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How Social Commerce Can Change the Future of eCommerce Industry

Social commerce - social media network

Opinions always matter when one is about to spend money on a product or service. According to the Google Data, mobile searches for “product review” has grown around 35% in past two years.  Here buyers want to understand what people are saying about a brand before purchasing it online. This is very similar when we ask for help from our family and friends on social media before purchasing a product. This is one example of Social Commerce where a brand is directly benefited from their existing buyers sharing reviews with their friends and families!

Mobile product review“The world is a global village” is a phrase that is commonly used when referring to the advancement of technology. Things have become easier in a way you can access services from the internet from the comfort of your house just by using your phone or laptop. But when it comes to eCommerce, most of the merchant are still not using social media to improve customer confidence. By displaying a reviews of their friends or families, merchant can increase conversion rate of their eCommerce website. Social commerce trend is growing rapidly and will change the future of eCommerce industry if incorporated properly with an eCommerce brand.

The new form of trade involves buying and selling of products and services by use of social media websites as trading platforms. They give consumers and producers a chance to interact conclusively on their brands. This concept can also be defined as the process of using shopping tools to enhance social commerce sales. The concept is mainly to give clients a blueprint of the product or service they wish to buy. These tools also advise clients on the product they wish to acquire. By connecting people from different parts of the globe, it is right to say that E-commerce brought forth social commerce.

Breaking the Norm

Since products are easily accessible once you have the internet, it is easier to know what is trending and at what price. Consequently, a huge demand for the products online is created. While browsing the internet, creatively managed dynamic re-marketing display ads also create a thirst for owning certain products.

Social commerce also has a great advantage of targeting right audiences at the right time. Lets for example, if your product is mainly targeting female audiences, you should be at Pinterest. Out of all adults who use social media in US, 38% of women are using Pinterest as compare to 15% of Men. Here you can plan a precise data driven social media marketing strategy to increase sales from social media websites.

Here is the list of popular social media websites based on their market shares. One can choose the platform by considering macro metrics of their target audiences to convert them into customers:

Source: Statista (January 2018 data)

Endowed with social media marketing tools

This form of doing business is socially driven as it has to use social media sites to further it. It is evident on sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter which are largely used for commercial purposes. Social Commerce also involves the use of platforms under which users have one on one conversation with other users and can sell their products to them. Statistics show that many customers buy products due to recommendations given by their friends. It also has a peer recommendation where the user can use recommendations of other users before making a purchase. Some also have social shopping where the user is allowed to interact with friends and other users on their opinion of a product.

With the help of social media marketing tools, you can improve the way you use social media to promote your products online.

Well-defined prospects on various Social media sites

Social media and social commerce have a mother and child relationship as they coexist. Different sites have features that make the involvement of social commerce unforgettable. Facebook, for example, has the dynamic ads as a feature for social commerce. The feature connects merchant with consumers from advertisements on the site or from the mobile application. The feature has seen more retailers use Facebook and increase their sales as it connects retailers with millions of consumers on a daily basis.

ASOS has increased their orders 3 times and their return on ad spend by 2.5 times with the help of Facebook Dynamic Ads. Checkout this ASOS case study to learn more about this opportunity:

Facebook has also launched Marketplace where anyone can sell their products like classified websites. This has allowed clients to enjoy social media as they buy products. Pinterest also offers great feature for ecommerce via Buyable pins that allows the client to purchase an item once shared on the platform. The item often comes with reviews and images that allow the customers to make informed decisions about the product.

Instagram is also testing shopping feature since long and hopefully they will launch for all business very soon. You can always run a paid marketing campaign to promote your product using Instagram ads. Once the user clicks on the button, she will redirect to the same product page on your mobile app / website and a transaction can be made easily from that. The feature is easy to use and has encouraged consumers to purchase items as a variety of products are displayed for the picking.

Instagram ad example

Unlimited benefits

Social commerce does provide opportunities to buyers and sellers as it provides a link to both. It gives both an upper hand of interacting with tons of people from all over the globe. The platform favors everyone in the supply-demand chain. Social commerce has become more social in that the purchase of a product is not only done by the buyer himself but by other parties. Traders have a social circle in which they consult one another on different deals that are about to be made.

A buyer may for example post on Facebook for advice or reviews on a product they are willing to purchase. Family and friends often give out their opinion and help the buyer in decision making. Social circles of traders have also been created as this lets them meet on the social platforms where they can easily carry out their deals. Buyers get to know from other buyers on who has high-quality products at affordable prices. Brands also have online platforms where they allow customers to post their reviews and ratings on the brands they have purchased. This gives the buyer a sense of belonging without going all out to experience this.

Some online shops have also given their clients the chance to be more confident as it allows them to fully express their experience with the brand. They are able to post their personal experience using the product on the respective platform. This shows other potential customers why they should use the product and what experience they should expect. For example, GoPro is regularly sharing their customer’s videos and experiences on their official Facebook page. Have a look at one of such video:

https://www.facebook.com/GoProIndia/videos/2015533948701456/

It is all about shopping without limits and therefore making your shopping experience memorable. It also gives brands a more global outlook. This allows traders who are buyers and sellers to connect from anywhere in the globe.

Social media is a source of money as with just a simple click millions of people are exposed to your brand. With the good reviews and exposure, your product could be sold out to millions in a short period. During the NBA championship, the Warriors were able to sell shirts worth $125,000 via Twitter. This has become possible with the presence of different social media sites.

Final Words

Finally, while engaging in social commerce, research is vital as the merchant needs to know whether they are targeting the right channel or not. Being there when your prospect needs you can increase the chance you make a sale. Effective utilization of social commerce can give you an edge over your competitors and to always satisfy your customers. It is a new dawn of commerce.  Adapting to the new technological advancements would favor your business as manufacturers and service providers so as to improve customer experience.

About the author

Jignesh Gohel is an eCommerce marketing consultant with over decade of experience in digital marketing. He loves writing about eCommerce marketing and Google adwords. Connect with him at twitter @jigneshgohel or Linkedin at jigneshgohel

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