In the interest of keeping our readers in-the-know, ShopSocially a social, referral and loyalty solution provider for marketers set out to interview movers and shakers in the world of eCommerce about how they vision expanding social networks influencing customers’ online engagement and shopping habits in the future.
Given that eCommerce is expected to account for 12% of global retail sales by 2019 (Nielsen), social commerce is by association destined to grow. And if Signal’s prediction, from just earlier this month, that 61% of online users are more likely to purchase products and services from companies that display customized, real-time marketing content is to believed, an up-to-date social media presence is vital to your remaining competitive.
Today we’re talking with John Lawson – the award-winning, go-to, digital marketing guru– about the role he envisions social media playing in the future of eCommerce.
Hi John, first off we’d like to know if you feel social media can be integrated with eCommerce to increase sales?
John: Absolutely. Social media not only can be integrated into eCommerce, it should be and that’s because of word-of-mouth. Positive comments from others about your products and services are a thousand times better than you telling everybody how great your product is and new age referral programs enable you to do that by integrating with social media to promote your brand extensively.
That’s excellent advice John; so what are your top 3 social commerce predictions for 2016?
John: It’s all about engagement. The basic tools are just not going to get you the kind of engagement you’re looking for in 2016. In the world of Snap Chats and Instagram, people want their information in small chunks; they want it to be actionable and relevant. Make sure you stay ahead by taking the opportunity in 2016 to amp up your social game.
I also believe it’s all about building list. Social media is a great way to engage with people via their email. Think about it; when social media was brand new and all the rage, the thinking was its going to be an email killer. Well, guess what, it hasn’t killed email and it’s not going to. Email is still the best converting channel for eCommerce. So use your social to build your email list.
Thirdly, I really think you have to pick and choose which social platforms you’re going to focus on. You don’t have to be everywhere; you just need to consistently master a couple of them. And just because there’s a new social channel out, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be on it. What you need to be, is focused.
Thank you John. Finally, the most discussed topic, do you really think social commerce can deliver the expected ROI?
John: Social commerce is what the new age is all about. It’s the reason you’ll be able to compete with eCommerce giants like Amazon. People are looking for one-to-one engagement with brands. It’s about the story behind your company; how your products are made; what causes you support. It’s what I call the “new branding”. When you use social media to tell the story of your brand, it’s the story that sells your product or service; that to me is social commerce.
It is obvious from our enlightening interview that social commerce is the future of eCommerce. In short, eCommerce companies that utilize social media platforms can expect to see a boost in their customer engagement and loyalty, and a consequent increase in their ROI. But to succeed, companies need to remain relevant and focused, and meet customers where they’re at with “new branding” techniques.
John has made his name as an expert in online selling. His digital marketing guide Kickass Social Commerce for Entrepreneurs is a bestseller on Amazon; he’s won multiple awards for his eCommerce strategies; and travelled the globe inspiring the many other digital entrepreneurs out there to attain financial and personal independence.
To learn more about how ShopSocially can help you leverage social commerce to grow your business click here or call us at +1 650 701 7759 today.