Facebook has rolled out so many changes over the past couple of months that lots of advertisers have been left shell-shocked. If you have been struggling to keep up with all of the new developments, you may have missed one that is especially relevant to ecommerce marketers. Facebook just announced that it is using a new ecommerce review tool. This is going to have a major impact on ecommerce companies that advertise with the social networking giant.
Here is an excerpt from the Facebook Newsroom press release about this new tool:
“We spoke with people who have purchased things from Facebook advertisers, and the two biggest frustrations we heard were that people don’t like ads that quote inaccurate shipping times or that misrepresent products. We’re taking steps to try and identify these and other common frustrations with a new tool launching globally today. It is designed to let people review businesses that they’ve made a purchase from with the hope of connecting more people with businesses that meet their expectations.”
It will be a gamechanger for the ecommerce industry but should ultimately be a good thing for scrupulous ecommerce brands that deliver great value for their customers. Here are some things that you are going to need to know about it.
Facebook is Addressing Real Customer Concerns About Ecommerce Practices
Facebook advertisers have raised a number of frustrations about the company’s policies over the past few years. They complained that many of the new policies have been unnecessarily draconian and Facebook often is not consistent with them. While Facebook surely has some purpose for most of its policies, they often seem like they were written for no rhyme or reason.
Many advertisers were also retroactively punished the moment a new role was enacted, while others were allowed to keep running ads for banned content. Some marketers argued that this has made it difficult for many advertisers to be compliant since they don’t always understand the policies they are being asked to uphold.
This is not the case with the decision to roll out the new eCommerce review tool. Facebook was responding to very real concerns customers had raised. After speaking with a focus group, Facebook learned that the two biggest complaints they raised were:
- Companies were taking too long to ship their products
- Companies were often misrepresenting their products in their advertisements
Facebook is under a lot of pressure to improve customer satisfaction. This means that they are going to be putting ecommerce businesses under the microscope.
Customer reviews will have a profound impact on future conversions
Research has shown that ecommerce companies can increase their conversion rates by sharing positive testimonials on their sales pages. Of course, negative reviews will also have a major effect. Unfortunately, you won’t have so much control over this part of your sales funnel now that Facebook has introduced this eCommerce review tool.
You won’t be able to do anything to get rid of negative reviews. They will also have a much bigger effect on your conversions than negative Yelp! reviews, because they will be exposed to them as soon as they engage with your brand through your Facebook ads.
This means that this tool will be a double edge sword for advertisers. You can have an impressive benefit to e-commerce brands that earn great reviews. On the other hand, brands that receive more negative reviews may find that their conversion rate and ROI will plummet.
E-commerce brands that receive too many negative reviews could be blacklisted from the Facebook advertising Network
Facebook has made it clear that they may block advertisers that consistently receive negative reviews. This is to ensure that only honest ecommerce companies that consistently deliver value to their customers are allowed to promote through their network.
However, Facebook has clarified that it won’t be too trigger-happy with this new policy. They will give brands in an opportunity to resolve any concerns. They will periodically provide feedback to help them.
What measures can you take to get more positive Facebook reviews for your eCommerce business?
Facebook‘s new e-commerce review tool is definitely a gamechanger for ecommerce companies. The good news is that it doesn’t have to ruin your sales funnel. The new review tool could actually help lift conversions if you have the right customer satisfaction strategy in place. Don’t be concerned about customers slandering your profile with undeserved negative feedback. Defamatory reviews are actually pretty rare and unlikely to have any meaningful impact on your reputation.
Here are some guidelines to help you develop any commerce marketing strategy on Facebook in light of the new review tool.
Make sure all shipping and returns policies are very clearly stated
Customers have very little forgiveness for eCommerce stores that don’t deliver products when they promise. They will be even less happy if you don’t honor the terms of your returns policy or other terms of your agreement. Not only will this potentially get you in trouble with the FTC, but it will almost certainly lead to negative reviews.
You could also get into trouble if you make implicit shipping promises without realizing it. You might inform customers that their product will be shipped “very soon.” Unfortunately, their definition of “very soon” may be very different from yours. This can lead to some very negative reviews if you ship products later than they are expecting.
The best way to keep them happy is by clearly stating your shipping policies on your sales page. You can also give customers the option of paying for more expedient shipping. This way, they will not have any reason to feel upset if they choose a slower shipping option, provided that you comply with the timetables.
Consider using a CRM
HubSpot points out that using a CRM and email list to build a long-term relationship with your customers is going to help improve your brand perception because you will be able to share regular content with them. If this content is educational, entertaining or contains valuable offers, then they will have a better impression of your brand.
Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your CRM:
Here are some things that you need to do:
- Make sure your email lists are segmented according to the types of offers that they will likely be interested in. This is key to making sure that they will be satisfied with your relationship, make purchases and ultimately leave positive feedback on Facebook. Facebook has a number of great targeting features, which will make it easy to create separate campaigns to segment your lists properly.
- Decide how long you will need to warm up your leads before making a pitch. The conversion cycle is going to be different for every business. Some businesses need to wait four months between generating a lead and closing a sale, although this figure can be lower if you run a successful email marketing campaign. After generating a subscriber through Facebook, you will need to know how long to engage with them via email before promoting an offer.
- Come up with useful incentives that can compel them to make a purchase.
- Think of an upselling strategy that may help you squeeze more value out of your customers.
The ROI of using a CRM will be much higher, but you will need to make sure you have the right funnel in place.
Use your Facebook ads to build long-term relationships rather than making one-time sales pitches
Many brands still run direct link in campaigns from their Facebook ads. This was never a particularly prudent strategy, but it will be even less advisable now. You might earn a few sales, but you will have a lower ROI and weaker brand image.
You will be more likely to earn positive reviews from customers if you invest in a funnel that lets you build long-term relationships with them. According to HubSpot, one of the most effective ways to incorporate Facebook into your ecommerce marketing strategy is to use it to build your CRM list.
You can also use Facebook ads to build your social networking presence. Running campaigns to build likes or generate followers is a great way to increase your ROI in 2018. The long-term benefits will be higher than getting a few one-time hits to your website. You can also get cheaper clicks on these campaigns, because they tend to be more engaging.
There is another benefit of using longer-term engagement funnels with your Facebook advertising strategy. It may take at least a month or two before a customer commits to a purchase. By that time, they will be less likely to remember that they originally found your site through Facebook. This means they may not leave negative feedback through the Facebook ecommerce review tool.
Whether you are using your Facebook ads to build your email list or social networking presence, it is important to have a long-term conversion strategy in place. You are going to need to know how you will convert them before beginning running any ads.
Having a carefully thought out promotional and engagement strategy will prevent you from alienating customers, so they will be more likely to make a purchase and give a positive review of your brand.
You Need a Strong Strategy to Promote Ecommerce Offers on Facebook in Light of This New Change
Running a Facebook marketing campaign is going to be much different. You will need to make sure that customers give positive reviews to boost conversions and avoid being blacklisted. The good news is that you will be fine as long as you take the precautions listed here.