Interview: Phil Kyprianou – eCommerce & Facebook Ads Expert

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You have already established yourself as one of the leading eCommerce specialists in the world, but nevertheless, I would still like to ask you to introduce yourself to our readers.

My name is Phil Kyprianou and I’ve been working in the “Internet Marketing” space for more than a decade. Between running a huge internet radio in the early 2000’s to running a digital agency and consulting for Fortune 500 companies I’ve always been passionate about marketing. I really started enjoying e-commerce when I jumped into Teespring somewhere in 2013. It was really early 2015 that I decided to dedicate myself to e-Commerce full time between building my own store and sharing my experience through my Shopify Strategy group.

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Shopify has experienced rapid growth, with a significant number of users migrating from other platforms to theirs. What do you think are some of the advantages of Shopify compared to other eCommerce platforms?

Shopify is a great platform in terms of how easy it is to use and setup. Virtually anyone can set up a store within a few days, with little or no experience. Shopify broke the barrier which other platforms couldn’t, and as a result a lot of companies, large and small, migrated to their platform. This shows how they brought e-commerce management to its simplest expression.

More and more marketers are becoming aware of the power of Video Ads on Facebook. What’s your experience with Video Ads so far? Any tips or tricks?

Video Ads on Facebook are super powerful, the first reason being that FB is giving more and more weight to it. Secondly, a video catches the eye more efficiently than a still picture. Most marketers, however, face a significant problem because they either don’t know how to make their own videos or it takes them too much time to do so.

Most Facebook Marketers find it pretty hard to predict what kind of ad design will work better. How do you go about A/B testing different ads/ad sets?

Split testing is tough, it takes time and data. I remember a case where I was trying to push a particular product and didn’t have any traction and the conversions were bad. I finally decided to turn it off. A month later I had some success with a similar product and I decided to go back to the original product, this time with new images. The campaign was a great success and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This single product generated almost 200K in sales all by itself, by simply changing an image.

What tools do you use to help you with Facebook advertising?

When it comes to tools, I love to test them and see which benefits they offer. Each one of the various Facebook Advertising tools has their own touch, none of them are perfect, but some offer features I like. Some examples here: I love Adespresso for its simplicity and how fast you can generate a live campaign. I love Qwaya for their templating system and how fast you can split test stuff. I Love Smartly for its degree of optimization and rules system to automate multiple campaigns at the same time.

Setting up well-thought-out campaigns without paying attention to the conversion rate in the store itself, doesn’t guarantee a successful eCommerce business. Do you have any tips on improving product page conversion rates?

When it comes to conversion rates people always forget that it’s not only about the product campaign. People need to take more things into consideration. Here are a few things you should pay attention to: page speed; color of the buy button; product description; trust seal; scarcity; image size, and more. If one of these is not properly optimized it will affect the whole conversion rate of the product. In my opinion, this is the reason why most stores see a conversion rate of about 1%. You can have the best traffic quality and best targeting but if you don’t care about all of these you won’t be able to convert properly.

Establishing a business model as successful as your own must have been a trial and error process. When you look back, what would be the three tips you would give to up-and-coming eCommerce owners?

The best tip I could give to up-and-coming eCommerce owners is to take their eyes off of the numbers, especially their profit. One of the biggest mistakes they could make is to focus only on revenue and ad spend. Running an eCommerce business is similar to trading stocks- anything can happen at any moment and you need to be ready for it.

I think you would agree that picking the right niche is one of the fundamentals of growing a successful eCommerce business. Jewelry continues to be one of the most popular niches, why do you think that is? Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to niche picking?

Finding a niche is important, but knowing or mastering the niche that you’re in is even more important. The more you know about a particular niche the better you’ll know what people are looking for and what they need. You can be in a super small niche, let’s say, less than 100,000 people in potential reach, but you can make more money there than in a niche with 10 million people. Finding what is important to people and how much they value that which is important to them is really what you’re looking for.

We each have our own tricks when it comes Facebook Advertising. Would you mind sharing one of yours?

I’ve tested hundreds, if not thousands of Facebook Ads Strategies, and I always come back to the basics. The reason being is that we always over-complicate things at a certain point. Facebook is a learning machine with huge amount of Data Points, they know what works best and they can help you to make money. The only important thing is that you provide content or products that will make people engage and like them. If you feed the machine correctly, it will reward you. Simple as that. 😉

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