
  • Internet
  • Rent & electricity for brick and mortar stores
  • Bank fees
  • Software subscriptions

Cost of goods sold is how much it costs you to get the product on your shelf taking into account all of the above.

Profit Margin

We like to aim for a minimum 80% profit margin.

You can use this gross profit margin calculator to work out what your retail price should be. As a general rule you want to aim for a minimum GPM of 60-80%. This is so you have money to reinvest in the growth of your business.

Market Research

Although it is important to do some market research and ensure there is demand for your products, please do not use this as your method for pricing your product.

People who buy based on price are also only loyal to price. So be aware of what the market is doing but set your pricing based on your brand and a healthy profit margin..

The only time this may differ, is if you’re wholesaling products which have a RRP or which many other people stock.

Too many times I see people post in a large Facebook group, usually a business group, full of people who are not their target market and ask them for advice on pricing – please stop. Unless someone is willing to put their money where there mouth is, this is not an effective way to gauge price.

Instead, pre-sell your products before you officially launch. Set your pricing based on all the other factors above and then load them onto your website for pre-sale. Then put your brand out there and see the reaction you get when they have to open their wallets.

Take a look at exactly how Megan did this for The Good Bag Project.

Discounting & Shipping

When it comes to shopping online, people hate paying for shipping. So when you’re first setting your pricing think about incorporating shipping into your costs if you can. Then you can offer free shipping, without losing out of profit.

Although regular discounting isn’t a good sales strategy, consider margin for discounting if you do plan on running seasonal sales or discount incentives.

Australia & GST

In Australia, all your pricing needs to be displayed including GST if you are registered for it. You need to either add this 10% on top of your pricing or absorb it.  If you’re not registered for GST  yet but think you may need to soon, I recommend factoring it into your pricing from day one, then absorb the 10% when you register for it, rather than not including it and then having to put all your prices up 10%. Until you register, simply enjoy the extra 10% and put it back into growing your business.

Own Your Price

When you arrive at your final price, write it down, say it out loud and make sure it feels good for you.  If you don’t feel it’s the right price, potential customers will feel that in your marketing.  Get comfortable with them, know your value and your worth.

When you set your prices, stand by them. Not everyone will be able to afford your products and that is OK. Not everyone is your ideal customer.

 

 

Want to learn more about this topic? Here are some other blogs we’ve written: 

Are your prices too low? 

Should I offer free shipping? 

 

Written by Karyn Parkinson

Karyn AKA Karyn with a Y is a Facebook ad specialist with a side dose of eCommerce marketing, particularly website optimisation.

When she's not behind the computer you'll find her at the beach with her fur babies or on the roller derby track as Pink Fury!