In today’s world, social media provides another outlet for sales – whether it’s through increased traffic to websites or actual shopping functionality on a social media platform. If you have a small business, it’s smart to get up to speed on the latest e-commerce strategies for improving your bottom line.
Social Marketing vs. Social Shopping
Many customers today rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions…and that makes it essential you have a solid e-commerce social media strategy in place.
In The Balance blog article, “The E-commerce Social Media Strategy is a Key Driver of Success,” Ajeet Khurana explores the difference between social marketing and social shopping.
According to this author, these are the two components you should focus on to achieve success:
Social marketing refers to the use of your social media platforms to help promote your business through a variety of direct engagement avenues such as status updates, contests, and asking for direct consumer feedback. Social marketing is largely driven by sharing engaging videos and content that spread the brand message through viral exposure. The good news with social marketing is that your target audience is receptive to your messages and offers, especially since they came to you.
Social shopping is the incorporation of actual shopping components on social media, such as a shopping cart on Facebook that allows customers to buy things directly from your social media page. It also encourages people to “share” these purchases to their networks, also easily achieved within the platform. This functionality makes it easy for brands to complete the transaction if customers are ready to buy right now.
Which Social Media Platforms Drive Sales?
Shopify’s “Which Social Media Platforms Drive the Most Sales?”, sheds more light on social shopping. It analyzed data from 37 million social media visits that led to 529,000 orders and found:
- Facebook leads social traffic and sales. About two thirds of all social media visits to Shopify stores come from Facebook. Additionally, an average of 85% of all orders from social media come from Facebook. It’s important to note that Facebook also has the highest conversion rate for all social media e-commerce traffic at 1.85%.
- The community style site Polyvore is generating the highest average order value ahead of Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
- Instagram also generates higher than average orders even though the only clickable links in Instagram are those in profile bios.
Because not all social media platforms are fully optimized for the desired shopping experience that your brand may want to provide, it’s important to have an e-commerce strategy that not only encompasses all facets of online shopping, but leads your customers to where they need to be in order to complete the transaction.
Knowing Your Customers and Where to Find Them
The Ecommerce Platforms blog article “3 Ways Ecommerce Companies Should Use Social Media for Marketing,” discusses the ways e-commerce businesses can maximize their social marketing efforts by locating and engaging customers.
Customer research: With real-time insights, you can see what your audience is talking about right now, what they like, and what they care about the most. This is gold for targeted messaging campaigns.
Customer service: What better way is there to respond to customer concerns than to address issues when they happen? Social media makes it simple to quickly spot and respond to customer experiences – both good and bad.
Customer acquisition: Optimize your social media profiles with your most important information – website, hours, location, contact details. As your new virtual storefront, make sure your current and future customers have everything they need to know about you. If possible, include positive customer reviews, and encourage your most loyal fans to say a few nice words about you.
Customer engagement: Showcase your brand in the best possible light, highlighting the best, most unique, most surprising thing about your brand. Ask your customers to help curate this information with their own product shots.
Paid efforts: If you want the results that will make a difference, you are going to need to pay for it. Relying on paid advertising optimization can help you achieve more effective segmenting and gain more accurate social data analytics for future campaigns.
Try and Try Again
The best advice for perfecting your e-commerce strategy is to keep at it. Experiment with different content and varying strategies to see what works best with your target audience. Measure it and tailor it as needed. Eventually you’ll find the perfect mix for your brand!
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