We love to shop. It doesn’t really matter who we are – male or female – we do love to browse around and get the thing that makes us feel better. Feeling cool and happy we love to brag about it. That’s why Facebook and other social networks are so popular – they give us an opportunity to showcase who we are, what we do and how incredible our life is. Or what stuff we have or bought. And this is a story of how social media met ecommerce and where their happily ever after is heading.
Does Social Commerce even exist?
We sure shopped online before social networking became an online buzz. We used to share news while changing our sweat pants in YMCA locker rooms or standing in line in front of a vending machine. I used to brush my teeth before hitting the TV for a scoop of an early morning news. Now I don’t even bother to flip the channel or even brush my teeth for that matter.
As soon as my iPhone finishes its alarm song I’m on a Facebook checking through the news feed. While swallowing the last spoon of my oatmeal I already know that Jessica is pregnant with twins and got her baby shower list in Target and Aiden just got a new song off of the Spotify, that I also liked and wanted to download before jumping to the car on my way to work.
I used to call my mom before making a decision on what should I get as a birthday present for my sister. Now my sister makes a wish list on Facebook and I buy what she wants (and let me tell you what a relief it is!). So what does it mean?
Social Media is advancing ecommerce
It’s not about search anymore – it’s all about discovery. A simple sales formula of Traffic x Conversion x Average Order Value = Sales is dramatically affected by online social networking which can improve every of the above metrics.
Hundreds of apps and plug-ins already increases the sale allowing people to socially engage while shopping online which will further insure the success of ecommerce. I would even say that one day Facebook will be a solid ecommerce platform with thousands of shopping integrations that’ll go far and beyond the present F-commerce.
What to do if you own an online business
Get ready. Social ecommerce means being influenced while shopping online which turn the marketing funnel into a viral loop. Explore the opportunities and get active. Start building your audience through Facebook business page and Twitter profile. Find ways to engage your audience and then add apps.
Integrate plug-ins: For instance businesses like Fab.com are reporting solid referral trafic increase and membership grow since launching with Facebook Open Graph just a couple of month ago. Use Power Review and other plug-ins as you advance through social media marketing or even develop Facebook shopping platform and offer your friends and followers coupons, sales, prizes, sweepstakes, spree or whatever is working for your business.
Think of a cost and return on investment rate online versus offline. Considering how many people you can potentially reach with a click of a button and the fact that people are online 24/7 the possibilities are endless.
Integrate connections throughout the shopping experience: roughly 60% of online shoppers read product-related comments from their friends via news feeds before making purchase decision while 55% reached the ecommerce site through the link posted on their friends status update. According to statistics 63% of the social media referral shoppers who’ve come to the retailer’s shop via link have made a purchase.
Start using social media features that promote social discovery: for instance an app called Foursquare allows users to share their location and help their friends to discover new places while making useful comments about products and services. While using this app I’ve discovered that my sister loves caviar and hates meringues. Good to know since I’ve consistently bought them for our happy sisters hour for nearly 12 years thinking that we both absolutely adore meringues!
Social commerce is evolving so make sure you’ve got all the tools ready to get yourself ahead of a game and benefit from it just as much as possible!