Online sales are increasing rapidly and brands are realizing their importance. Optimizing their digital experiences across multiple channels, such as e-commerce and social media, helps them to develop a strong competitive advantage. When consumers don’t even have to leave a social media site to make a purchase, this can contribute significantly to sales.
Brands wanting to move into social commerce need to find ways to build trust and create an online experience for consumers that show a clear value in browsing and buying online. Here are some social commerce strategies that will help to win over consumers in 2020.
- Know consumers and grow with them
The better a retail brand knows its customers, the better it is able to pinpoint the right social media channels around which to focus marketing on. Finding out what channels consumers use, when they use them and what content they share the most will help to inform a winning social commerce strategy.
Marketers have plenty of consumer data at their fingertips but it is useless without the tools to transform it into actionable insights. These insights allow them to constantly optimize their strategies as new platforms emerge and consumer behavior evolves.
- Leverage user-generated content
User-generated content is more influential than other forms of content. It consists of the videos, images and reviews that consumers post on social media. Marketers are leveraging this valuable content because it is trusted by consumers. Compelling social proof is effective at creating authentic experiences for consumers at every point in their buyer’s journey.
World Surf League saw the success of using user-generated content in its sports social media strategy. In its first year of working with the Greenfly platform, it had nearly one million engagements with content shared to social by its surfer community.
Building an organic influencer community allows businesses to become more specific and creative about the types of content they’d like participants to create. It’s possible to create many types of campaigns, such as a #hashtag challenge.
- Create a short, seamless path to purchase
Convenience is crucial to modern shoppers and brands must craft a purchase process with as few steps as possible end-to-end. This includes creating shoppable social feeds and leveraging social checkout features.
When someone is scrolling through a social media feed and discovers a product he or she wants to buy, there shouldn’t be any barrier between that moment of inspiration and making the purchase.
- Offer personalized customer experiences
Nearly 49% of retailers involved in social commerce regard personalizing customer experiences as helpful. Amazon has set a high bar with its personalized product recommendations. Such recommendations can drive shoppers to buy a product they didn’t even originally intend to buy.
By connecting their browsing history, previous searches, past purchases and other behavioral indicators, it is possible to provide highly relevant, timely content to encourage shoppers to purchase.
- Embrace chatbots
Messenger, on-site and mobile app chatbots have become an important way for retailers to engage and inform consumers as well as promote their products.
Facebook Messenger chatbots, in particular, provide brands with consistent, 24-hour interaction with shoppers and a new way to gather quantitative and qualitative data. Brands must come up with policies to manage direct messaging or it can be invasive and counterproductive.
According to eMarketer, over 55% of Gen Z internet users in the U.S. said their most recent fashion buys were influenced by browsing on social media and nearly as many millennials said so too. Social commerce has already had a great impact on the retail industry and continues to provide brands with great opportunities if they can put winning strategies in place.