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How Structured Data Is Driving the Growth of E-Commerce

Published 23 Oct 2015 by Tim Langley, CANDDi
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The e-commerce industry has changed a lot in the last few years. Today we still have the big players of a few years ago - Google is a major ad platform and Amazon and Facebook have their devotees as well. However, there are new players such as Pinterest and TripAdvisor that cater to specific niches and are becoming an increasingly important way of driving audience growth.

Structured Data

Now that there are more ways to reach consumers, it’s becoming increasingly important to target your ads well, and structured metadata is very useful for this. As the advertising platforms grow, they have started to introduce new, improved algorithms that interpret supplier-released metadata to improve the quality of ads and to populate ad units with not just an image but custom messages, ratings and even information from a user’s friends (in the case of Facebook).

With these new, more targeted and more deeply customised ads, it is possible to achieve much greater CTRs, and even better ROIs. The challenge is figuring out how to use these platforms, and structured data, to your advantage.

Asking the Right Questions

The ad programs provide you with a way to display targeted information, but you need to understand who you are trying to reach and what you want to say to them before you can do this well. This means you need to be making use of good analytics tools to profile the people who are coming to your website. You need to understand them well so that you can supply them with personalised messages.

Data is the most important tool for any advertising platform. Facebook wants to collect data about users not just on-site but also when they are out in the wider web. For savvy advertisers, this is a boon - it allows them to get a much more detailed view of the consumers they are marketing to. However, it could also be seen as an invasion of privacy. After shopping for loans, or signing up to a dating site, do you really want your social media pages to be flooded with ads for financial products and singles sites? As a marketer you might think you’re reaching the ideal audience, but as a consumer you may rightly feel that your private time is being intruded upon. Think carefully before you push too hard into your prospective customers’ personal space.


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