With recent statistics claiming that as many as 90% of the consumers trust recommendations of peers, when they set out to make a purchase, and just 14% count on the advertisements, there is no skepticism on the notion that social commerce is here to stay.
However, recent performance of Facebook stores of many a brands, which led to their ultimate shut-down, has made the marketers re-think and make better use of Social Commerce Phenomenon, as it plays a key role in helping products move to the consideration set of the consumers from mere awareness.
Revenues from the markets of social commerce are slated to reach approximately $30 billion by the year 2015. This can be attributed to consumers spending a lot of time on various social networks, brands becoming more conscious of their social media presence and advent of innovative apps and tools like geo-location shopping.
Why Social Commerce?
- Improves conversation rates as well as average order value for online retailers.
- Provides brands an opportunity to create new revenue streams by monitoring content over the media.
- Enables trust building with the aid of reviews, ratings and interactions.
- Enhance shopping experience of consumers and makes this inherent social activity more fun.
- Gives due attention to concepts of social-proof and re-assurance
What can get it Rolling?
- Being multi-social: Using suitable platforms for various steps in the shopping ladder rather than sticking to Facebook. For instance, twitter is good for service, Pinterest for product display and purchase, YouTube for visibility and awareness, and Facebook for interaction.
- Creating social currency: Demand for reviews and feedback from happy customers, for value and trust garnered from them is irreplaceable and more valuable than any other kind of popularity.
- Personalizing: Let customers see what is on their friend’s wishlist, what did they buy, and enable shopping with them too.
- Not ignoring mobile: Research proves that more than a quarter of visitors to retailer websites originated from mobile devices, led by the famous iPad, which accounts for almost 10% of all traffic.
Further, a seamless integration will go a long way in enhancing popularity of social commerce, as presently, what makes the experience annoying for consumers is the moment they are ready to buy, they are directed to some other site to continue with the transaction. Hence, brands that will smoothen away the journey of consumers from awareness to recommendation to purchase will walk away with lower costs and all boosted up sales volumes.
The key objective should remain to create social capital and increase social connections between potential customers and those within their networks who have a natural inclination towards recommending specific products.
Recent Industry Developments that can give S-Commerce a kick!
Popularity of Pinterest: Pinterest has known to drive more sales and more new customers than Facebook, with more unique visits. Here, users are in discovery mode, looking for the best, most interesting products and designs the web has to offer. Also, the “board” format makes it a convenient listing and showcasing platform. To add to this, with a majority of platform’s users being the fairer sex, it seems to be the ultimate shopping destination.
Amazon Pages: They have picked up the most popular features from Facebook and Pinterest and are giving brands an official platform to mitigate cannibalization from resellers. Further, with brands using Amazon Pages and Posts having access to the service of Amazon Analytics, which will help them gauge the “reach, views, considerations, and purchase lift” of their Page and Post activities.
Facebook’s Want Button: This is one of the most highly-awaited features from facebook. Once introduced, it would allow users to add products to a virtual wish list, and share product purchases, charitable donations or items purchased within Facebook games to profile pages and Timeline.