Shopping is a phenomenon that often has a viral impact on the friends of the shoppers. This is of course dependent on the type of product that is being bought. Products that are influenced by fashion and trends are most likely to go viral. However, any purchase has the power to influence friends. The essential reason for such influence is that people trust the opinions of their friends and even those of other customers. At the end of the day, customers want to be sure about the products they are investing in. This could include a long list of products from the best washing solution to buying a camera.
Perks of group buying
Group buying takes the concept of influencing friends to a higher level, one where they shop together. Friends can benefit from such a deal as they would get an additional discount simply because they are shopping with friends. For the business, in turn, this means increased sales and the opportunity to add more shoppers to their list of loyal customers.
Customers like both, the social sharing aspect of group buying, and also the fact that they have access to an exclusive deal. Daily deals or time based ones have a sense of urgency that guides users to make a quick decision. Usually such deals offer a large discount, sometimes as high as 70% of the cost that the price is marked at. Some service providers, especially spas and salons also offer group buying deals that are great for both, the business and the customers.
Friends who buy together, stay together
Many facebook stores and retailers offer group buying deals where friends who shop together get additional discounts or attractive offers. Facebook makes it simple and easy for users to share deals that interest them and in turn they can encourage their friends to shop with them. Unlike other channels where one would have to invite a friend, on facebook sharing an offer on the user’s wall and with friends is enough to get the attention of the target audience.
Many retailers also make it easy to share an offer by allowing facebook users to share it on the social network. However the campaign is most effective if the store is on facebook itself. It is exciting for a customer to be able to see their favorite brand offer its products on a facebook storefront.
When a brand engages its target audiences it also gives them a chance to see its products on the facebook shop, and buy them. Social media gives businesses a unique opportunity to go into the homes and offices of their customers, and engage them. A high level of engagement improves brand loyalty and identification, and also has a positive impact on sales.
Business can use Facebook Deals to tailor offers or deals to their specifications and needs. Facebook Deals can only be used by Facebook pages that have more than 100 likes. Group shopping can be designed in ways that suit your product line and business. You can create and customize a facebook shop with an app like Storefront Social. It allows social commerce managers to use a language that the target audience would be comfortable with. This makes the app great for regional brands. Shoppers can also pay with multiple currencies and with PayPal.
Every day people of varied age groups and backgrounds log into facebook to catch up with their friends, and to explore their interests. Hobbies are defined as activities that one takes on during one’s leisure time. They are essentially meant to add fun and interest to one’s day and offer an experience quite unlike anything a conventional day brings. For many the joy of having a hobby lies in sharing their experiences with fellow hobbyists. There are many who share their hobbies on facebook and even find facebook shops where they can buy essentially supplies to support their hobby.
Discovering hobbies on facebook
When it comes to sharing hobbies on facebook, there is a lot that one can do. The simplest and most obvious way is of course to include information about the hobby in one’s posts. This could include photographs of the pet projects. Often people have a group of friends with whom they share an interest in a certain hobby and facebook offers a great platform to share that interest. One can also ‘like’ hobby and interest pages that they would like to follow. Quilters can not only check on the most traditional and the most contemporary designs, they can also shop for books, patterns and much more. Best of all, they can interact with fellow quilters, share insight, gain advice and tips.
Hobbyists also like to see on facebook brands that they use and love. It gives them a great space to voice their opinions and recommendations, and to be heard! The Handi Quilter is one such brand. It uses its posts, photographs and YouTube videos rather effectively. The facebook fan page also has a forum for its fans. At LilyPad Craft Supplies fans and customers can buy craft supplies.
Gardeners from across the globe find facebook to be a fertile place to share their ideas. Some pages like Gardener’s Supply Company offers their fans tremendous support in terms of ideas and guidance when it comes to issues such as choosing the right plants or irrigation system.
Scrapbooking is another hobby that has plenty of takers on facebook. There are many pages such as The Scrapbooking Club and Scrapbook.com that focus on this activity and have plenty of ideas to share with scrapbookers. However while these generate a lot of interest what a lot of fans would really like is to find a brand that sells its products on the social network. Imagine being able to buy supplies on facebook and then posting the finished project on one’s page. The social network is the best place for a hobbyist to showcase his or her work. And for related businesses facebook is a great place to engage fans and sell their products.
Storefront Social is a unique app that helps a business set-up a facebook storefront. The shop can be customized to meet the needs of the business and its target audience. This includes the use of company colors, logo and photographs. The business can choose a language that their target audience is most comfortable with it. The facebook shop also allows customers to buy products with multiple currencies and with PayPal.
Experts and the common man agree on one crucial aspect of marketing. Word-of-mouth has something of a ripple effect when it comes to how well-liked a brand or product is. For the last few decades researchers have been studying the impact of word-of-mouth recommendations on sales and conversions. Social commerce is a unique platform where the results can be seen firsthand. To boost social commerce, brands have to seek ways to improve customer involvement.
When do people like to recommend brands
People like to recommend products to friends and also to strangers when they feel strongly about the brand. This happens on several occasions and these include the following scenarios:
- When the brand has been selling products in the market for a long time and has built a great reputation.
- The brand offers a novel experience that surprises and delights the customers and motivates them to share the experience with their friends.
- The brand offers excellent customer service and interaction and makes the customer feel valued. This improves customer loyalty effectively.
- Exclusive offers that give some customers a heads-up on forthcoming products or gives them the privilege of gaining access to products that have not be launched into the mainstream market as yet. This strategy makes the customer feel special, and he or she is motivated to share the information.
- The type of product also determines how willing customers are to share information about it. Such products include those that are high on functionality, reflect the customer’s taste or style, have an emotional value to it and finally those that are considered to be risky. In other words a customer will recommend and talk about products that in some manner encourage the customer to invest their emotions in it.
- Great incentives are also a good way to get a business’ fans talking about it.
Improving customer involvement on facebook
In order to improve customer involvement a business has to ensure that it is able to connect with its target audiences via the facebook fan page. Very few platforms allow businesses to interact and connect with their customers on a daily basis. With social media and a site like facebook your social media manger can ensure that customers would like to follow the brand. Starbucks is a great example to emulate. The brand uses its facebook fan page to connect with them and elicit a response. Every time Starbucks posts a photo or message, its customers respond warmly and in great numbers.
It is important that fans and customers can see a business’ product line on a facebook shop. You can showcase your products with an app such as Storefront Social. It helps your social commerce manager set up a store in no time and customize it. The shop will offer great navigation that will help customers find what they are looking for. The business can choose a language that its target audience is comfortable with. Furthermore, customers can pay with multiple currencies or with PayPal. This essentially means that the app is useful for businesses from across the globe.
It is a strange world that we live in, where trends seem to come and go in a matter of months, if not weeks. Social commerce however is more than a trend; it is a phenomenon whose time has come. When social media began, it truly empowered the internet user who until then had been a passive participant on the World Wide Web. With social media sites, such as facebook, they received a platform to voice their opinions and thoughts. And the last few years have been evidence enough of how powerful this medium has become.
Set up shop
When social media users access their accounts they discuss everything under the sun, and this includes products and brands. They prefer to go with brands that they like. People actively seek out the opinions and recommendations of their friends before they invest a single dollar in a product. They want value for their money, and to this end they prefer to depend on the testimonial of other customers over detailed product descriptions.
If your target audiences are discussing your brand or products that it offers, it is vital that your business offer them on the social commerce. There is no better time to make a sale than when a customer is considering a product or shows interest in it. Set up a facebook storefront with the help of one of the several apps available. Storefront Social is an excellent option to go with. The app is tailor-made to meet the needs and requirements of all kinds of businesses. A business can choose to offer content in a language of its choice; making it friendlier for its regional audience. For a more global approach the app allows customers to pay for their shopping with PayPal and with multiple currencies.
Offer it all
The worst thing that a business can do is to open a facebook shop and then store few products on it. This puts off customers and doesn’t inspire confidence in the brand. They are unlikely to shop at such a store. It is vital that you offer an extensive collection of your products. The design and navigation of the store are two key elements that help customers complete their transaction and make a purchase. It is important that the app you select offers many templates for the social commerce manager to select from. This will ensure that the business gets a social commerce store that truly befits it.
Coordinate on and off social commerce efforts
It is important that social commerce and conventional marketing efforts are coordinated well. This would mean that you use all the resources at your behest to interact and engage with your target audiences. The facebook store should be popularized by means of conventional business communication, such as including social commerce details in business cards and letterheads.
All the information that a business gathers from its social commerce and social media efforts should be put to good use and to refine product development and marketing.
Social media and commerce has thrown open a plethora of opportunities for entrepreneurs. Social commerce can be used in versatile ways to make sales and generate income. People love to recommend brands and products to their friends, and like wise, seek out recommendations from them. Social media makes this process simpler and more fun. There are many small and big businesses that are choosing social commerce as the platform on which they wish to address and interact with their target audiences.
A storefront for the budding entrepreneur
Most fashionable women have a secret desire to own a boutique that sells beautiful things and brings in a source of income. This idea is the focus of Kitsy Lane’s venture into social commerce. Interested entrepreneurs can create a storefront and curate it with products from the Kitsy Lane store. Thereafter, they can share information and recommendations on social media networks and earn a commission on every sale that is made through the storefront. There are several facebook storefronts that offer products from the Kitsy lane store. This includes Langs Luxuries and Southern Charm Kitsy Lane Boutique.
Local Response is an interesting social commerce tech startup that focuses on keeping brands informed about what their customers and target audiences are doing or considering. The intent is what this app focuses on and gives brands a chance to swoop in to make an offer or recommendation at the opportune moment. The app offers businesses a chance to market their brand and products just when customers would need them the most. This improves the chances of a sale and also strengthens brand identity.
Social commerce like social media is all about story telling. How this basic premise can be used in creative ways to help target audiences associate and identify with brands and products is the priceless question that marketing managers need to answer. Its all in your actions believe the people behind the Karma Gifts app. The app can be downloaded onto smart phones and connects users to facebook. It helps people find relevant social information about their friends such as birthdays and special occasions and then makes gift suggestions. The gift message is sent to the friend and shipping details are requested for. In some instances the receiver can make changes to the style of gift that they will receive.
It is important for business of all sizes to invest in a facebook storefront where their product line will be showcased. Customers can buy products they like and share their experience and opinions with their friends. Shop and tell has always been a fool proof method of marketing.
Storefront Social is an app that helps businesses set up a customized facebook store. Social commerce managers can choose to offer content in a language of their choice. This makes the app great for businesses from across the world. The storefront will use the business’ colors and photographs so that it can truly claim its facebook storefront. The store offers great navigation to offer a smooth shopping experience. Customers can pay with multiple currencies and with PayPal too.
The social commerce storefront may look a lot different from a brick and mortar store, but the basic principles that guide shopping remain the same. With the advent of social media sites consumers are able to interact with their friends far more easily. Earlier they would have been reduced to calling a friend on the mobile and seek their opinion about a product, while they were actually in the store. Now with social commerce the facebook shop is where the target audiences lie. Friends can share products and seek the opinions and recommendations of their friends. They also like to go by the testimonials offered by other consumers.
The secret to improving social commerce
The secret to improving conversion on your facebook shop lies in understanding your customers and not in some elusive sales and marketing formula. People are more likely to buy something when there interest in the brand and the product is at its peak. With social media your business can interact and engage its target audiences and offer them the opportunity to shop on the facebook store. Customers love to share a great deal and talk about a good shopping experience. On facebook they can do both, and a lot more. They are your most powerful marketing tool. Here are some tips on improving conversion and sales.
- Research indicates that more than half of online shoppers are logged into their facebook accounts while they are shopping. Instead of using the social media site to ask friends for opinions, shopping on facebook would be a satisfying experience for customers. To this end, it is vital that brands offer the complete range of their products and not just display a few. A good facebook app like Storefront Social can help customize a facebook store so that it looks like the space truly belongs to the brand.
- Well planned navigation and a shopping cart that is designed to be considerate of the shoppers’ needs, are two key factors that help a customer complete their transaction. Out of every 10 shopping carts, 7 are abandoned before check out. The reasons for abandoning a cart can be several including the fact that the shopping cart doesn’t update quickly enough or that it may have expired by the time the customer is done shopping. Some brands send out timely messages to remind customers of abandoned or forgotten shopping carts.
- Features such as price comparisons, a shopping cart that doesn’t expire quickly and completion of the transaction with multiple currencies and with PayPal, are some things that would aid a business sell more. Such features would make it fun to shop at the facebook shop and the customer would not be in a hurry to go to other pages to make comparisons.
- The facebook storefront should make it easy for customers to share their pre and post sales excitement with their friends. Word-of-mouth recommendations are the strongest and most persuasive source of marketing.
- Exclusive deals for facebook fans also motivate customers to shop on the social media site. Offers such as 1-800-Flowers’ Group Gifts help friends shop together. The brand also offers customers a discount for joining the community.
For small and medium sized businesses social media sites are a unique platform to showcase their products. Facebook is a great place for craft companies to bring their business into the limelight and interact with their customers. Craft businesses are essentially of two types, the first offer the resources that craftsmen need and the second sell the crafts. Both types of businesses benefit by being on facebook and offering their wares on a facebook storefront.
A social marketplace
The best way to sell your products is by getting customers to tell their friends about your business. Every word-of-mouth recommendation is trusted and placed higher than detailed product descriptions. People also put faith in the recommendations and reviews written by strangers.
Many small craft businesses wait for fairs and festivals at which they can sell their products. In contrast facebook is the perfect place for a crafts business. On the facebook fan page the company can offer all the pertinent business information, post photographs of the products and offer fans and customers the chance to shop on the facebook store. The facebook storefront would ensure that prospective customers don’t need to leave the site to buy your products.
Some brands such as The Slipped Stitch have a complicated procedure for shopping. The customer would have to PM his or her interest in the product and then the order is processed. In contrast with an app like Storefront Social the business could create a store on the social network. Customers will be able to see the products on offer and buy them conveniently. The navigation of the store facilitates a great shopping experience. The business owner can choose a language of his or her choice and this makes the app viable for craft businesses from across the world. Customers can pay for their shopping with multiple currencies and with PayPal.
The 24 X 7 craft market
One of the biggest advantages that a facebook shop offers business owners is that once the store is set up it can do business 24 X 7. With regular monitoring and social media efforts the business can create a brand identity and a steady list of loyal customers. Little Miss Quilty offers a wide and colorful range of products on its facebook store. This includes bags and purses of all sizes and styles, children’s hats and resources to make bags of your own.
The Cheer Boutique is a store that mainly sells bows and little else. The shop is run by a cheery Australian cheerleader who offers cheerleading bows in a variety of styles and colors. This is the perfect example of how a small business can create a loyal fan following on facebook and sell on it.
Facebook helps businesses interact with customers and engage them on their page. It gives them the opportunity to understand what they like and what they are most likely to buy in the future. This information and feedback can help a craft business tweak its product line to match with the wish list of their customers. For many businesses that are run out of the home it reduces the need to take phone calls regarding product details and orders. A facebook storefront gives the business the professional look that it deserves and helps it improve sales.
In the broadest sense social commerce refers to the social aspect of e-commerce. It includes all activities that directly and indirectly lead to a sale. Many brands choose to sell their products also on social media sites such as facebook, while some sell it exclusively through this channel. Some businesses may wonder how useful social commerce is or whether they could consider it a viable option for their brand. The answer is quite simple would the business managers wait for customers to come to their stores or take the stores to their customers.
Social commerce is multifaceted. It affects brand identity and sales in many different and unique ways. When a customer recommends your brand to a friend he or she is puts their experience with your brand behind that recommendation. And this makes it valuable to the friend with whom the information is shared. When it comes to marketing your brand there is nothing more effective than the voice of a loyal customer.
This makes engagement and empowered involvement on the facebook fan page essential. It is crucial that your business takes this space of interaction seriously and gives it the due time and attention it deserves. People like to buy brands that they like, and they like brands that appreciate them. Social media is a great way to keep your customers interested and engaged. It is also a place for them to tell you exactly what they think of your brand and what they want from it. Imagine being able to develop a product or market it exactly how the customer wants it; you can surely expect the sales to increase.
The R’s of social commerce
The ‘refer and reward’ aspect of social commerce is crucial. Instead of encouraging customers to refer the brand to their friends you can use creative ways to ensure that they do. This may include a contest that requires group participation or an exclusive offer that can only be used on referral. People like to share a good offer; this is especially true for one that helps the customer save money. They also like to refer brands that are fun, exciting and offer products that are unique. Contiki Holidays uses some great apps such as ‘MeetUps’ and ‘Find a Tour’ that customers are likely to share and refer to their friends.
It is vital that the products that a brand offers are visible on the social media site and can be bought by the customers while they are on the social network. Storefront Social is an app that helps businesses create a facebook shop and customize it to match their needs. Social commerce manager can select a language of their choice and customers can shop with multiple currencies and with PayPal. The store is designed to encourage interaction with the customer, and they can like, share and buy products. Effective navigation ensures that shoppers can easily find the products they are looking for while viewing other products that may interest them.
When a business is designing a ‘refer and reward’ program, it is imperative that the rewards should be attractive to the customers. Interaction with fans and customers on the facebook fan page can be useful to this end. While some customers may prefer a chance to buy an exclusive product before it is launched in the market, others may like discount coupons for facebook fans.
There are many social commerce experts who have tried to determine the top reasons that encourage facebook users to shop on the social media site. Most find that the social nature of shopping makes social commerce a viable option. After all, people trust word-of-mouth recommendations over descriptions offered by the manufacturers. People also place the opinions of strangers who have used the product or know the brand well, over well worded product details.
One of the most popular reasons for choosing social commerce over other shopping options is the fact that many brands offer special and exclusive offers and deals to their fans and followers on social media sites. Often a brand will offer a product at a discount only when it is bought at the facebook store.
It is vital that a business does adequate research before determining which deal will garner the most attention and action. If the deal requires that the customer share more information than they would be comfortable sharing or needs to be referred to several friends, most fans and customers would opt against it. A great deal should be relevant to your target audience. It should be capable of capturing their attention and motivate them to act on the deal, quickly. Finally, it should also be the kind of deal that they want to tell their friends about.
Creating a deal on facebook
Every business that has a facebook fan page can create a deal on the social media site. The deal could be for individual customers or for friends who check-in together. It could also be aimed at loyal customers who have visited the page or the facebook store several times during a specified period. Finally, some businesses may choose to pledge support to a charity for every time a customer shops at the store. It is vital that a business follows up on how well a deal fared with its target audiences. This will help the marketing team develop targeted deals in the future.
It is important that a business have a facebook storefront where customers can peruse the product line and shop. The convenience of shopping on the social media site where most online users spend a large portion of their time is one of the biggest advantages of social commerce. Storefront Social is an app that helps businesses create a facebook shop and customize it effectively. The store would offer excellent navigation that would helps customers find the products that they are looking for, while also highlighting other categories.
Some businesses that are known to offer great deals include Wine Market, an Australian wine store that offers terrific deals to its fans. It is known to have sold 100 cases of wine in less than one hour of introducing a deal. Some businesses offer free shipping as a deal and customer love this as it cuts down the cost of their online shopping. Victoria’s Secret offers customers reward cards which can be used online or at stores. The brand also runs contests that allow customers to design things like tote bags for the beach.
There are perhaps as many facebook apps as there are interests that facebook users share. For many people shopping is a chore, a task that is daunting and exhausting. Social commerce is an interesting and fun alternative wherein people can buy the products they like while they are on a social network such as facebook. The best part is that they can seek and share their recommendations and suggestions with their friends. There are many apps that are designed for businesses and customers, to enhance the social commerce experience.
Some facebook app help businesses set up store on the social network and keep a track of returns from social commerce, while others may help create a campaign and garner support for it. Some other apps that are especially popular include gaming apps and those that help users communicate and simplify their life. In essence facebook apps make the social network as real an experience as life offers.
A glimpse of liked products
There are many facebook apps that make shopping fun. Glimpse is one such facebook app. This app uses the shopping search engine, TheFind to identify and display the products that a customer may like. This display is based on the type of products that the customer likes. TheFind has a database of over 500 million products that ensures that whatever a shopper’s taste and interest Glimpse will offer a peek of the most liked products in those categories.
A customized facebook store
Storefront Social offers a business the opportunity to create a customized store that will showcase its product line. The social commerce manager can offer content in a language of its choice and can use photographs and colors that help the business claim the space as its own. The app allows businesses to accept payment in multiple currencies and with PayPal.
Where I’ve been
This one is for the avid traveler and for friends who like to follow the travels of their friend. Where I’ve Been is a Tripadvisor app that lets travelers post their travel details on facebook. People can add additional details including where they would like to go and with whom.
A face to face experience
The Video Calling Skye app allows facebook users to video chat with their friends. The user does not need a Skype account to use this app. This personalizes the facebook experience and makes it more interesting.
Support a cause
The Causes app helps people create a campaign and garner support for it. It is an effective way of eliciting public interest and influencing a specific situation. The causes are quite varied and range from environmental concerns to human interest ones.
For facebook users who wish to share the expense of a gift Let’s Gift It offers a great app. From flowers from 1-800-Flowers to a coveted product friends can buy a group gift on facebook. This app does away with the need to keep a track of how much each friend needs to contribute towards the group gift, and simplifies the process of getting a gift for a special occasion.