Social Media And E-Commerce.

Online retailers these days are really excited about Social media and how to take benefits from social media. Online merchants are rushing

into using Social Media as the next big marketing thing and yes it is showing some promise.Online retailers these days are trying to build a
social community around their products and thus making their consumersas product evangelists and driving more traffic to their stores.

 

A recent study done by Compete which evaluated online shopping trends,The study gives great insights about Online Shopping and Social Media
and especially about Facebook and Twitter.According to the Compete Online Shopper Intelligence study, consumers engage more on social networks like Facebook and Twitter  if there are incentives like coupons and deals.

 

Here are some key take away point from the study done by Compete.In the study, Around 68 % of shoppers  said that they visit retailer
Facebook pages and Twitter feeds in order to learn about promotions and sales.  Many retailers now offer Facebook Fans exclusive discounts
and coupon codes for online and in store purchases.

 

Online retailers can attract more consumers to their stores if they provide their consumers and their friends  with some special coupons
and deals.The most important point from the study is : “Give them a highly compelling reason to visit—provide shoppers with discount coupons and let them spread some love of coupons”

Booz & Co Report : Social Commerce will be a $30bn market.

Retailers should jump in soon and learn by doing.

Booz&Co recently published a report on Social Commerce titled Turning “Like” to “Buy” Social Media Emerges as a Commerce Channel

Link to the complete report: http://www.booz.com/media/uploads/BaC-Turning_Like_to_Buy.pdf 

Summary:

Social Commerce revenues are set to grow six folds from $5bn currently to $30bn within 5 years. This estimate is only for hard goods and does not include services. Social media has already revolutionalized the way people communicate and connect with each other. Now it will rapidly transform the way people shop as well.

There are opportunities to use social commerce at every step of the purchase funnel – awareness, consideration and conversion and also within post purchase components of loyalty and services. As with every other initiative, measuring the success is key.

Awareness

While most companies are focusing on the awareness stage, it seems to have limited value in spurring social commerce. 71% users said that “liking” a company on Facebook has is not correlated to purchasing from that company

Consideration

Some companies are building applications to entice users to leave social networking site and visit their own site. However, companies can and should do more in the consideration stage.

Conversion

This is where social commerce can have the biggest impact. Influencing shoppers via friend recommendation represents a huge opportunity. 81% of teenage girls rely on their friends and peers for trend information and 45% get opinions from friends before buying clothing and footwear.

Events is another such category. Fans would be more likely to attend an event if they know that their friends are attending that event as well.

Loyalty and Service

Companies should give their customers a chance to advocate on their behalf. Provide them both an incentive an opportunity to spread the word and become a loyal customer.

Measurement

It is critical to determine the right metrics and measure them continously.

Four Imperatives for eTailers

1. Jump in soon and learn by doing.

2. Develop a strategy for getting the data you need.

3. Define what the customer experience should be.

4. Integrate social commerce into an overall multi-channel strategy.

Jai Rawat, CEO, ShopSocially

Facebook – Talk not Shop!

Retailers at last month’s Shop.org conference said that “Facebook is for socializing and not long bouts of shopping”. Consumers visit Facebook to spend time with friends, have conversations and interact with their social network. Facebook is, however, a great place to discover new products. Users can get product recommendations from their social network, a much more powerful influencer than an anonymous review posted on an obscure website. Essentially, consumers use Facebook to talk about their purchases but not actually shop.

Click here to read more about what the speakers at Shop.org had to say.

Social Commerce – the 5th C of Community

The traditional 4C’s of community – Content, Conversation, Connection and Continuity have been given a new member – Social Commerce, by Brian Solis.

In a short but very relevant article Brian highlights that brands now need different strategies to cater to the traditional consumer and the social consumer. The social consumer taps into this social graph for shopping advice and influences purchase decisions in their social network.

Our services are focussed on catering to this social consumer and creating an opportunity for social commerce. Every shared purchase is spread to the news feed of the social graph, there by, increasing a brand’s reach and visibility.

Click here to read the full article.

Social Commerce’s Tipping Point

Scott Morrison recently wrote an article covering how Social Commerce is reaching a tipping point. He quotes, Ethan Beard, who runs Facebook’s developer network, saying that “Social Commerce will be big and disruptive”. Ethan says, use of social media tools and content such as user profiles, customer reviews and ratings will make online shopping a social experience.

It is interesting to note that in August, U.S Internet users spent 41.1 billion minutes on Facebook, surpassing Google Inc.’s 39.8 billion minutes. Scott Wingo, CEO of Channel Advisor Corp., says “Facebook will be a top-three channel for all retailers within two or three years.

Scott Morrison, succinctly summarizes his views by saying – “Social commerce is becoming socially acceptable”.  

To read the full article, please click here

Are you a Connector, a Salesman or a Maven?

If you are one of the above, then marketing agencies should be following your every move. Gartner has studied how certain people influence their social network in buying decisions.

Gartner has categorized people into five buckets depending on the role they play in Social Networks –

  • Connectors – have many people in their network and introduce people
  • Salesmen – have many people in their network and are persuaders
  • Mavens – are subject experts
  • Seekers – reach out for buying advice
  • Self-Sufficient – are researchers who make up their own mind

It is particularly interesting that 20% of the population is one of three – Connectors, Salesmen or Mavens. It is this 20% that influences 74% of the population in their shopping decisions.

Here is the link to the article if you want to learn more.

So have you got the Fifth P?

An Altimeter Group report focuses on the 4 P’s of marketing, namely Product, Price, Promotion and Position, to bring businesses closer to success in the world of social commerce.

Brian Solis, a highly recognized new media marketing guru and author of the new book Engage!, has introduced a fifth P in this equation – People. I completely agree with Brian that it is the people dimension which will truly differentiate social media marketing from traditional marketing and commerce strategies. We are moving towards a people driven market where the collective power of the community will drive sales. Brian puts it very succinctly – “It’s your responsibility to not only focus on the aspects of “paying it backward,” i.e. pay me for my goods and services, but also “paying it forward,” the investment in your community so that brands merit resonance through relevance.”

Businesses need to evolve a social media strategy in order to engage the social consumer and convert conversations to commerce. Perhaps, it suffices to say that Businesses need a way to connect the ‘Shopping Gods’ with ‘Newbies’.