July 17, 2014

Make Your eCommerce Store Social-Shopping Ready

In the era of social networking platform, social shopping is gaining prominence. When we talk about social shopping, we are talking about sharing of outfit ideas on Pinterest to tweeting links to coupon codes to more. If you aren't trying to explore this avenue for more sales, you are losing out on a lot. Are you wondering how you are going to take advantage of the new phenomenon? If so, you just need to make sure of three things – be mobile ready, merge online and offline marketing and offer personalized shopping experience.

Be mobile ready

Consider these figures:

Mobile sales is expected to rise from $204 billion in 2013 to $626 billion in 2018.
29% of the American consumers made at least one purchase on a smartphone in 2013, 28% on the tablet 535 million consumers worldwide are expected to make a purchase in 2014 through mobile 46% of American smartphone users engage in mCommerce

Now do you think ignoring mobile users is a smart strategy, especially when we are talking about social shopping? One of the best ways to make sure that your website/eCommerce store is accessible through all types of smartphones and tablets is to use responsive/adaptive web designs. If you are receiving majority of the traffic from smartphones, you can even get a special mobile website designed.

Merge online and offline marketing

A recent study by Econsultancy and IBM Tealeaf revealed that most of the retail stores fail to seamlessly merge online and offline shopping experiences for the buyers. Although most of the stores display their store location and hours on the website, they fail to provide retail product information and services through social media. The study also revealed that less than a third of businesses optimize content for local and mobile search, and only 18% allow customers to place an order online and pick it up on the store.

To merge online and offline marketing efforts, you have to look for ways to bring social media, online shopping and local promotions together. You can get started on this task by emailing a coupon code that offers extra discount when used in the physical store; and by offering flash sale notifications or limited-time coupons. Depending on your target audience demographic, you should also explore other means to offer unified shopping experience.

Offer personalized shopping experience

If you think a single deal or promotion will appeal to all your customers, you need to think again. If you are looking to create loyalty while pushing up the sales, you will need to personalize the deals based on the customers' demographic and shopping history. But it's easier said than done, especially when customers are unwilling to share their social media or any other contact details. To make the unwilling customers into willing customers, you have to win their trust, and to win their trust, you need to put more marketing control in their hands. Let them decide how frequently they can receive deals and promotions from you; let them decide what kind of information they would like to receive.

Future of social shopping

Social shopping is here to stay. Many companies are even coming up with apps that helps companies share data throughout all the platforms, including POS systems, eCommerce stores and mobile apps. You too can look for this kind of apps and get ready for social sharing.


Sandy Mates said...

Indeed this is the need of the hour. Every webstore should be optimized in such a way that it is accessible to all the major social networking platforms so that people have the facility to share and promote their purchased products to their friends and colleagues.

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