What has October had in store for us?

We’re inching closer and closer to the end of 2020 and whilst we can breathe a sigh of relief that this very strange year is almost over, we’ve still got two more hurdles to jump through: sale season, followed by the festive season. AusPost release their Christmas delivery date cut-offs, Facebook introduces an update which means you can tag products in paid promotions, Instagram turns 10, Snapchat makes it so you can use their app to scan, well, literally anything and Instagram increased the time you can go live for up to 4 hours. Oh, and did we mention we’d won an award?! Just putting that out there…

1. Get ready for Christmas as the biggest shopping season begins

The pre-festive sale season is upon us. In case you’d forgotten (it has been quite the year so we don’t blame you) Black Friday and Cyber Monday are on the way, taking place on the 27th November and the 30th of November respectively. 2020 has already seen online sales absolutely skyrocket thanks to the fact we’ve all been inside with nothing but our mobiles and laptops for company, so it will be interesting to see how this will impact the biggest shopping days of the year.

Of course, these two are the most obvious ones, but two more days deserve to be listed here. Click Frenzy Day takes place on the 10th of November and is a day where your fingers will have to be super fast to make the most of the amazing deals. Last but certainly not least (in fact we’d argue it could be the biggest shopping day of the year) we have Singles Day on the 11th of November… which generated a colossal $31 Billion for Alibaba last year! For perspective, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in the U.S. only reached $14.1 billion. If you haven’t heard of it, Singles Day was initially aimed at all single people in China (hence the name) but has since expanded to more and more sites, with eBay taking part last year.

Are you ready for this years pre-season rush?

Check the key dates

2. AusPost Christmas delivery cut off dates

There’s nothing worse than getting your baskets full of Christmas presents ready for the whole family, only to realise you’ve missed the Christmas cut-off date. Even worse if you forget to let your customers know the last dates for delivery and no-one makes an order, so this year be prepared and let your customers know well in advance… We’d say start now. 

AusPost have put out their Christmas delivery cut-off dates and it’s worth bearing in mind that they’re a little bit earlier this year because of the impacts of COVID-19. If you’re sending within Australia by Parcel Post then it’s 12th December and Express Post is the 19th December. International dates will be earlier, so check out their website for the full list.

Know the dates

3. TT brings home a SEMRush Award

Okay, so this one might not be massive national industry news, but we couldn’t resist sneaking this one in as it’s something we’re super proud of! The Township took home a SEMRush award for The Best Online Marketing Campaign in the Not For Profit sector for the work we did with the wonderful Seeing Eye Dogs and their Lucky Puppy Lottery. SEMRush said the campaign “had a solid customer acquisition strategy and profitable outcome – and for a great cause”. This successful campaign is the result of the efforts and dedicated work of our amazingly talented team and it’s incredible to be recognised. Working with Not For Profit organisations is a huge honour and knowing our skills are going towards helping others is extremely rewarding. Go team!

See the winners

4. Facebook Introduces New Ad Options

Platforms are definitely trying to get in their updates ready in time for sale season and Facebook’s new ad update is no exception. Your probably aware that you can add product tags to Instagram posts (the feature has been around since 2016) but until now, you couldn’t add these tags to sponsored posts and paid promotions. You’ll now be able to add these tags through Ads Manager from scratch, which means brands and business can use more commercial creatives and copy rather than the traditional eCommerce style that we’re used to. It also means that more and more Instagram users will come to expect product tags on all posts, meaning shopping habits will become much more immediate; scrolling and shopping will soon go hand in hand and it might be harder to spot an ad, but easier to shop from them, so a win win for online businesses. To add to this, Facebook is also working on some new Custom Audience options which means businesses can directly target people who have already shown an interest in them, such as saving a product or initiating a purchase but not completing it.

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5. Happy 10th Birthday Instagram!

Don your party hats and get the birthday cake ready, it’s time to say congratulations to Instagram as the hit double figures and turn the big 1-0 this month! What would a birthday be without a few cool new features to spoil their audience? You’ll soon be able to see a “Stories Map” which shows you highlights of your stories over the last three years, a feature that means you’ll be able to hide comments which they flag as being similar to those which have already been reported (in light of National Bullying Prevention Month) and there’s also the chance to change your Instagram icon to one from the past 10 years. Ah, nostalgia. 

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6. Snapchat releases new features

Despite other platforms’ various attempts to boot Snapchat out of our day to day lives forever, you haven’t seen the last of the yellow ghost just yet. In more of an attempt to stay relevant, the story sharing app has released a, albeit pretty cool, new feature which means you can scan food and wine labels.

Why, we hear you ask? Well, scanning the label through the app can bring up all the nutritional information and health benefits, but if wine is more your thing then you could get customer ratings and tasting notes. It doesn’t stop there. You can also identify dogs, plants, solve maths equations and even link to Shazam if you don’t already have the app to work out exactly what that song is that’s blasting through the tinny speakers next to your head in the pub (now that us Melburnians can finally get back into the pub!). We’re not sure how useful these features are, but it’s a cool move away from turning yourself into a puppy with their sometimes alarming face filters.

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7. You can now go on Instagram Live for 4 hours

The foray into live video streams has perhaps kicked off more than expected, if not mostly because it’s a great way to get connected with the people you follow during a year when we can’t really go anywhere. Think gym classes, events and even gigs, all taking place over Live Video. It seems Instagram has cottoned onto this and is updating the feature so that it’s easier to save the videos after and increasing the time limit on going live from 60 minutes to a whopping 4 hours. If you don’t want anyone to see then you can store your own live streams in your private archive for up to 30 days after they’ve aired. You can also choose to download the content and post it somewhere else.

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8. New Messager API for Facebook

Finally, Facebook announced this month they’re expanding their messaging API to Instagram which means businesses can use a single messaging platform across all their channels and get the same great experience through Instagram as they already can on Messenger. One of these updates supports automated responses on Instagram, something you can only get through messenger, which will be fantastic for huge businesses that get high volumes of messages. This cross-app communication also means that it will be easier for businesses to reach their customers across multiple apps. Another great feature with this update is that businesses can access the customer conversation on Instagram and use it within their daily workflow, so customer messages could be used alongside their order history and loyalty information, for more streamlined customer service. It’s only currently being beta tested amongst a few brands, including Adidas, Glossier and H&M, but we’re hopeful this update will be available to all very soon.

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