Five tips to implement your social commerce strategy
Social commerce revenues are predicted to rise to $30 billion in 2015. Yet, a surprising 57% of marketers admit understanding only a little about social commerce, according to research commissioned by social commerce provider, Reevoo. The research also indicates many marketers limit their social commerce to a single channel, rather than looking at all their touch points with today’s consumer.
Whether you are starting with social commerce or have already implemented it, here is a checklist to ensure you obtain the best results in the short and long term.
1. Social starts at home - 40% of marketers believe social commerce could help their brands improve their search rankings, visitor return rates and increase conversion rates. Recommendations, ratings and reviews from friends or “trusted strangers” have always been a source of increased sales, so make sure you have them on your site. Fresh content also increases traffic to your site. And make sure you are providing honest reviews, from verified owners. It may feel uncomfortable, but include the good and bad, that is what visitors are looking for. Believe or not, bad reviews will increase your sales.
2. Don’t interrupt – Allow your customers to have conversations amongst themselves. Establish features such as “ask an owner”, so a real owner can give your customers feedback. But be helpful and offer a “brand response” when needed.
3. Listen and learn – Hearing what your customers are saying will help you improve merchandising and tailor what you present to them on an individual level. We call this micro-segmentation and it enables you to have true personalised engagement with your customers.
4. Share – Conversations are going on everywhere. Extend the reach of your customers’ comments and opinions so the content can help other potential customers. Deliver and publish content to social networks, such as Facebook and other platforms, such as publisher websites.
5. Go across channels – Your customers are using a multitude of channels to gather information before they purchase: mobile, website, social networks, and in the physical shop. The dialogue should be seamless and consistent - and information easy to find - across every channel your customer chooses to use.
Richard Anson, Reevoo’s Founder and Chief Executive, said: “Extending the reach of your brand beyond your store and web properties is clearly a good thing. Retailers’ approach to social commerce should embrace their customers’ multi-channel social purchase journey. Retailers need to allow their customers to talk and share across channels and social spheres. And they need to listen. There is a risk that businesses invest in what they think is a social commerce solution, only to find later that they only have a subset of capabilities in one single channel.”
“The key characteristic of social commerce,” says Richard Anson, “is that transactions are driven by user-generated content. Verified review content builds the trust of other consumers and encourages a significant proportion of them to buy too. We have proven an 18% uplift in sales on average. Social commerce solutions should be deployed across every channel and consumer touch point: a retailer’s own site, social networks, mobile, offline and even comparison shopping engines. Your customers need to be able to engage with your brand and brand advocates, whichever channel they use.
“Social commerce has always existed, in the form of individuals making recommendations to their friends and family. Now, it is happening across multiple channels and touch points and between trusted strangers. Technology is here to enable you to engage with your consumers on a personal level, in a trusted manner, influencing their purchase decisions at multiple touch points throughout a shoppers complex purchase journey. That is true social commerce.
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