In the hustle of holiday shopping, moving into social commerce may seem a little intimidating—but don’t let the ability to communicate freely with customers overwhelm you
Put simply, “social commerce” combines social media marketing techniques with the sales potential of e–commerce. This interactive evolution of e–commerce allows for brands to participate in customer communities; leveraging their networks to drive sales, increase revenue, and build powerful brand ambassadors.
Ultimately, moving into social commerce is easy and can be segmented into 3 simple dimensions:
Social Shopping: Social shopping seeks to mimic the interactions found in brick and mortar stores by involving a customer’s friends in the shopping experience. Group shopping sites (like Groupon), recommendation engines, and online marketplaces all bring customers together in a central location allowing for an interactive, social experience.
Customer Reviews: Easily accessible user forums ease customers into making educated purchase decisions. By harnessing the wisdom of crowds, positive reviews can be game changers in a customer’s decision to choose your brand.
Peer–to–Peer Referrals: Proven to be the most effective way to drive new business, happy customers will take their satisfaction a step further than a positive review and share a peer–to–peer referral with friends and family. In fact, according to a Nielsen study, customers are four times more likely to buy when referred by a close friend.
With social referral software built into your e–commerce platform, you can easily reward customers for sharing information about their purchase, referring new friends, and driving sales. If social commerce is all about promoting word–of–mouth activity, implementing a customer referral program is critical to successfully entering this new marketing sphere.
You may have noticed a common theme: establishing a trust–based relationship is critical to effectively leveraging social commerce.
Shoppers today have an inherent distrust of branded messaging. Instead, they look to friends, family, and online communities for purchasing wisdom. The choice to utilize social commerce for commercial gain is simple. Now it’s up to your brand to act on it.