The shift to online selling has seen digital marketing and ecommerce blend into one to create digital commerce. Team this with social media, and suddenly you have access to new customers that otherwise may never have found you.
It’s all too easy to think of social media channels as just an avenue for customers to contact you. But they are so much more. Social media has evolved to become a potential showcase for your products. It’s a platform from which to start a conversation and can help your brand become a firm favourite to new audiences whilst simultaneously increasing digital commerce sales.
Here are just four of the ways social media can be used to drive digital commerce sales.
Shop via social apps
Thanks to recent changes to platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, driving product sales through social media channels has never been easier. Businesses can now tag products within the images they share, similarly to how you would tag a friend in a photo. When a user clicks on the product tag, they’re sent straight to the relevant product page on your website – dramatically reducing the path to purchase.
Further advances eliminate the need for a customer to visit your website at all, allowing them to purchase a product directly from the social media app they are on. Already available on Facebook and Instagram, the functionality allows users to discover a business and then buy directly from their shop on the app. Initially, only specific industries could use this feature. However, it has now been rolled out to any eligible business.
Shoppable live videos
Livestreaming continues to grow in popularity, becoming an exciting way to showcase your products. Think of it as QVC on social media. Particularly popular and effective for the beauty industry, businesses can use livestreams to demonstrate how a product works, talk about its benefits and features as well as answer questions from a live audience.
Facebook, Amazon and Instagram all have a shoppable livestream feature where users can buy the products being discussed directly from the livestream.
When it comes to succeeding online, knowledge is power. Facebook, for instance, has a piece of tracking code called Facebook Pixel which, when added to your website, collects vast amounts of information about visitors to your site from Facebook. It can track what actions these customers took, so you can see whether they went on to make a purchase or not. This type of data helps you to better understand your audience so you can optimise your advertising campaigns and re-engage shoppers who visited your website but didn’t convert.
To make analysing the data easier, every action a user takes on your website is categorised into its own ‘event’ – including page views, searches, purchases and products being added to a wish list. These events will help you understand the intent of each user and give you the confidence to build retargeting groups.
Data acquired by tracking tools helps you split your audience into categories based either on the actions they performed, or a larger picture such as interests and demographics. Categorising your audience makes it easier to create messaging that is more targeted to their specific needs or actions and retarget them so they’re more likely to revisit your website and convert.
Understanding your current audience can also help you find new customers. Upload your own custom audience or list of email addresses and Facebook, using a new microtargeting tool called the Lookalike Audience function, will use an internal algorithm to find users similar to those you inputted. The lookalike audience will have similar interests and demographic data, meaning they may also be interested in what you have to offer.
Of course, social platforms are packed with information and content as brands vie for attention. Competition is fierce. So, for bigger brands, maintaining a strong social media presence is crucial. They need to stay at the forefront of customers minds to avoid losing them to competitors. Whereas for smaller, up and coming businesses; social media gives them a platform on which to be discovered.
Whatever your sector or budget, social media is essential for driving digital commerce sales. Without it, your strategy falls short. So, contact the digital commerce experts at SMP for insights into the latest strategies to succeed in selling your products online at firstname.lastname@example.org.