In the days of brick-n-mortar stores, the mantra was location-location-location. The right location meant higher foot traffic, which in turn, meant more sales. With the introduction of the Internet, location became irrelevant and foot traffic gave way to search engine and paid advertisement. Today, as the organic and paid searches become saturated, how do retailers attract new customers? Where is the proverbial “foot traffic” going to come from? Enter, Social Media.
When the internet gave birth to Social Media, brands and manufacturers were forced to hand over the control of product information and buying decision to consumers. As the majority of the consumer market became commoditized and the quality of goods and services plummeted, brand trust withered and was replaced with trust in the consumer’’s social network: their friends, family and fellow shoppers. Today Social Media is not only the starting point of most buyers journeys it is becoming the most powerful shopping channel.
Brands, retailers, and manufacturers are spending millions of dollars growing their Social Media following. They parade their large numbers of followers, copious tweets and numerous Pins as a sign of their success. But, what good are followers, tweets, and Pins if they do not convert into happy, repeat, loyal, paying customers?
All is not lost. Social commerce is the answer to the question: “How do I convert my Social Media fan base into paying customers?”
Social Media has opened new doors into the world of e-commerce. Combining e-commerce with things people do inside their social networks, like posting selfies with their favorite brands and reviewing products they purchase, lets brands tap into the excitement their customers feel about their products. Not only do they get to witness this excitement, they can share it with other potential customers. It’s the ultimate word of mouth marketing.
Today’s consumer is constantly plugged in to Social Media; Americans spend more time on Social Media than any other major Internet activity. In order to thrive, retailers need to fit this new model of internet usage and make the shopping process more social.
Social Commerce Depends on Relationships
Social commerce is entirely based on relationships, among customers and between retailers and customers. Social Media is delicate, open, and transparent. Good customer relationships require that retailers pay attention to the smallest of details when it comes to customer experience. Only by truly differentiating your brand can you gain greater customer loyalty and increased sales. Here are a few ways retailers can build great customer relationships as the foundation of strong social commerce:
Social Commerce: The Opportunity Is Now
As Social Media becomes increasingly critical source of new and repeat customers, it is imperative to the success of every small and large eCommerce business to have a robust 360-degree Social Commerce strategy. It needs to be well thought out and demand a complete tightly integrated technology solution that can deliver not only robust Social Commerce marketing programs, but also offers deep and complete business insight into effectiveness, usefulness, and return on investment of such programs.
Brands no longer control the buying decision because consumers trust their peers feedback over any product or brand literature. Social Media is where your customers are and they are openly talking about your brand and your products. You must invest in a robust and complete social commerce solution to serve your customers in ways they prefer to be served, Socially.
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