With the steady and continued growth of online shopping, fueled further by the realities of the pandemic, social media has quietly become a powerful ecommerce channel that can provide added reach and impact to your overall program.
Over the past several years, social media platforms have introduced and refined powerful social media ecommerce portals and features. These features enable you to sell products or services directly on social media, instead of needing to drive every prospect back to your website. The result can be a seamless ecommerce continuum that combines elements of online discovery — the ability to engage in instant dialogue and support — and the ease of a streamlined purchasing process.
Meeting prospects where they already live.
Since their inception, social media platforms have developed an innate ability to create levels of engagement that are difficult to match in a more static website environment. With nearly 3/4 of adults in the US now using some form of social media, your target prospects and customers are more likely active on several platforms already.
Combining an organic program with paid social media.
The algorithms and technologies that social media platforms use to drive overall engagement can be applied directly to social media ecommerce. With this “social selling” element, the basic idea is to create a multifaceted synergy of leads and traffic — which draws from diverse tributaries including traditional posts and boosted posts, links to longer-form content, and paid ads/promotions.
Refining strategies and offerings through social listening.
In addition to the direct encounters and feedback that will arise on social media, conversations people are having around your products and services are an invaluable tool for continuous improvement in marketing, merchandising and customer care/support. Regular social media monitoring for mentions of your brand and offerings — and engagement with these conversations when appropriate — can pay substantial dividends across all disciplines in your organization.
Advanced applications suited to social media ecommerce.
The technical prowess and flexibility of social media ecommerce platforms have the ability to elevate the customer journey to new higher levels. For instance, augmented-reality (AR) features on product pages can be used to let shoppers experience virtual try-ons for items such as apparel, eyewear and more. Many highly realistic product visualizations are beginning to rival and replace in-person interactions. These advances help to increase the ability of customers to make quicker and confident decisions in the moment.
Social media ecommerce may not be optimum for all marketers and sales processes — i.e. major purchases where there is really no substitute for an in-person selection and purchase experience. However, it does present a powerful new set of ecommerce capabilities for marketers to present, promote and sell products and services to prospects/customers who eminently familiar and facile with online commerce.