Today’s technology combined with social media has created new consumer behavior when it comes to shopping online.
It’s a digital social event where that’s right, sharing is caring, and you get bonus points for producing original content, brand and hashtags, as well as posted reviews.
E-commerce has exploded due to the combination of an increasing trend toward online shopping with mom and pop closures form mandatory stay at home orders.
This gateway is an incredible opportunity for brands as far as exposure and you don’t need a huge budget, just a commitment to interact with your followers.
To help you along in your social commerce journey, we’ve pulled together a list of some of the most successful brands to tap into their social commerce practices.
WHAT IS SOCIAL COMMERCE?
Social commerce uses social media to sell goods or services to consumers through catered content geared toward each platform. If done correctly it drives those shoppers to their website and results in a purchase.
Participation is versatile allowing you to communicate in real-time through chatbots and customer service agents as well as via testimonials, user-generated content and ads.
WHAT IS USER-GENERATED CONTENT?
User-generated content (UGC) is anything your customers and social media followers create for you that you then share with your audience. This can be in the way of fan art or a response to a specific call-to-action by your brand.
Like propaganda in traditional advertising, UGC is one of the oldest forms of social commerce and sales. What’s more, it’s inexpensive, yet effective!
Ads today play a large role in getting the attention of shoppers and drawing them to your website. For example, Instagram Shopping posts can be turned into ads once you’ve built out the traditional social commerce aspect of the post.
In addition, YouTube has begun offering product storefronts under its shopping ads. Brands that attach themselves to high-quality content that’s related to their industry will find it easier to thrive in general across social media platforms.
ECOMMERCE USER GENERATED CONTENT
Warby Parker is an eyeglasses and frames company that leverages a diverse group of social commerce content sources and types.
The company receives UGC via consumer product purchase selfies, videos of their “unboxing” experience and general responses to ad campaigns.
Specifically, this brand uses Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube to interact with each consumer demographic. In addition, Warby Parker is their content remains culturally relevant and positive as part of it’s identity.
The company consistently acknowledges content creators, thanking them for committing valuable time to sharing their experiences.
Encourage followers to become brand advocates by inviting them to get involved in creating UGC, then celebrating them when they do. It’s an authentic way to do business and a sure way to create loyal consumers.
THINK OF CUSTOMER SERVICE AS A SALES TOOL
Talk about a quick way to boost or sink your business. Given the tools of technology, consumers today expect e-commerce brands to reply on the fly.
Not always an easy task, this is why practices such as word of mouth advertising have become so popular with SMS (text message) e-commerce marketing.
This type of marketing can directly influence whether a shopper will purchase from you in the future or participate in other social commerce structures.
Nike is an incredible example of SMS marketing by being quick to engage consumers, offering helpful solutions and answering questions on social channels.
What sets the company’s Twitter support @teamnikeapart is that they offer some direct advice and support in conversations, but move customers to direct messages (DMs) when they need more specific information.
Engaging the customer proactively benefits the company and shopper because it knocks out any issues or concerns up front, saving time, money and resources, alleviating or eliminating the need for more advanced support. Doing this builds confidence and trust.
Having an effective customer service approach improves your service over time, which increases the potential for lifetime customer retention, as high as 92 percent.
TESTIMONIALS HELP YOU CONVERT MORE SHOPPERS
Testimonials create a form of social proof that gives potential customers a safety net when considering a purchase. The reason is simple: Consumers base purchases off rankings and comments because it makes them feel more secure about their choice.
Fabletics is a great example of an established brand that turns social commerce testimonials into a direct sales tool.
Referred to as a ‘next-level’ type of UGC, when Fabletics customers make positive comments via social media, the company uses them within its sales funnel, devoting a separate page on its website to feature the posts. This works because customers love to see themselves on the popular website.
Testimonials are an engaging and convincing form of content that your brand can use to leverage throughout your social commerce process.
Who doesn’t love free stuff? While this form of social commerce is used across industries, it’s especially popular within the gaming world and Epic Games is great at it.
The brand spends heavily across social media channels, podcasts and traditional advertising to engage game users. Their posts receive significant participation via comments, likes and shares and also finds its way into gamers’ feeds, driving heavy traffic to the company’s store.
Epic Games giving away the popular game (GTA V) helped reach 61 million active and 13 million concurrent users. While this social commerce tactic might not contribute to immediate new sales, you’re sure to gain more followers.
Getting your fan base to interact with each other for the chance to win free stuff creates an opportunity to increase your customer base. In addition, giving products away to those with a large following can act as a bootstrap branding strategy to get influential fans on board while building a loyal brand community.
The brands doing it best prioritize engagement and make it easy for fans to get involved and share their experience with your products. When using social commerce, remember to keep the process fun and rewarding and your community will have your back.