Why Experts are Reconsidering Social Commerce

When social commerce was just in its infancy big brands jumped onto the wagon but very soon, they quietly pulled down the shutters to their Facebook stores. Soon there was much commotion about how social media is not the place to sell products and how social commerce cannot work. The honest truth is that shopping is as much about the social element as it is about actually buying a product.

Research by the International Data Corporation states that 58% of the decision making process is already done before a business even realizes that a customer is considering a product. People have been looking for recommendations, sharing experiences and opinions ever since the first product was ever sold, or rather, bartered.

Social commerce is here to stay, and if you don’t believe it, then simply pay attention to what customers share on their social media accounts. 76% customers prefer the brands that their social network recommends. The Facebook’s Buy button is expected to change the way social commerce is conducted. Facebook storefronts offer customers the convenience of shopping while they spend time on their favorite social media site. It is not surprising that some of the most popular Facebook shops belong to celebrities and music bands such as STS9 and Lady Gaga. Quite clearly fans can’t get enough of their memorabilia and love to share news of their purchases with their friends.

Engage and Sell

Lolly Wolly Doodle has become synonymous with social commerce success. This clothing brand has developed the perfect formula for making social commerce work. The brand posts pictures of its products and customers respond with comments. Once the order is processed, the invoice is emailed and can be paid for with PayPal. There is a lot of conversation and discussion on the brand’s Facebook page and it is not unusual for customers to share pictures of their purchases. The business has grown in leaps and bounds and has over one million customers connecting with the brand through social media.

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Social commerce is not restricted to products, its benefits can be reaped by the service sector as well. A business’ Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media account draws in customers. How it holds their attention and motivates them to follow it is dependent on a business’ social media strategy. The Capital Grille offers a fine dining experience. The business uses social media to stay connected with its patrons and to accentuate their dining experience. The Facebook page offers patrons a chance to buy a Gift Card for a loved one. It can be sent instantly via email, with a photograph or a voice memo. The Wine Expert tab helps guest with their choice of wine so that they can make every dining experience truly memorable. The Capital Grille also has a tab for Yelp Reviews so that guests can share their experience and gain from others.

Customers are shopping for a wide and varied range of products with social commerce. This is also why small and medium sized businesses find that it is a great place to showcase their products and sell them. Sweet Blossom Gifts offers handcrafted personalized jewelry and gifts that are both sentimental and fun for customers to buy.

Tweet it into your Amazon Cart

While this may not seem to be social commerce in the conventional sense, it is clear that social media has a strong impact on shopping online. All that customers have to do is connect their Twitter and Amazon accounts. Thereafter with a simple #AmazonCart, if you are a US resident, and #AmazonBasket, if you live in UK, reply to a product page they can add the product to their shopping cart and checkout whenever they are ready to. This promotes advertising on Twitter and makes it easier for customers to find and buy products that they want.

Twitter’s introduction of product pages has opened up a new channel of social commerce for its customers. With its curated ‘collections’, the social media channel helps influencers such as Demi Lovato, The Ellen Show and Nike group products that may interest Twitter users.

Understanding the Customers

Research indicates that social buyers have more purchasing power and they make 61% more purchases every year, as compared with the previous year. The millennial generation is impetuous and likely to make shopping decisions quickly. They show a clear preference to customer reviews over traditional marketing. This audience prefers to contact their favorite brands through their social media accounts. They expect businesses to respond to them quickly and don’t like to be ignored.

Whether yours is a B2B or a B2C company, social commerce ensures that you are connected with your customers and have an open and clear line of communication. The demands of the millennial customers are growing and it is vital that enterprises keep up with them.

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