An Introduction to the Basics of Social Commerce
For some time now, the world of e-commerce has focused primarily on how fast a customer can navigate through a website and complete the task that the website-owner wanted from them, whether that’s purchasing a product, contacting someone, or simply sharing the site further. A world obsessed with instant gratification has allowed sites such as Amazon to evolve into retail giants. However, companies are now attempting to follow a new approach to social commerce. Social commerce is about more than just the quick jump from product to basket to purchase. The concept marries together two crucial factors of online marketing today, social media, and e-commerce, to form the next era of online shopping. With social media growing rapidly in popularity over the recent years, we have begun to recognize how purchases are being affected by social referrals. It seems that today, both the discovery and consumption of products and services online are fueled by social media. However, it’s not simply a click-to-buy formula. The concept of social commerce is not just about providing your viewers on Facebook with a link to purchase your product, and it’s unlikely to ever become a way of out-selling Amazon. Social commerce should be about giving your target market an online experience similar to visiting a shopping mall with friends or browsing a digital catalog.
How to Use Social Commerce and Encourage Purchases
One of the most exciting concepts that are newly being adapted into social media is retargeted advertising. This is the concept that should allow social commerce to serve up ads that remind users of products that they have searched for, or purchased previously on the web. At this point, only Facebook has developed this capability, but we still are in the early days of social commerce, meaning there should be more evolution to come. If you want to make the most out of social commerce, you will first need to recognize that you’re getting involved with a relatively new market. That means you should be taking slow, cautious steps and discovering what works best for you before you go about investing too much money in a social commerce approach that has no positive results. Also, just because Twitter is introducing their ‘buy’ button does not mean that you have to constantly post tweets demanding your followers to purchase your products. Remember to continue making use of the strategies that are proven to work. Connect with your target audience and don’t allow your brand to be too overwhelmed by the concept of making money, otherwise, you’ll turn into just another greedy corporation. Remember to use a balanced approach in your social marketing efforts too. There is a wide world of social networks out there for you to access, from Facebook to Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, Email and more. However, do not overwhelm your audience with constant, spammy updates. Take slow, gentle steps and test the waters before you through all of your weight into one end of the pool.