Welcome to the Ecommerce Marketing Podcast everyone. I am your host, Arlen Robinson, and today we have a very special guest, Anna Smaruj, who is a marketing professional and eCommerce enthusiast, will speak on behalf of NapoleonCat, the company behind one of the leading social media management tools on the market. Since a considerable part of online commerce happens in social media, the company is focused on exploring the niche and helping eCommerce sellers succeed on socials. Welcome to the podcast, Anna.

I’m happy to be here. Thank you.

No problem. And I’m Super excited to talk to you. I really hope I did your last name justice. I was trying to make sure I got that right. Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate that often times people have trouble pronouncing my first name or wondering how to pronounce it, because a lot of times people think it’s Arlene, but there’s no e at the end. I’ve grown up my whole life people seeing that and saying Arlene, and I always cringe, but I guess I get used to it at this point, so I know how it is having a challenging name, but I am super excited to talk to you today.

As I mentioned in your intro with Napoleon Kat, and your core area is social media selling and helping businesses really create a plan for selling successfully across the whole multitude of social channels today. So I’m really super excited to dig deep into that topic because it definitely is a hot topic today with social media bigger than ever. Definitely. Yeah, for sure. And this pandemic has only added fuel to the fire, I think at this point, but before we dig deep into that, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about your background and specifically how you got into what you’re doing today.

This is a funny story because I graduated from language studies where I studied English and French. But something pushed me into marketing, and I found it very interesting how to influence customer behaviors. And a few months back, I was recruited by Napole young cat and thought that it’s a great opportunity to grow my career, and it’s a wonderful place to be given the fact that they deal with social media. Well, definitely, most of what’s happening right now is happening on social media, especially because of the pandemic.

That’s why I’m here today basically got you.



That is quite a transition coming from language studies and that kind of whole arena to the ecommerce world and social media. In a way, it’s actually not surprising because when you’re dealing with language studies, linguistics, and especially different languages, you’re dealing with textual information. And I know the background in that has probably helped you as far as getting a grasp on having the right messaging.

Because that is key helpful.

Yes. Definitely. When you’re putting out a message on social media, the right messaging is really what it’s all about. Well, as I mentioned, of course, we’re talking about social selling today. I want you to really kind of break down what social selling is. And specifically because we’re in this whole environment now with the pandemic and everything. What are some recent stats in the past few years that prove that some social selling is something that really every ecommerce brand should explore.

For me, the most interesting stat is that this year it’s expected that two point 14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online, according to Statista, which is an incredible amount of possibilities for ecommerce businesses. And overall, there’s a trend visible that we are shifting more towards online shopping rather than retail than going to actual brick and mortar stores, especially when the pandemic hit and we were unable to go out anywhere, actually. And this is where social selling comes in, which is basically selling through social media kind of omitting the research, in some case, your website putting everything out there on your social profiles.

It’s where lots of your potential clients are right nowadays when they spend so much time on the phone. So if you’re not convinced that social selling and social commerce is it, here are some statistics. For example, Instagram is a great place for discovering new products. It’s a place where you go to look for inspiration. It’s a very visual and aesthetic medium, and as much as 84% of people go there to find inspiration. I think that’s a great insight statistic. Then, for example, Facebook is a huge giant with over 2.6 billion active users every month, and they offer very great tools for ecommerce business.

Quite a range to help you through your journey on social media to help you sell more to help you connect with your clients. Another tools that are maybe not so talked about are LinkedIn and Google my business. I like Google my business quite a lot because it’s just in the Google search engine, and therefore you’re able to get to your clients as soon as he or she looks for something that’s amazing. That this first touch point where you can reach your clients. So it’s amazing to have this ability.

So that’s what I would say, like some great statistics to prove to you that you should get into Ecommerce and put your profiles out there using Instagram and Facebook, even LinkedIn, Google my business or Pinterest, right.

Those are some astounding stats, for sure. And I think, really just listening to those stats, the billions of dollars and sales that have happened just through social media. It’s really just kind of proof of the pudding. That is definitely where you need to be. And I want to also kind of circle back to one of the things that you mentioned a lot of times, businesses, ecommerce businesses think. Okay. I’m already on Instagram. I’m on Facebook. I’m on all these platforms. People know about my site. They know that they can purchase from my site.

I need to link links to my site. People can just purchase from the site social seller. It’s a little bit more, though, than that, though. It’s actually what you said, putting your whole catalog, your whole product, catalog your service offering on these social media platforms so people can purchase right there and where it’s a seamless process. They’re not bouncing around. They’re not going to your site and making that happen.

It allows you to shorten the time for your potential customers to think whether they want to buy or it’s like the product or not, because we, as people tend to overthink. I’m one of those people and I’m like spending hours and then thinking whether I want to buy. My last purchase was an area press and I was like, Do I want it or maybe not? Is it for me? Is it not for me? And where did I go? I went to YouTube. I watched, like, a bunch of videos explaining how it works, like what it does and trying to find out if it’s a good fit for me.

And should I spend the money or not?

Yeah, definitely. And that process is what most buyers go through. When you’re thinking about buying something and the whole fact that with social selling, you eliminate their time for the debate. You put the products right then and there where they can purchase it right from within Instagram within Facebook and really leave them much opportunity to second guess the purchase. They see something they like, they can purchase it quickly and easily there.

They’re going to do it and wait for it to be delivered to your door. Exactly.

Yes, definitely. And that’s where the power is with social selling. Now, specifically, speaking about Instagram and Facebook, what are the particular features that a business would need to enable in order to help facilitate this whole sales process through those platforms?

So for Facebook, there is the widely known marketplace where all the products go around and try to reach their perfect customers. But it’s a bit uncertain place. So for me, the great tool is the Facebook shop. You can set it up within your business page, which means that when your customers are looking for your brand and they, for example, go to Facebook, they will also be able to look through your products. You can create the whole inventory, you can categorize them, put them in order, make special lists.

So when people look for certain categories, it’s easy for them to find it. This is also integrated with Instagram. So it’s basically Facebookinstagramshop where you can just showcase your products, talk about them at descriptions, prices, add links to your store where people can go to and purchase it from your website. And that’s very useful when you want to reach more people with your product. That’s great for ecommerce business, because obviously they can add photos and make it visual and more appealing for customers to buy.



And that’s the key thing with these social platforms, specifically Instagram, because it’s all about the visuals and most things that you’re selling online. Really, people are pulled in by the visual aspect of it. If it’s a consumer product, let’s say clothing item or food item, people really are compelled by a really good graphical representation of that. And that’s why I think those social platforms have been so successful and becoming the leading leading platform for a lot of ecommerce sales these days, because it’s just really kind of natural to do that.

Now, with the platforms, the Instagram and Facebook, aside from the features of the marketplace, if a brand is, let’s say, selling on a third party platform, let’s say a Shopify or Squarespace or anything like that, are there any particular tools to make it possible to sell directly on Facebook and Instagram? What types of things do you guys recommend, typically for customers?

Well, we don’t have such recommendations because we mostly our tool mostly covers things like customer service. It allows you to manage your social media within one tool rather than going to Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn. It gathers that everything in our mobile or desktop app. So we’re not covering this area got you.

I understand that’s really a key area as well, because I think that’s a lot of what business owners kind of are worried about is being able to support customers that are across all of these different platforms and then having to log into five or ten different dashboards. It can be overwhelming. I think that’s probably where your solution comes into play. Where when people are trying to reach you across all of those platforms.

Including social media, people will have these repetitive questions and your inbox. And like, for example, you post a new product and everything is in the description because you’re doing everything right. You’re adding what the product is about. You’re adding the price, you’re letting people know where they can buy it. And still people will go and sum your inbox with questions. Like, What’s the price? Where can I buy? What size is it whether size s will fit me? This is where our tool comes in, and it’s great for answering repetitive questions.

Like, do you have this insight from S to Excel and so on? And you can set up auto, moderated messages that will do that for you. So you don’t have to worry about repetitive questions, but pretty much you can set up the whole Q and I for your clients regarding your product, and you’re saving so much time out of your moderation duties got you.

That makes sense because I know with the social platforms, the companies that are on there selling socially are really opening their business up to just kind of a whole new marketplace. And so when they do that, naturally, they’re going to get more questions because just like you know, and like you said, when you were trying to purchase something, there’s process. A lot of people don’t just immediately see something and buy it. I mean, that does happen, but there’s an information gathering process that usually has to happen.

You’re wondering about maybe the shipping, how does the shipping work, the guarantees, all of that. And that’s where the questions come.

Those are the typical questions you get when you have a brick and mortar store, but in a brick and mortar store, you can answer them in person. You have much more control over the conversation on how to connect with the client. And here on the Internet, using social media, it’s much harder because you don’t see your client, and sometimes this connection gets lost. And tools like Napoleon Cat and our automotive helps you to be on the spot, to be always there for the client when he or she needs you.

Right. And that’s very important, especially when you’re on these platforms. Now, as far as social selling is concerned, what are some quick do’s and don’ts if you will, for a company that’s looking to really put themselves out there, sell the whole product category across these channels. From your experience. What are some quick kind of things that you should definitely do that you should definitely not do based on your experience.

What not to do is to leave those tools out there and not to use any of them. So like, you have an ability to set up a whole Facebook or Instagram shop do it put the effort. I know it might sound doubting that you have to put all those descriptions, prices, links to the website and so on. But most of the time you already have them because they’re on your website. So it needs a bit of copy pasting and you’re set. And this gives you another two platforms for your brand to get discovered and for people to find your product, which will in turn allows you to probably sell more because your products are more visible than your competitors.

For example, you want to be in front of your competition. Yeah, that is for sure for aspiring ecommerce businesses who feel that they’re not yet pros. I highly recommend to go to your competition and see if they have, like, a Facebook shop set up, or do they tag their products in Instagram posts? Because that’s also a great tool to get your products across the web and see what they do and maybe copy it a bit, work it, adjust it to your business and therefore profit from that.

Yeah, definitely. That’s the key thing and kind of any digital marketing channel these days is the competitive research, competitive market analysis, understanding what your competitors are doing. And like you said, there’s things that you can take from them and tweak it not necessarily copy everything word for word or how they’re doing it, but adapt it for your particular brand and make it your own. Because if there’s some companies out there that are successful with that particular route of selling or their particular messaging, then there’s definitely something that you can be successful with, so you can look at your direct competitors.

You can also look at those competitors that are in another category or another level higher than your company that are spending a lot more money on their marketing budgets. And then those are companies you can really learn from. And speaking of which, as we prepare to wrap things up, what are some brands that you’re familiar with? Either you’ve dealt with or just in general that you know about that have really been successful with social commerce. And what are some specific things that they’ve done to be successful?

Lots of sports where they are very competitive, like the top of the top, like Nike New Balance. Before our podcast, I’ve researched them and looked up and, for example, New Balance. They have the whole product page on Facebook set up, and they are definitely using that feature, which is great to reach your clients. So that’s definitely good practices to do. My friends run a jewelry store here in Poland, and they’re also using Instagram to connect with their clients. So another great thing to do is to be there and interact with your clients, establish a connection with them, for example, through Instagram stories, through polls and show pretty outrageously.

Show your products in a poll that ask your customer to choose between one and the other. Do you like this earrings more or that one? This is a great way to connect with your audience and also a great way to show what you have in store.

Yeah, definitely. And I’m glad you mentioned that, because I think that’s really the difference between selling just directly on the company’s website versus social selling. The title of that really kind of speaks to. It is social selling, because people are when you’re on social networks, it’s a little bit more informal. People are usually on there communicating with friends, with family. They’re browsing around, they’re looking at funny videos, that type of thing. And so they’re more of in a relaxed state. So you have to adjust your marketing in your communications and your messaging to be more not as of a serious tone.

I think something published by your friend realize that the brand Instagram, right? You should think that, oh, is this something my friend posted? Did she buy new earrings? Did she buy new T shirt?

Exactly. That’s the thing. It needs to be as if their friend is communicating with them. And I think also what the brands actually need to do is, as you mentioned, the engagement is a key thing there as well. Whether you get feedback from them via polls or you do a comparison, which jacket do you like this one or that one? We’re getting ready to announce our fall line, and we’re not quite sure which direction we want to go. Do you like this style or this style? It is a great way to get just some immediate feedback about your products and services that you can then funnel back to your product development team and your other in house teams and have them tweak what they’re prepared to put out based on some instant feedback.

So that’s also a great tool not only for the direct selling, but just getting that immediate feedback through the engagement that you have definitely those immediate feedback.

I think I would like that it’s super important to step up your customer service game on social media there for the clients to be able to answer right away. And oftentimes you’re not able to. So that’s where I recommend using our tool NapoleonCat, because we help brands be able to respond instantly, whether it’s through the messages or comments or posts. And that’s something I highly recommend. Check out. Okay.


Yeah, that is very important. And I know tools like yours Napoleon Cat can help people do that and get that instant communication, because that’s really key. You need to be able to communicate with them. Like you said, like they’re communicating with a friend. Their friends are typically ready available. Usually when you message your friends, you’re going to hear back from them usually pretty quickly these days, because everybody has glued to these smartphones, they usually get quick response. And so as a business as a brand, you need to be just as responsive.

So that is very important as well. It has been awesome talking to you. I’ve definitely learned a lot with regards to social selling. I know a listeners have as well, and these are things that just as we’ve seen the stats speak for themselves. It’s something that I think every commerce brand needs to think about coming up with a formal strategy for selling socially selling across these platforms. And you don’t have to do it all at once. You don’t have to cover all of the social channels because there’s so many take baby steps.

Exactly. Start with one start, maybe with Instagram and take it from there and then build from that. So, yes. Definitely something that businesses need to do. Well, I like to always kind of switch gears through with my final question just so our listeners can get to know you a little bit better. If you don’t mind sharing one closing fun fact with us that you think our audience would be interested to know about you.

Fun fact about me. I used to be a show jumper.

Okay. A show jumper. What exactly is that?

Now? That’s part of horseback riding. Okay. Where you jump through competitively. Okay.

Got you. So I’ll catch you. You’re on the horse, and then there’s different things that you’re hurtling with the horse. And then you’re going through kind of like a course or obstacles or whatever with the horse.

Okay. Wow.

Interesting. Yeah. I know that same challenge, I guess with that type of sport, if you will. Probably you’ve got to have the right horse. I could imagine. I’m sure it takes a lot of training to make sure that you’re in sync with the horse. They know what to do.

Like everything in life. You have to do your job and prepare yourself and just allow yourself time to grow.

Right? Definitely. Like anything. It takes practice. That’s awesome. Definitely. Sounds very interesting. And thank you for sharing that. I appreciate that. And we definitely it’s awesome having you now on the podcast. Now, if any of our listeners want to reach out to you and pick your brain anymore about social selling or anything related, what is the best way for them to reach you?

Just keep me up on LinkedIn.

Okay. Okay. Got you LinkedIn. So great. We’ll have your name and the proper spelling, of course, on the show notes so people can look you up there on LinkedIn. And Anna, it has been awesome talking to you today on the Ecommerce Marketing podcast. Learned a lot.

It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

No problem. Thank you.

Thank you for listening to the Ecommerce Marketing podcast.

Podcast Guest Info

Anna Smaruj
Marketing Specialist @ NapoleonCat.com