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3 Ways for Brands to Get the Most Out of Native Commerce

3 Ways for Brands to Get the Most Out of Native Commerce

The elusive black box of marketing plagues brands of all shapes and sizes. No one enjoys spending money on advertising and customer acquisition without knowing the ROI ahead of time. Yet, many agencies require steep introduction fees to establish relationships.

That’s what makes working with StackCommerce so unique. Whether your brand is new-to-market or well-established, you’ll have your choice of multiple pay-for-play solutions for customer acquisition, brand awareness, and revenue growth without paying upfront fees.

Here are some of the ways your brand can quickly expand its digital reach:

#1 Advertorial Content, Exclusive Offers & The Art of Storytelling

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It’s no secret that entering the native advertising playground can be extremely pricey. In fact, digital advertisers are forecasted to spend $28.2 billion on native advertising by 2018 according to eMarketer. However, unlike traditional native ad or sponsored content media buying, StackCommerce allows brands to get maximum brand exposure without any of the upfront costs.

With consultation from our merchandising team, our brand partners curate promotions or CPA offers that are exclusive and newsworthy, giving our network of publishers an opportunity to design authentic content that engages their readers. These brand stories are specifically created to add rather than distract from the reader’s’ experience. The result? The publisher, the reader, and the brand win.

While exposure on publishers like AOL, Gothamist, Digg, and The Daily Dot can often be purchased on a CPM basis, we offer this to brands free of charge as part of our structured promotion. The benefits of brand exposure are obvious for new-to-market brands, but even well-established brands can utilize StackCommerce’s content creation abilities to strategically enter new markets and reach new audiences.

For example, leading national language software company Rosetta Stone used StackCommerce’s platform to break into a new younger and mobile-centric market. With over 65 editorial pieces published across the network and over 96,000 eyes on their product, Rosetta Stone successfully created a presence amongst a brand new audience through engaging content. “We are delighted to be partnering with StackCommerce as they help us reach a different customer, who might not have looked for us in our traditional channels,” noted Mike Fishaw, North American Director of Sales.

#2 Handcrafted, Custom Email Placement

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Email placement is another great way to accelerate your brand exposure. Featuring your brand’s logo, image, or full product line in a dedicated email send is one option available to all brand partners. Our in-house creative team is available to create custom emails to showcase your brand or product line specifically for your targeted market. We segment our email list of over 3 million subscribers to deliver increased value and drive engagement. We always tailor our sends to be 100% unique, and customized quotes are available upon request.

#3 Accelerated Dollar-for-Dollar Ad Spend Matching

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We’ve discussed the power of native content when posted by influential online publishers, but what happens next? Does the content simply disappear forever? StackCommerce’s Amplify program allows brands to double down on their content strategy by attracting more eyes to their brand via social media. The Amplify program is consistent with our commitment to eliminate the black box of unknown fees and unclear ROI. Matching ad spend dollar-for-dollar, we are able to scale targeted, strategic Facebook Ad Campaigns with up to 6x return on ad spend (ROAS). With innovative methods to  showcase content as ads, we are blazing a path for social commerce at scale.

Before we even pitch our brand partners on the Amplify program, we put our money where our mouth is and build a proof of concept ourselves. StackCommerce takes on the full risk during an initial trial period, meaning we only offer this program to a select few brand partners who have already been shown to benefit concretely with actual data. With agency to generate custom, flexible solutions, we are able to drive value and deliver results, without compromising brand integrity.

5 Commerce Tips for Making the Most of This Holiday Season

5 Commerce Tips for Making the Most of This Holiday Season

The holiday season is approaching quickly, and having a strong digital commerce strategy is essential. At StackCommerce, we’ve helped hundreds of publisher-owned online shops flourish during the holiday season through our native commerce platform. From preparing unique and exciting inventory to organizing specialized gift shops, we’ve had our hands in it all. Check out our top 5 tips for generating more revenue all winter long, and spreading cheer while you’re at it.

Plan Ahead 

For most online shops, the holiday season is the busiest time of year. On days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, site traffic can quadruple, coupons and promotions can go viral, and inventory can deplete within seconds. It’s critical to plan ahead in order to set your company up for success. Below are three steps to prioritize:

    • Build out the promotional calendar as early as possible, even if that means starting to plan for the holidays in the spring or summer.
    • Review all inventory pricing, needs, and caps before your sales go live. Once you drop a price or issue a site-wide sale, you can’t go back.
    • Schedule promotions with proper cadence to ensure that you and your team are prepared to handle increased volume and heightened sales. Preparing for this influx will provide your customers with a positive experience.

Set Up a Gift Shop

One major shift occurs during the holiday season: consumers buy gifts for others, not themselves. Therefore, the tactics you use to convert consumers during the rest of the year may not be effective during the holiday season. Launching a gift shop, which functions differently than your normal store, allows customers to shop your existing inventory in a new way. Gift Shops also guide customers through a purchase decision that can be overwhelming. Here are some tips for launching a can’t-miss gift shop:

    • Showcase your catalogue with buckets and themes that relate to gifting. Some examples that have worked for us include:
      • Gifts Under $50
      • Gifts for the Trendsetter
      • Gifts for the Jetsetter
      • Gifts for the Techie
    • Don’t assume that customers think your products are giftable. Be sure to communicate the launch of your gift shop to existing customers and explain why the products within are great for gifting.

Call Out Shipping Times  

There’s nothing more embarrassing than showing up to a holiday celebration or party without a gift. So don’t put your customers in a position to fail! Be upfront with your shipping times and let the customers decide if your timeline makes sense for their purchase. Sometimes it’s okay if a gift ships after a holiday, sometimes it’s not.

Don’t Over-Discount

Discounting is a great way to entice customers, but often it’s overused. Consider the reasons why your products are special and communicate this to your customers. Don’t overlook the appeal of your own products! Ask yourself these questions to uncover why your products are unique:

    • Why do my products make for perfect gifts?
    • What features stand out about my products aside from their price points?
    • Are any products exclusive? What products can’t be found anywhere else on the web?

Review Past Holiday Seasons

We’ve all dealt with analysis paralysis, but a healthy amount of analysis can be incredibly effective. Take a good look at what happened last holiday season. What were your biggest sales? Which emails had the highest open rates? What deals sold out? Which promotions converted the most users? How can you replicate what worked and improve what didn’t?

One of the benefits of working with StackCommerce’s native commerce platform is that we deliver a full holiday marketing strategy to each publisher shop across our network! StackCommerce-powered shops will benefit from curated gift shops, full email marketing cycles and sales, and incredible logistics and customer service from Black Friday through the holiday season.

Inventory issues, shipping times, discounts, analysis – we consider it all and make sure our publisher partners’ branded storefronts are prepped for success. Whether you work with us or are implementing your own marketing strategy, we hope these tips will inspire success this holiday season!

 

StackCommerce Welcomes Jaromy Pittario, VP of Sales, to the Executive Team

StackCommerce Welcomes Jaromy Pittario, VP of Sales, to the Executive Team

At StackCommerce, we thrive on delivering unique products and amazing deals to our publisher audiences. We don’t just sell products, we introduce the right audience to the right product at the right time. This all starts with our sales team, and we searched high and low to find the perfect leader for this essential part our business.

We’re ecstatic to introduce Jaromy Pittario, our brand new VP of Sales. Jaromy joined us from Velocity App, the leading global payment app in the hospitality industry, and has previously provided incredible sales leadership at Gilt, AOL, and LivingSocial. Today, we’re picking his brain on everything from the evolution of flash sale sites to leadership tips to what the future has in store for StackCommerce’s publisher and vendor network.

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Liz: You have amazing experience in your field, and specifically working with the flash sale model. In what ways have you seen this model evolve and change?

Jaromy: In the luxury space in particular, I’ve watched brands become more and more accustomed to the benefits of the revenue share model, and therefore open to working with flash sale sites. When I started at LivingSocial in Los Angeles, no one was familiar with it. But by the time I led the team at Gilt City, luxury brands and luxury shoppers alike were becoming more and more attracted to this model.

The experience transformed beyond the instant gratification of bringing a deal to a customer to a fully-branded journey that breeds engaged lifetime customers.

Liz: As a new member of the team in a leadership position, what are your key priorities?

Jaromy: My number one priority is to motivate and cultivate a cohesive team culture. As a sales team, our culture should be invitational so that our success is shared, not compared in a competitive fashion. Being approachable, relational, and goal-oriented also helps us become more available to cross-organization collaboration.

 Liz: In what ways do you hope to influence the evolution of StackCommerce through sales and vendor relations?

Jaromy: I am working to grow and bolster StackCommerce’s lifestyle vertical, in part by bringing on national brand partnerships. Not only will these brands benefit from StackCommerce’s product distribution and marketing capabilities, but these noteworthy brands will work to elevate the customer experience across our publisher sites.

This symbiotic relationship is what makes StackCommerce a unique alternative to traditional affiliate advertising and publisher monetization solutions. I look forward to getting the StackCommerce name out to brands that I know would be a great fit.

Liz: You recently joined StackCommerce. What excited you about the opportunity?

Jaromy: During the interview process, I was fascinated by the rare blend of a startup environment and proven success and profitability at Stack. The interview process was so conversational that I felt I was able to really get to know the business and the people who make Stack a wonderful place to work.

Liz: What do you enjoy doing outside of Stack?

Jaromy: Cooking! I have an instagram account dedicated to teaching people how to make healthy meals in less than 30 minutes.

Liz: What’s your favorite saying?

Jaromy: Work hard, play hard.

Snapchat Marketing: How Brands Are Succeeding

Snapchat Marketing: How Brands Are Succeeding

Without the benefit of a physical retail store, the rapidly-evolving world of social media is a vital tool for E-Commerce companies. Utilizing mobile photo app sensation Snapchat as a marketing strategy is relatively new, but a number of companies are engaging readers with unique content – and seeing tremendously good results as the app has exploded in popularity.

With Snapchat’s recent $16 billion valuation, it’s been clear that the platform has moved far beyond its former persona as an outlet for self-destructing risqué interaction. Now, as Snapchat emerges as an effective and hugely promising way for brands to acquire and interact with customers, businesses are beginning to see a wealth of marketing potential and revenue opportunity.

Snapchat Discover offers a new content publishing feature, with channels of original content at launch from CNN, Cosmopolitan, the Daily Mail, Comedy Central, ESPN, Food Network, Warner Music and more. The Discover platform provides advertisers with a way to reach customers with daily series, swipeable ad-editorials, sponsored content between ads and more. Additionally, a new advertising program will allow brands to get their geofilters automatically approved as well, adding thousands of them at once with a small “sponsored” tag.

Brands Leading The Way in Snapchat:

Audi

 

The luxury carmaker partnered with The Onion in 2014 to Snapchat the Super Bowl live, utilizing its agency Huge and Onion Labs for a humorous content team-up. The event grew Audi’s Snapchat following by over 5,500 users before the end of the big game.

McDonald’s

Going behind-the-scenes with world-class athletes such as LeBron James, Richard Sherman and Johnny Manziel, McD’s has ramped up fan exposure on Snapchat and built a steady stream of unique user incentives including coupons, contests and more. With the recent addition of geofilters, the french fry kings are poised to tailor their marketing to more specific audiences.

Taco Bell

Launching its Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos, Taco Bell was among the first to embrace Snapchat Stories with a six-minute mini-movie. Connecting culture constellations, the fast food giant snapped a scene on the red carpet of the MTV Movie Awards, unveiled its Doritos tacos, and delivered a completely immersive new advertising ecosystem for readers virtually in realtime.

General Electric

On July 15 last year, GE’s Snapchat presence came to life, engaging users with trivia, puzzles and exclusive content featuring legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin. It was a prime opportunity to announce The Mission sneakers as well, celebrating the 45th anniversary of GE’s contribution to the 1969 moon landing.

Bottom line: exclusive content is key, and there’s an open field of opportunity for innovation on Snapchat.

As Snapchat continues to evolve, E-Commerce businesses have a virtually blank canvas of opportunity to engage people, expand their consumer base and bring new colors to their brand. Original content, stories, contests and giveaways provide a high-potential entrypoint for gaining a promising new E-Commerce foothold. And while it’s still in its infancy of advertising possibilities (metrics are virtually nonexistent, editing is limited, etc), the future looks very bright for business opportunity on Snapchat.

StackCommerce will soon make the leap into our own Snapchat journey, utilizing calls to action across our existing social platforms and incentivizing friends & followers with contests, behind the scenes content and more. We’ll continue to share our insights and developments as we embark on another new adventure at Stack.