You may have gotten a slightly scary warning when logging into your business page or have seen the ominous ad Facebook took out in many newspapers about the issues the ios 14 updates will bring to small businesses.
The gist? With the new ios 14 update, Apple is giving all users the option to opt-out of tracking in each of their apps (not just Facebook and Insta- although Mark Z and crew have taken the most action on confronting the issue).
What this means:
1.The data we typically can track in Facebook ads, may diminish as consumers opt-out of this tracking making it harder to provide accurate numbers for sales attributed to marketing and your return on investment.
2. Tracking events such as abandoned carts, site views, and conversions, allow us as advertisers to really personalize ads. This not only serves customers well (who doesn’t like discovering that amazing new product or being reminded of the item you only left in the cart because your fifth grader needed help with their e-learning?), but obviously serves us as small business owners well because it allows us to show our consumers incredibly relevant products which leads to a higher return on ad spend and lower costs per purchase.
So although privacy is becoming increasingly important to users Facebook is arguing the negative impact this will have on small businesses. This is true, however, to be completely honest both sides are making it sound worse than it actually is.
All of this leads one to ask “Is this the end of Facebook Ads as many would want us to believe? And how can I lessen the impact on my boutique”
The truth is no it is not the end, this does however change the game a bit.
Although IOS users who have opted out will still be shopping with you, their actions are not going to be tracked and reported directly in Ads Manager. This is going to make those fancy reports we agency owners work so hard to put together look a lot less exciting because a lot of the data we typically can provide will be unavailable.
It’s estimated that IOS traffic accounts for about 30% US mobile traffic.
Ultimately it will also affect the quality of the user’s experience because they are missing out on those relevant ads which could ultimately affect your bottom line.
There are also two big unknowns –
- How many IOS users will actually opt-out of tracking (because let’s be honest, who actually wants to be ‘tracked’)?
- Is Android following suit (please, please don’t do this to us Google!)?
Just to be clear this will potentially only have a small impact on sales – you can still advertise and people will still buy but how can you lessen the impact on tracking where your sales are coming from and being able to decide what is bringing the best results.
1.Get your Domain Verified. Facebook is encouraging all users to get their domain verified. We are not quite sure why and how this may affect your business, but let’s take every step we can. At the very least this will protect against potential account bans.
2.Focus on building the lists that you own. We, as marketers, have said this for a long time. You probably remember the terror you felt the day of the Facebook outage of 2018 and how you didn’t know how to reach your audience outside of Facebook. If you didn’t start your lists then, there is no time like the present! That means email, SMS, and push notifications e.g. via your boutique app.
3.Use that list that you are building! If email is an afterthought and something you whip out when you remember you haven’t sent one in months, make it a priority. Schedule out your month with the emails and SMS you are sending. Think through the content you love to receive and build emails that not only sell well but continue to build relationships with your customers! Build out those welcome emails and cart abandonment series you have always planned on doing but didn’t have the time. Not only are these important regardless but will offset any revenue losses you might see in the beginning.
4.Use an app? Although we see this will affect our ability to retarget ios app users (super bummer because those returns are amazing) we still encourage you to get those app installs! You will still be able to retarget Android app users and regardless of any changes, you still have the ever-powerful push notifications to a locked screen.
5.Ensure you have your commerce account set up with Facebook and also make sure to set up the New Facebook Channel in your Shopify dashboard – this will improve data quality in terms of conversions as well as syncing your catalog with your Facebook Ads. If you need help with this give us a shout and we’ll give you a hand. Ultimately Shopify and your email service provider will help fill in the gaps as far as reporting on the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns is concerned.
Often we define ourselves by the industry we are in “I am a boutique owner” or “I am an agency owner” but the reality is by nature we as small business owners are problem solvers! Changes like this can be discouraging and may take time to figure out but we are confident with some tweaks to your marketing and being conscious of the changes, boutiques will still continue to thrive in 2021!
Rest assured this is something we as marketing professionals and as your marketing partner are equipped to deal with and continue to evolve in an ever-changing digital world.
Author: Elizabeth Presher
Elizabeth Presher is the founder of Grit and Grace Digital Marketing. They help boutiques grow by creating engaging conversational email and messenger marketing series that grow relationships and revenue.
Domain verification: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/sharing/domain-verification
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