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StackCommerce Partners Finished 2019 With Record Breaking Holiday Sales

StackCommerce Partners Finished 2019 With Record Breaking Holiday Sales

We’re thrilled to share that 2019 marked another record breaking holiday sales season for StackCommerce publisher and merchant partners. With Thanksgiving arriving later this year, the holiday shopping season was cut short, elevating the importance of the biggest shopping weekend of the year even further.

Our team worked diligently to arm our partners with robust performance marketing strategies, and the results speak for themselves. With Cyber Monday falling in December this year, the festive month marked StackCommerce’s highest sales month of all time — a 27.9% increase compared to last year, formerly our top grossing month. Read on for more big wins and learnings across our network:

Cyber Monday Beat Out Black Friday (Again!)

According to Salesforce, 2019’s Black Friday was the biggest digital shopping day of the year for the third year in a row, beating out Cyber Monday sales by a whopping $10 billion. At StackCommerce, not only were our partners able to see 46% year-over-year Black Friday growth, they were also able to successfully monetize through the weekend, marking our biggest Cyber Monday ever. In fact, StackCommerce’s partner sales surged on Cyber Monday beating out Black Friday by 84%.

Comparing our growth to the reported 15% gain in global online sales during the holiday weekend, it’s clear that the combination of content and commerce is especially impactful when it comes to driving commerce traffic and conversions during the holiday period. 

TV Proved a Winning Channel for Holiday Shopping

This holiday season, we also invested in broadcast television partnerships showcasing a handful of our merchant partners on nationally broadcasted segments. As customers tuned into their favorite TV shows for last minute holiday guidance, these segments led to the biggest sales day in StackCommerce history. We’re excited to continue to explore alternative media, influencer, and podcast partnerships in 2020, offering our merchant partners a rare opportunity for unique exposure and sales.

New Marketing Channels Soared

Web push notifications in particular resonated with consumers during the busy shopping season, delivering exclusive coupon codes and sale information directly to their phones. Furthermore, our web push notification audience grew by 45% in the last five weeks of the year alone, a sign of the momentum behind these new channels and potential for 2020 and beyond.

Our performance marketing team introduced three new personalized marketing channels in 2019: web browser push notifications, SMS text messages, and Facebook Messenger. 

Product Recommendation AI and Roundup Articles Provided Convenience to Shoppers

It’s no secret that AI personalization is key to the future of e-commerce, and the results from the busiest shopping week of the year agree. In fact, shoppers were 12% more likely to purchase when viewing an AI-recommended item. These tools, which are built-in to both the StackCommerce shop product and marketing emails, certainly contributed to the 2019 holiday success for all partners. 

In addition, roundup, guide, and listicle style articles proved to be an effective tool for adding convenience to the holiday shopping experience by providing product recommendations and gifting inspiration. Roundup articles across our network drove 30% higher sales on average than single product articles throughout the holiday season. 

Looking Forward to the 2020 Holiday Season

We’re eager to continue building these tools and are excited to release a slew of customer experience features throughout 2020. Cheers to another record-breaking year and a huge thank you to our fantastic network of partners!

5 Reasons Every Online Instructor Should Be On The StackCommerce Platform

5 Reasons Every Online Instructor Should Be On The StackCommerce Platform

You’ve heard the story before: man/woman quits grueling and underpaid 9-to-5 job to become an online instructor/millionaire. So you follow in said person’s footsteps, upload amazing content for the world to consume — and crickets.

The reality? Creating amazing eLearning content is just the first step to building a successful career and solidifying a solid income. The good news is that working with StackCommerce can help you fast-track your way to your dream paycheck and all you have to do is join the platform — no upfront fees required. 

But why tell you when we can show you? Here are five ways working with StackCommerce will transform you from eLearning newbie to superstar in just a few months.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

1. Gain Exposure & PR On The Top Media Sites In The World

Just because you create a course, doesn’t mean that students will be able to find it. Take this case study: Sam has worked in sales his entire life, so he creates an amazingly detailed course divulging all the hidden secrets of being successful at sales. Sam puts the course on some of the top Learning Management Systems (LMS) around. He gets a few sales in the first month, but then they start to fizzle off. Where does he go from there? 

StackCommerce is where. Sam puts his course on the platform and slaps on a great discount, too. The course is then featured in articles published on some of StackCommerce’s top partner sites: Entrepreneur, NBC News, and Mashable (to name a few). 

Project management course article on NBCNews.com

Not only do the sales start rolling in, but when Sam Googles his course, the top search results are coming from a slew of respected online publishers. What does this mean for Sam? Not only clout as an online instructor in his field, but a good chunk of money to put towards producing his next course.

The exposure provided by StackCommerce’s network is unmatched by any other competing solution. Not only do you get immediate access to a network of 500MM + readers and customers, but you get featured by publishers who would typically charge thousands for a placement (if they offer it at all). On top of that, your course will be live in 200+ publisher-branded shops in one click. Rather than taking the time to put your courses up on multiple marketplaces, StackCommerce makes it easy to get distribution and get it fast.

Need more proof? Check out this testimonial from StackCommerce instructor John Shea:

Before using StackCommerce I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to market many of my courses all at once. They provided a unique approach to using bundles and exposure through some of the largest websites online. I have been selling my courses now on StackCommerce for over 2 years.  

2. Get Your Course Included In Top-Selling Bundles

As John began to explain above, bundles are another offering unique to StackCommerce. Not only will you be able to promote your individual courses, but you will have the opportunity to build you own bundle or get included in a bundle with other instructors.

What is a bundle and why is it beneficial to your business success? Great question. A bundle is a grouping of courses that when paired together provides a more holistic or well-rounded educational experience. Rather than just focus on coding with Python, a bundle may offer coding courses on a multitude of languages. Or rather than just focusing on beginner web design, a bundle may cover beginner, intermediate, and advanced coursework.

Adobe Bundle as seen in the Mashable Shop

For the customer, this provides a great value as they can typically save on the cost of buying courses individually. For the instructor, it gives you the opportunity to package your courses in a unique way — or if you are included in a bundle with other instructors, you’ll get an additional source of incremental revenue.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

3. Access StackCommerce’s In-House Performance Marketing Team

How can you continue to reach customers even after an article leaves a publisher’s homepage? Two words: paid marketing. Our expert team of paid marketers will work to re-circulate your featured articles to similar audiences using tools like Facebook ads and Google ads.

Marketing course article Facebook ad for Entrepreneur.com

Thanks to the flexible StackCommerce revenue share model, you won’t even need to put money down to get started. Zero upfront cost, and zero agency fees to get access to a world class marketing team.

4. Earn Incremental Revenue With Zero Risk

We all want to get rich quick, but it’s the long tail incremental revenue that will keep your business afloat. With StackCommerce, you can build an entirely new revenue stream with courses you’ve already filmed. The work is already done on your end! Now sit back and let us do the heavy lifting — just be sure to keep your content up-to-date so the customers keep coming back!

Pretty soon you’ll be making thousands as you relax with a margarita on yet another trip to paradise. One of our top instructors, Chris Haroun, has generated over $87,000 on the StackCommerce platform, with over 50 articles featuring his courses. Here he is reflecting on his experience:

“Partnering with StackCommerce has been a game changer for our company as StackCommerce has helped to take our business to the next level by providing us with access to selling our courses on the online stores of many of the top media companies in the world!”

5. Provide a World-Class Learning Experience

Last but not least, StackCommerce is here to help make your dreams as an online instructor come true. With 10+ years of experience and data in the online learning industry, we know how to bring out the best in what you have to offer. We make the marketing part easy so you can focus on what you do best: creating great courses to help students everywhere live out their dreams. 

We can all learn from your expertise. Teaching others changes lives, changes careers, and ultimately changes the world around us. Good luck creating your courses, and remember to share your unique gifts and personality. Then head back to StackCommerce to take it to the next level.

Speak to a Sales Representative to Get Started!

StackCommerce Wins Comparably Award for Best Perks & Benefits

StackCommerce Wins Comparably Award for Best Perks & Benefits

We are so excited to announce that StackCommerce has made Comparably’s list for Best Perks & Benefits! Based on anonymous feedback given by StackCommerce employees, Stack was ranked a top company for “perks & benefits” among tens of thousands of US companies — and we are beyond honored.

Our HR and Culture Team work hard to deliver the most meaningful perks and benefits for all employees. We are building a sustainable, profitable company that is built to scale into something meaningful — and our team members are the core of that vision. We work hard, we play hard; from weekly office happy hours & monthly events, an annual company cruise, and “unlimited” PTO, Stack HQ is so much more than a place to clock in and out of every day. Plus, with a fully-stocked kitchen, equity options, 401(k), and health insurance, we make sure our employees are taken care of across the board. 

Here at Stack, investing in people is our priority. Stack employees can enjoy up to $500 a year in eLearning courses for professional development, as well as a $10 monthly book credit. And, of course, the Stack office is located, quite literally, on the beach in Venice, CA — all that sun and saltwater does wonders for morale. And did we mention that our office is dog-friendly? We’re honored to receive such a meaningful award, and look forward to continuing to set the standard perks and benefits for years to come.

What We Learned At This Year’s Stack Company Offsite

What We Learned At This Year’s Stack Company Offsite

Here at Stack, we look forward to our annual off-site every summer. It’s a time to reflect, celebrate wins, and brainstorm how to provide the best possible experience for our partners. As we close the books on this year’s event, we’re feeling more aligned as a team than ever before. Oh, and did we mention there’s a talent show involved?

This year, we hopped over to beautiful Manhattan Beach, and were excited to have our remote employees join us for some quality face time. Read on for some of our key takeaways and highlights.

There’s no room for ego.

There’s a reason One Team is a StackCommerce core value. After listening to a dozen of our employees, from our first hire to our last, share their experiences at Stack, there was one common thread: we are one team. From mistakes to successes, we grow together and leave our egos at the door.

Focus on the solution; not the problem.

Guest Speaker Edwin Arroyave kicked off the day by sharing insights from his journey to success. One consistent theme? Don’t dwell on the problem. As a fast growing tech company, there’s no shortage of curve balls thrown our way. But by transitioning our focus to the solution, we’re forced to take action faster while cultivating a more positive work space. 

Listen More.

Our CEO and Founder, Josh, who recently welcomed his third child, shared a few insights from his time with family as well as his goals for Q4. First on his list: listening more. We’re always eager to jump into solutions here at Stack, so taking a moment to pause and lean in helps improve cross-team communication and empowers employees at every level to share their ideas.

Stack’s got talent (in and out of the office).

We’re always striving for a workplace culture that encourages balance, so we were thrilled to top off the day with an epic talent show. From singing to break dancing, we’re grateful to be part of a team that inspires us to grow personally and professionally every day.

Here’s to the best Q4 yet! 

StackCommerce Wins Digiday Technology Award for Best E-Commerce for Content Platform

StackCommerce Wins Digiday Technology Award for Best E-Commerce for Content Platform

We’re thrilled to announce that after being named a finalist for the Digiday Technology Awards, StackCommerce was chosen as a winner for Best E-Commerce for Content Platform.

The Digiday Technology Awards are especially meaningful to us, as they recognize “technology modernizing media and marketing” — a mission we pursue as a team every day. Most importantly, this award speaks to the way in which we’ve helped key publisher and media companies drive significant revenue and engagement through e-commerce.

Our commerce and content platform is unique to the industry, and all-encompassing for publishers looking to supplement their current commerce efforts or start something completely new. In short, we create and operate white-labeled e-commerce marketplaces that live as an extension of publisher sites. 

But they aren’t *just* marketplaces. Our full e-commerce solutions include shop UI, product sourcing, merchandising, logistics, creative, customer service, and more. 

Publishers also gain access to custom commerce content written by our Brand Studio team, which leads to purchases in the hosted white-labeled shops. But it’s about more than just a single purchase. We help publishers establish a long-term commerce relationship with their users, bolstered by targeted re-marketing efforts. Learn more by clicking here.

This is our second time as a finalist for a Digiday award, previously recognized for top eCommerce Strategy at the Digiday Publishing Awards, and our first time chosen as a winner. 

7 Steps to Creating a Content Marketing Plan That Maximizes Results

7 Steps to Creating a Content Marketing Plan That Maximizes Results

In recent years, content marketing has become the go-to strategy for generating a positive ROI. Why? It (usually) requires a modest budget, and yields significant results. But as the sheer volume of online content continues to blow up, businesses are looking for ways to find an edge with their content marketing strategies.

Don’t get us wrong: the demand for quality content remains high and the value of a lead primed for a sale insurmountable. But a robust content marketing strategy should make the most of every piece of content — heck, even every word. Check out seven steps, based on loads of my own successes and failures, to ensure you maximize results and keep readers eager to consume your output.

1. Research Your Audience

Researching your audience is a solid first step, no matter the type of marketing effort. Take a look at the type of people buying products from you. Who’s joining your email list? Reading your blog? Where do they live? How old are they? The most common way to go about this is to develop customer avatars or buyer personas. Using analytics and survey results, you can define  your typical customer — and then move onto how to attract more of them with your content.

2. Analyze What Is Working

It’s 2019. Data is everywhere. Rather than just relying on a gut feeling, look at what your competitors are currently doing. You can utilize a number of tools that will highlight the most popular content in a certain niche, for a particular keyword, or on a specific platform (this Moz, Google Trends, scraping tools, etc.). This research will often signal what content is working, while also indicating areas that don’t get high levels of engagement.

3. Build Your Content Plan

Planning ahead ensures you have a long-term schedule for content creation and distribution — and holds you accountable for hitting firm deadlines. Whether you’re working with a team or with freelancers, a content calendar will keep everyone working in sync.

4. Determine Your Primary Content Channels

With any well thought-out content plan, comes a well thought-out distribution plan. Different types of content will suit different platforms by nature, so some concepts may need to be tweaked and adapted for a particular site. You may, for example, have a concept that can be adapted for text or video and plan to distribute via YouTube and the blog. Your earlier research will also help you decide which platforms will get the best results, using factors like shares, comments, and likes to determine best practices.

5. Create the Content

While you may occasionally have a totally unique piece of content in mind, most niches have a number of broad concepts that are discussed. Thus, your approach is what will make you stand out. If you are trying to rank on Google, start by looking at the top results for your target search terms and brainstorm how to improve on the existing offerings. Search engines generally want to offer the best quality content to users, whether that involves more detail, an engaging point of view, a combination of media types, or an updated take based on current news.

6. Publish and Promote

Content marketing is most effective when you publish the right type of content, in the right place, at the right time. When you hit all three points, consumers should be easily primed to take the next step towards a sale. This requires you to develop a network for promotion, including a number of social media sites and a number of partners to promote your posts.

7. Assess Results and Optimize for Future Campaigns

Content marketing is an ongoing process, with each campaign helping to grow your data and knowledge. Have a number of goals in mind before you even start so you can consistently track results against them as you go. You may consider goals like social likes and shares, website visitors, and new leads or sales.

So why go to all the trouble to launch a content marketing strategy? Engaging potential customers with content gives them the chance to get to know your brand before purchasing, inevitably making them more likely to make that purchase. While many other forms of advertising are struggling, with online consumers reluctant to engage with ads, quality content continues to work. If you can develop a system to ensure your content is top-notch and distributed in places where people pay attention, you can expect a high ROI on your marketing spend.

Need help with your content marketing strategy? StackMedia is your solution. Find out more here.