Over the last six to seven years, social media and eCommerce have managed to establish a close bond. According to AmeriCommerce’s infographic Data Driven Ecommerce, Facebook drives 60% of social traffic to retail sites, followed by Polyvore (20%) and Pinterest (15%). Social media is also quick; half of social media-driven purchases take place within a week of sharing, tweeting or liking a product. Interestingly, Invesp reports that 41% of social media users haven’t thought about buying the product, or something like it, before they stumbled upon it online. In addition, some remarked that their perception of a brand changed after its response to a comment or after a customer review.
Despite so much depending on social media, online business owners haven’t been effectively utilizing it on their websites. Luckily, you don’t have to be a member of that group any more. Simply use the following seven techniques, which have been tested and proven for their ability to leverage the power of Facebook, Twitter, etc. to help businesses achieve their goals.
Adding a Twitter widget to your eCommerce site allows you to share updates, promotions, giveaways, contests and much more with your visitors and customers. It’s also a great way of engaging clients without leaving your site. The widget can further benefit your site’s rankings as it updates it with fresh content. If you’re using WordPress, there’s no end to the plugins you can use to integrate a Twitter feed on your site. On the other hand, other sites will need the embeddable widget from Twitter itself.
Rewards and loyalty programs can help you grow your social media community easily. For instance, you can request visitors to invite their friends via email, Facebook or Twitter in return for a coupon or discount. To further make the offer interesting, offer new referrals a discount off their first purchase as well. This will motivate both to convert into buyers. Meanwhile, the referral link and/or hashtags related to your brand will improve your ranking and generate a buzz about your business.
Social login, or the ability to sign-in using existing logins from social media accounts, is becoming an industry standard. It’s a convenient option for previous buyers as it helps them personalize their online experiences. You too can benefit from this technique. According to Blue Research’s 2013 study The Consumer Perceptions of Social Login Study, 65% of consumers are bound to return to websites that remember them without a username or password. Repeated traffic aside, social login can help you acquire new clients and increase conversions. Your site’s visitors will share your interesting content on their profiles, sending more traffic and potential buyers your way.
Social based comment systems, like Facebook, make commenting on content and conversations with other commenters very engaging. Since users are verified via social media, their credibility is ascertained and you can be sure that a human is behind the post. Besides, you can easily ban them from using the comments area if they tend to troll. However, the biggest advantage of social based comment systems stems from their rating capabilities. This technology brings the most liked, or engaged with, comment to the top as this comment is bound to be relevant to the information featured. Interest in what you post is bound to increase.
Many products you offer may have made their way to social media by people who bought them or those that intended to buy them. Using analytics, you can track down the shares your products received on social platforms and highlight this information to your site’s visitors. One of the most effective ways of pulling this off is by adding a “Popular Product Feed” that allows visitors to see which of your offerings are trending. This will be more effective if you have celebrities endorsing your offerings or shopping with you. Another advantage of this technique is reinforcing your research efforts, as you will learn what people tend to buy. This allows you to develop more (or plan against) similar items.
Social sharing may not seem like the best idea for product pages, but it definitely has its perks when used with an eCommerce site. For starters, it gives you exposure to a new audience and acts as a product endorsement by another buyer. However, consider making your social sharing buttons more interesting to ensure shoppers will click them. For instance, rather than a generic ‘Share to Facebook’ button, you can use a ‘Tell Friends You Want It’ button to increase your product’s chances of being promoted.
To increase sales on your eCommerce site, consider advertising on Facebook. They offer many tools and resources that allow you to publish and manage ads that appear on the right side of users’ profiles. What further makes Facebook Ads more effective than Google AdWords is it’s popularity (1.28 billion monthly active users), targeted advertising capabilities, ability to connect with the brand’s Facebook fan page, and the ability to connect with smartphone users. However, make sure to work with a professional on this since you’ll need to know when to cut your losses or when to further increase marketing efforts on Facebook.
With these seven techniques, rest assured that your clients’ experience on your eCommerce website will be worth sharing with others. Even you will reap the many benefits by becoming social, namely learning about your target market’s preferences and how they shop. However, as easy as all this may sound, exercise caution at all times. Preferably, test the effectiveness of these through a beta version of your site before offering them to everyone. In addition to avoiding spending too much time and money, you’ll be able to guarantee your clients’ loyalty.