US social commerce has grown from being worth around $3 billion in 2012 to around $14 billion in 2015 (Source: Invespcro.com), accounting for approximately 5% of online retail sales. And with 33% of consumers likely to act on a promotion posted via a brand’s social media page, it is clear that the impact of social platforms on our online purchasing behavior cannot be underestimated.
ShopSocially, a social, referral and loyalty solution provider for marketers has been reaching out to key influencers in the sphere of social commerce, such as up-and-coming eCommerce entrepreneur, Andrew Youderian. Andrew has spoken at numerous events on eCommerce including the 2014 SXSW Festival, and co-authored ‘The Ultimate Guide to Drop Shipping’. He established eCommerceFuel.com in 2012 to share what he’s learned as an online merchant. Andrew kindly took time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts on how the growing influence of social media will impact eCommerce in 2016.
Q. Can social media be integrated into eCommerce to increase sales?
A. Absolutely, but I think it depends on a couple of different factors. Social media marketing is quite a different strategy compared to AdWords or to reaching people conducting an intent-based search. You’re building your audience organically so you must have a niche that inspires people to talk about it, to really get excited and share about it, or be a brilliant marketer to be able to get boring niches into the limelight. You also need to be really good at luring people into your product; even if people come across your product in the middle of a news or activity feed, you’ve got to be able to catch their interest in something they weren’t actively searching for. So absolutely, it can be done but you have to be strategic about it and understand how your niche fits into the social landscape.
Q. Share your top 3 social commerce predictions for 2016?
A. Facebook ads are going to get more expensive. It happened with AdWords; as it became more popular and mature, it just got more expensive and I think we’re going to see the same with Facebook.
Secondly, I think Instagram is going to become even more popular and mainstream for selling products and promoting lifestyle brands, especially with them rolling out ads on the platform fairly recently.
Thirdly, though there’s a lot of buzz about commerce-based messaging services like WeChat in countries like China but I have a hard time seeing that it’d actually be something that merchants start to roll out here in the United States with the way we use our messaging technology.
Q. Can social commerce deliver ROI to eCommerce companies?
A. Absolutely. I think it’s harder to get a positive ROI compared to some other channels in the sense that you have to be more strategic about it. If somebody’s searching for widgets and you can get in front of them with AdWords that’s fairly straightforward whereas your approach with social media must be a little bit more nuanced. I think there’s more room for error when it comes to spending on and/or investing in social media to drive results for your eCommerce business but absolutely, I think you can. And if you’ve got a business that really lends itself well to the social platform and/or you’re fantastic at understanding how to position your business correctly, I think social media can deliver a great ROI.
One thing is certain in our fast developing world of technology, is that social media is here to stay. There are many such examples wherein, companies like ShopSocially have leveraged social media to generate positive ROI for their customers. What is clear from our interview with Andrew Youderian is that your company’s level of social commerce success is down to a focused and well-thought out social media marketing strategy. You have to keep one step ahead and predict what it is your customers are looking for to keep them engaged and spending.
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.