An increase in holiday spending by 11% is expected this year. And 47% of these shoppers are expected to do their purchasing online.
With growing numbers of consumers taking their research and purchases online and increasing demand for seamless shopping experiences across multiple channels, one would imagine it would be difficult to find an online retailer who hasn’t yet discovered and captured the power of social. And yet there are some out there who are still reluctant to endorse it wholeheartedly. Why, you might ask? Perhaps they are still unconvinced of the ROI potential and the many associated benefits that can arise as a ripple effect. Or perhaps they aren’t sure how to implement an effective social strategy tailored to their business’ needs and what tools are currently available in the marketplace.
Let’s start with some basics:
Social apps – what are they really for?
The business value of social apps is their proven ability to greatly impact the bottom-line, whether it be through typical business measurement metrics like increased sales conversions rates or increased revenue. Customers are getting real business value, but there is more to it than just revenue uplift.
Secondary measures that can also affect the bottom-line include the following: new customer acquisition, SEO rank, word-of-mouth recommendations, and deep social insights gained through rich user profiles. Understanding the interconnected relationships between each of these is key to business success.
How do they work?
Capitalize the Existing Purchase Intent:
Frequently, social apps are used by retailers to influence purchase flow online. By placing social media modules directly on e-commerce sites, businesses are better able to capitalize on preexisting purchase intent of visitors. Due to the extreme fragility of buying intent, which can rapidly evaporate, the social commerce model champions relatively effortless transactions, without disrupting the purchase flow.
Embed Seamlessly in the Purchase Flow:
Onsite social media apps follow the rule of thumb of keeping buyers on the site, even when conducting social actions, and keeping intermediate steps prior to the final “buy” button to a minimum. On the flip side, off-site social media techniques such as having storefronts on Facebook suffer from lack of purchase intent; consequently, performance on Facebook storefronts suffers. And we needn’t mention that retailers pay hefty sums to acquire traffic through paid search ads, display advertising and the like. Thus, it would be criminal to take this traffic to Facebook or other social media networks, where purchase intention is largely missing, for a mere social action. Conversely, adding social in the context of commerce is effective.
Generate Actionable Social Media Insights:
These powerful marketing tools can also be used to engender loyalty and brand selection among consumers. Central to this strategy is leveraging social data to recognize customers who are the most engaged with a brand and to build customized experiences to reward those most loyal. With the help of big data, retailers are not only able to identify their most loyal audience, but also which channels are preferred for engagement – which all contributes to better service, more value, and happier customers. Enhanced programs for a brand’s best customers can range from (but are not limited to) added benefits and incentives including exclusive seasonal gifts, online pre-sale events, first access to new products, special store hours, and private shopping events.
Minimal Tech Effort Required:
And what’s more is that the integration requirements for many of these social modules are minimal, with no coding or website changes needed. Tech integration is often a simple effort which does not take more than a few minutes to enable these onsite social commerce apps. This is especially important for retailers with limited technology resources.
In the next post, we’ll introduce a few social apps that exist to assist retailers in rewarding engaged customers, as we just discussed. Leading social commerce platform – ShopSocially, is a prime example of a comprehensive suite of social commerce apps for internet retailers. So keep watching this space for some compelling social commerce strategies for this holiday season.