The face of shopping has undergone a dramatic change in the last decade. Customers are no longer passive participants in the buying and selling process. Their role in the transaction is no longer limited to choosing a product and paying for them.
The contemporary shopper does more than just look and buy. He or she frequently uses mobile devices to quickly compare prices. This ensures that they get the best possible deal. They also read reviews by other customers and don’t hesitate to ask questions. A survey was conducted to find out what percentage of offline shoppers checked products online before making their final decision. A surprising 60% of respondents reported that they used their mobile devices to take pictures of the product that interested them, compared prices online and also checked on the additional product information.
Considering how the modern shopper has grown in leaps and bounds, it is vital that businesses also keep pace. It is crucial for a company to offer its customers the choice to shop online, especially when they are on their favorite social media network. The shopping experience must be seamless and enjoyable so that it may be repeated frequently, and shared with friends.
Creating a Seamless Facebook Storefront Experience
More and more internet users find themselves spending more time on Facebook than on any other website. This, of course, also means that this medium strongly affects their connections with their friends, and the world at large. It also has a deep impact on their shopping decisions.
Experts are of the view that the boundaries between online and offline shopping have blurred, and businesses need to work on integrating both approaches. To this end you find brick and mortar stores like C&A Brazil that use hangars that feature the ‘likes’ that the product has received on the brand’s Facebook store. Brands are also opting to create Facebook stores that resemble their offline stores. They believe that this makes customers feel at home and enhances their experience with social commerce.
Businesses should use the brand colors as far as possible. It is wise to work with a professional when developing the design template as well as the flow of traffic on the store. The idea is to ensure that customers are able to efficiently find the products that they are looking for while they also get an excellent idea of other products available on the store. The payment system must be secure and should inspire confidence in the brand.
Shoppers should be aware of any additional shipping costs and should not be caught unawares. Finally coupons or offers made available by a business should be smoothly accepted and should not inconvenience the shopper. Most often customers abandon their shopping carts because the checkout process is either slow or unsatisfactory.
It is now possible for Twitter users to tweet products that they like into their Amazon shopping cart. ‘Add it now and buy it later’ is the tag line that this marketing campaign is promoting. On the Facebook storefront shoppers can add the products that they like and complete the checkout process while they are on the social media network.
Customers were asked to identify the most important reason that made them opt for offline shopping over online. A majority replied that it was the ability to evaluate the product physically that finally influenced their choice. Online retailers are able to deal with this issue by offering customers several pictures that offer different views of the product. Some even opt for 360 degree photography of the product, while others offer a unique description of the texture or aroma of the product.
Word-of-mouth recommendations are taken seriously and play a key role in shopping decisions. Shoppers like to ask their friends for advice and also like to read customer reviews. The latter gives them a clear and realistic picture of what to expect of any given product. Social commerce experts recommend that businesses make reviews an integral part of the Facebook page. Some brands also like to feature reviews on the product pages on the Facebook store.
When people shop they like to share their experience with their friends. The same thing can be done on a Facebook store. Businesses such as Sweet Blossom Gifts allow visitors to their store to buy products, share them and tweet about them. They can also ‘Pin It’. This can help brands overcome the borders that demarcate social media sites and make a consistent impression on customers.