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E-commerce and Social Media: A Changing Role

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Social media has become a significant player in e-commerce, and it’s not just because it’s the platform of choice for millennials. More people are starting to use social media platforms to make purchases, ask questions, hunt for coupon and promo codes, seek help with returns, shipping issues, etc.

Youtube is quickly becoming an increasingly popular platform with e-commerce companies to help present new products, share how-to videos, and create influencer opportunities to spread brand awareness. As competition brews for attention on Youtube, e-commerce companies should create a Youtube banner using a tool like Picsart to stand out from the crowd and add versatility to their digital brand. 

With such an influx of customers using social media to seek their next purchase or solution to a problem, e-commerce businesses need to make sure they are leveraging social commerce to create an overall stellar online experience.

What is social commerce? 

Social commerce is a relatively new term that blends social media with e-commerce. 

Social commerce uses social media platforms to drive sales rather than just engagement or brand awareness. Companies use the content on their websites and social media accounts to entice people to purchase items through those channels.

Social media was limited to sharing photos, videos, and status updates in the past. However, it has evolved into a marketplace for buying and selling goods and services in recent years.

The most common platforms used for social commerce are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Social media makes selling more authentic.

Social media makes it possible for brands to showcase the best parts of their products. For example, a retailer can transform regular product images into eye-catching visuals with lightroom Instagram presets. This helps customers appreciate the true nature of a product, rather than speculate on what is and what is not.

Social media also allows e-commerce brands to be more open and genuine with consumers. Customers can talk directly to their favorite brands rather than waiting on hold for hours to speak to a customer representative likely located in another country entirely. 

And that’s not all: it also allows them to see the person behind the brand. For example, Orizaba incorporates relatable Instagram pictures of their products shot by actual customers in different environments, adding a personal touch to their brand.

The added personal touch is great news for e-commerce store owners because it makes them seem more relatable and trustworthy. If you’re shopping online at Orizaba, you may visit their social media pages beforehand to learn what other people think of its products. 

User-generated content helps consumers feel more comfortable purchasing a product than if they were relying solely on reviews from strangers on Amazon. Research shows that 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them to create a more authentic interaction. 

Social media changes the way consumers make purchases.

In today’s digital age, customers can research products and services online, which has made it easier for them to make informed decisions. Social media is changing the way we shop, and it is wise for e-commerce stores to incorporate social media into their selling strategy.

Nowadays, influencers use social media as a lead-generating platform. Earlier it was only used for personal use. Today, people use more Instagram for business than in the past.

If you’re considering how your brand might fit into social commerce, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Incorporating visual platforms is a great way to get started. These platforms are easy to navigate from a customer standpoint, so users may find that shopping through them is more intuitive than other forms of e-commerce. 

Social media platforms like Instagram have become so much more than just a platform to create content and follow visual trends. It is a platform to follow brands and influencers and shop directly in the app. In this example, consumers can shop for backyard furniture from World Market and pick the same chairs seen in their appealing Instagram post.

Consumers are looking for the easiest way to shop. From start to finish, they want a seamless buying experience. Instagram shopping is one way to do that. However, if you don’t have a quick and easy checkout process, you could lose out on some serious sales. 

Implementing a tool like Kudos can help e-commerce stores reduce shopping cart abandonment by providing a one-click checkout that makes the process foolproof and enables the consumer to maximize savings. 

Social media is a must-use strategy when it comes to e-commerce. The simplicity of shopping and an easy checkout experience are two essential factors that contribute to the success of an e-commerce store. 

Social media opens up additional marketing channels and audience segments.   

Unlike in the past, when you needed to go through an intermediary to get your product before consumers, today’s global marketplace is ripe for social selling. 

Social media is a fantastic place to sell directly to customers because it’s one of the most cost-effective ways for small businesses to market their products. It has a low cost compared to other marketing mediums, and you can reach more people than if you were physically limited by geography and store hours.

It’s difficult to predict the exact future of e-commerce and social media. Still, it’s safe to say that as social media ads become more common and practical, traditional marketing will continue to play a minor role. 

This transition isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s almost certainly beneficial for businesses: social media marketing is less expensive than other forms of marketing, can be personalized or targeted towards specific audiences, and doesn’t require significant up-front investments. 

Social media is utilized mainly by younger generations who now have access to student credit cards and beginner checking accounts. The combination of social media as a marketing resource and young audiences with access to their funds has created a new audience segment for e-commerce companies. 

Don’t underestimate the power of the younger generation. If you run an e-commerce site, you should be running ads that target the younger generation and capitalize on this lucrative audience. 

The transition away from traditional marketing has been slow but inevitable—but at this point, it seems clear that in the future of e-commerce and social media, the two will have an even more significant influence on each other than they already do.

As the internet world grows, so does the ever-changing world of data laws. Ecommerce stores and social media, by nature, bring in a lot of consumer information: names, birthdays, email, phone numbers, addresses, etc. But businesses and social media sites are only allowed to collect and, more importantly, use this data with a highly developed, comprehensive privacy policy that gives customers the right to consent or decline. 

Staying compliant with laws and regulations can get overwhelming, and fast for smaller businesses. Using a privacy policy generator will leave this burden for you to focus your attention on setting up social commerce campaigns and increasing revenue. 

Social media makes the sales funnel more dynamic.

Social media has disrupted the tried and true sales funnel coined by inbound marketing experts. The path to purchase is no longer a funnel that starts with awareness and ends in a sale. Instead, it’s a flywheel. People can enter the wheel at any point and become advocates for your brand. It’s no longer a one-way street.

So many small businesses don’t have the budget to send mailers or do billboards or television ads. Still, with social media, you can reach a broad audience engaged and interested. 

When you use the right approach, you can compete with big brands by getting into your customers’ feeds, so they see you repeatedly. 

You can even encourage them to share your content when it resonates with them. Customers become a part of your social media community and true evangelists for your brand.

Social media brings in new customers and loyal followers.

By now, you are probably well aware of the potential of social media as a marketing tool. Still, it is crucial to determine how your brand and products fit into that equation. Social media can help you build a customer base from scratch by reaching out to customers who haven’t yet heard of your brand or purchased your product.

In addition to increasing your fan base, social media is a valuable tool for building customer loyalty. Today’s consumers have high expectations for transparency from brands; if you show them who you are as a company, they will be more likely to trust you and return for more purchases in the future. Once you have attracted customers through on-platform promotions and advertising, it’s essential to maintain that relationship with high-quality content.

According to a Podium study, 93% of consumers report that they would be more likely to use a product if they could see feedback from other users. By posting honest reviews on your website or using testimonials across platforms, you’ll show potential customers what kind of experience they can expect before even trying out your product themselves.

To help achieve this goal, use a drag and drop website builder to include a “reviews” section on your product pages. Or you can capture a Twitter screenshot or two to showcase customer reviews via a different forum and an idyllic mix between e-commerce and social media. 

Final Thoughts

To keep up with the changing times, e-commerce stores should embrace new platforms as they emerge, like TikTok videos and social commerce campaigns on Instagram and Pinterest. You need to connect with your customers wherever they spend their time online. Doing this will help you make a strong impression on your target audience and increase conversions.

Social commerce provides an opportunity for e-commerce marketers to sell products in a manner that is more authentic than traditional marketing campaigns. Consumers often dislike traditional advertisements because they know that marketers have an agenda behind them. Social interactions are different; they are less promotional, so users are more likely to interact with them without being skeptical of their intentions or purpose.

You can harness the power of social media to connect with your customers and build brand loyalty. With a good strategy in place, you can reach a wider audience and drive sales for your e-commerce business.

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