There’s no doubt that social media has become one of the biggest influencers when it comes to people’s lives and business marketing strategies.
Over the years social media has grown rapidly, allowing people to instantly connect with their friends and online brands at the click of a button. Spending countless hours sliding thumbs across mobile screens have become the norm and we live in a world where pinging direct messages back and forth, watching cute animal videos and searching for your favourite clothing brand online is now routine.
Businesses and eCommerce sites alike have been paying attention to this fast moving trend and are noticing this dramatic shift in the way our lives are ruled by our electronic devices. Noticeably, social media is one of the biggest sources for traffic and big companies especially are able to target audiences through the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, even before customers have a chance to visit their website. To put it simply, everything from buying a new pair of shoes, to ordering a pizza or booking a gym class can now be done via our mobile devices, and it’s the responsibility of these businesses to inundate customers on current news and updates wherever possible.
According to Sprout Social Index 2016, just over 90% of online followers continually try to reach out to brands via social media platforms. With regard to customer focus, more people now turn to social media rather than phone or email support when they have a problem or issue with a product or service, and do so with incredibly high expectations.
If any companies are still undecided about adopting a social media eCommerce strategy, here are some important reasons why they need to do so.
Embed social buttons on product pages
The most common features on eCommerce sites today include a variety of social plugins on business product pages. Over the last couple of years, the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram and Google + buttons have helped increase a large majority of brands visibility and engagement, also enabling consumers to engage with online discussions, forums and photo sharing. When adding social plugins to product pages, it’s worthwhile to add the social buttons as close to the products or service as possible and do so in an organised way. Alternatively, you can usually find social media icons at the bottom of any brand or company pages for easy navigation. Each of the plugins can be found on the platforms individual pages: Facebook Plugins, Twitter Plugins, Pinterest Plugins, Google+ Plugins and so on. It’s also important to note that adding irrelevant social media icons to your website, for example – Linkedin for an Aldi page would be irrelevant and wouldn’t be the right fit for what they’re trying to achieve.
Customers are encouraged to share buying process
Even after the hard part of getting the customer to your website and them placing an order, the work doesn’t stop there. If done correctly, social media integration on email receipts can increase the likelihood of the customer returning again in future. The main aim is to achieve a healthy balance of ‘sharing’ the interest of their buying activity with friends and family, providing some value that the customer could see their very own content shared on the brand’s webpages.
ASOS is a great example and they do this really well. When a customer has purchased items from the website, they immediately receive a direct email to their inbox. From this, ASOS encourage customers to share their new items using a specific hashtag #asseenonme where customers are promised a chance to star in the ASOS gallery.
Social media icons are also added to the bottom of the email, prompting the buyer to ‘shout’ about their order online to friends. The products that perform more effectively on social media can help give businesses deep insights into what works well, what isn’t selling and helps brands to develop more of an understanding into what customers want and to buy.
Inspire Customer Enthusiasm with Product Reviews and Ratings
More brands can entice customers to get more involved in the eCommerce experience by allowing them to rate and review products on storefront pages. Multinational corporation Nike do this extremely well, enabling customers to participate in an engaging way and help to build upon trust and customer loyalty. By brands approaching consumers in this way and allowing people to share their videos, photographs of the items, it will allow eCommerce sites to understand merchandise better, in addition to finding out what the majority of people like and don’t like. It also highlights any underlying issues that need to be addressed. In allowing products to be rated, it will help reduce the presence of online trolls, making the whole review process more authentic by allowing people to share their thoughts through honest conversations.
Offer social sign-in to your eCommerce store
There are around 7 billion people on this planet, and according to Sprout Social, more than 1.71 billion of us are using social media. With so many people constantly online, this is why getting people to visit your eCommerce store is now more important ever. As part of the ever growing online community, most brands encourage customers to create unique log-in accounts to enable them to access their personal profiles, purchase history, store bank details and more importantly, this function allows customers to easily fill their shopping cart and checkout at the click of a button. In using social sign-in, this further eliminates the need for customers to enter various usernames and passwords time and time again, therefore making online shopping easier than ever.
Facebook is known to be the most popular social sign-in integration seen on eCommerce websites owing to the fact it is the most widely used social platform. Research also suggests that social sign-in users often spend more time on site and purchase more than users who don’t login with social media. Understandably, many users are often concerned with their privacy when it comes to social sign-in with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. This is why it is crucial for eCommerce sites to test different versions sign-up pages to determine the best conversion rate and what works best.
Add a community blog on front page
A company blog is a tremendous asset for eCommerce companies and the benefits are impressive. Not only does a blog brand the company as an industry expert, but while customers go to social media to voice their opinions in an extremely public manner, a blog gives a brand their own voice too, helping to attract new readers and inevitably converting them into customers.
The Amazon business blog is a prime example of a eCommerce website utilising a blog for all the right reasons. Not only does it help build trust with visitors by humanising the site, but it allows relevant articles and keywords to be published, as well as being easily accessible for anyone with an interest in Amazon. By publishing fresh blog content on a weekly basis, this will further give the impression of an active and trusted ownership and will encourage consumers to leave comments on the website. So far, online blogging is known to be one of the best ways to generate targeted traffic and monetise leads. So if an eCommerce site is still sitting on the fence and is unsure of the next step, this is the perfect time to take that leap of faith and to begin optimising company websites for a greater social impact.