The Next Big Thing
THE NEXT BIG THING
Social commerce sales will reach $30 billion/year by 2015 with 50% of web sales
occurring through social media (Vocus). So, what exactly is social commerce?
Social commerce can be defined very broadly or narrowly.
In the broad sense, social commerce is how marketers
leverage social media to influence consumers’ shopping
behavior, spanning product consideration, purchase intent,
the transaction itself, and post-transaction advocacy
and retention. In a narrower definition, social commerce
involves tapping social media with the goal of increasing transactions, whether
through a marketer’s digital presence or other social media properties (360i).
Below we will share some interesting social commerce statistics, followed by 8 types
of social media commerce, and deep dives into 4 social commerce initiatives.
SOCIAL COMMERCE STATISTICS
Is social commerce viable? Are users comfortable shopping through social media?
Check out the following statistics (SocialSkinny):
• Sales via social commerce are expected to reach $30 billion by 2015
• 45% of social media users are at least “somewhat” comfortable providing credit
card details through social media channels
• Men between 18-34, and earning over $35k are more comfortable providing
credit card details on social media
• 20% would purchase products from their favorite brands within their social
media sites (as opposed to normal websites)
• 34% would be more likely to share information about a purchase on a social
media site than on a traditional e-commerce site
• 74% wouldn’t use an alternative currency (ex: Facebook credits) to make a
purchase on a social media site
• Only about 17% of Facebook pages feature products, and only 4% enable
check-out (complete purchase) within the Facebook page
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TYPES OF SOCIAL COMMERCE
Social commerce encompasses a very wide range of strategies/types. Mashable
did a great job of categorizing social commerce into seven different types. With
consumers spending an increased amount of time on their mobile devices, especially
on social networks, we would like to add an 8th type of social media commerce:
1. Peer-to-peer sales platforms (eBay, Etsy, Amazon Marketplace):
community-based marketplaces, or bazaars, where individuals
communicate and sell directly to other individuals.
2. Social network-driven sales (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter): sales driven by
referrals from established social networks, or take place on the networks
themselves (i.e., through a “shop” tab on Facebook).
3. Group buying (Groupon, LivingSocial): products and services offered at a
reduced rate if enough buyers agree to make the purchase.
4. Peer recommendations (Amazon, Yelp, JustBoughtIt): sites that aggregate
product or service reviews, recommend products based on others’ purchasing
history (i.e. “Others who bought item x also bought item y,” as seen on
Amazon), and/or reward individuals for sharing products and purchases with
friends through social networks.
5. User-curated shopping (The Fancy, Lyst, Svpply): shopping-focused sites where
users create and share lists of products and services for others to shop from.
6. Participatory commerce (Threadless, Kickstarter, CutOnYourBias): consumers
become involved directly in the production process through voting, funding
and collaboratively designing products.
7. Social shopping (Motilo, Fashism, GoTryItOn): sites that attempt to replicate
shopping offline with friends by including chat and forum features for
exchanging advice and opinions.
8. Mobile apps (Qwiqq, Swaag, ShopKick): social commerce mobile apps can be
similar to user-curated shopping (above), where users discover, create lists of
products and services, and influence shopping decisions, but are strictly app-based,
allowing customers to discover and shop on the go.
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Facebook Social Commerce (f-commerce)
Did you know that Facebook not only drives social commerce sales, but dominates
the market? The leading source of e-commerce traffic, nearly two-thirds of sales
from a recent study report Facebook as the driving factor behind the final purchase,
including an astonishing 1.85% conversion rate among visitors.
STATISTICS IN SOCIAL COMMERCE VIA FACEBOOK
This recent Shopify Study reports the following in social commerce sales via Facebook:
• 63%: 23.3 Million visits to e-commerce sites through Facebook
• 85%: amount of purchases reported compared to Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.
• 129%: 2013 growth of social orders originating from Facebook
• $55: average value per social order originating from Facebook
• 1.85%: conversion rate of Facebook visitors
• Top 5 industries benefitted through Facebook social commerce (percentages
among social networks): Photography (98%), Sports and Recreation (94%),
Pet Supplies (94%), Dropshipping (93%), Jewelry and Watches (92%)
BUILD A FACEBOOK SOCIAL COMMERCE SITE DIRECTLY ONTO YOUR PAGE
There are various options for building stores directly into your Facebook Page,
including options built for small and medium businesses. Ecwid is a leader in the
Social Commerce, allowing users to build shopping pages directly onto their sites.
Shopify is another leader in the f-commerce arena, allowing you to build a virtual
store liking to your ecommerce site.
AUTOFILL MAKES PURCHASING THROUGH FACEBOOK EVEN EASIER
In an effort to increase conversion rates and user experience in purchasing,
Facebook recently announced a partnership that will allow users to set up autofill
in both credit cards and promo codes. Available to users of certain e-commerce site
builders, the autofill function announced at Facebook will reduce the time spent
adding new cards. Further, it will remove the hassle of copying promotional codes
into the final screen.
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Twitter’s Social Shopping Cart: #AmazonCart
A recent partnership between Amazon and Twitter will allow users of both platforms
to add Amazon products directly to their Amazon cart with a single Tweet.
HOW IT WORKS
Users can respond to a Tweet containing a Amazon product link with the hashtag
#AmazonCart to add the product to their shopping cart. The item will be in your
shopping cart the next time you visit Amazon where you can complete your
purchase. You will receive a notification email and a Tweet from @MyAmazon that
the product has been successfully added to your cart.
To get started, users will first have to connect their Amazon account to their Twitter
account, which can be completed here. Check out this video for a brief overview.
Why do I need to connect my Twitter account?
By connecting your Twitter and Amazon accounts, you are
telling Amazon that #AmazonCart requests coming from
your Twitter account should be added to your Amazon.
com shopping cart. Without that link, Amazon would not
know to which customer’s cart to add the item. To edit your
connection preferences, visit your social settings or opt out
of having Amazon respond to your #AmazonCart requests
here (your accounts must be connected in order to opt out).
Will #AmazonCart work if my Twitter account is protected?
No, #AmazonCart only works for public Twitter accounts and Tweets. If your Twitter
account is protected, only your followers can see your Tweets. This means that
#AmazonCart won’t be able to see your replies and add the item to your Amazon.com
Am I buying it when I reply with “#AmazonCart”?
No, replying with “#AmazonCart” will only save the item to your cart. You can always
review or edit your cart later. You will also receive a reply Tweet from @MyAmazon
describing the status of your request (e.g., whether the item was successfully added
to your cart, if it was out of stock, or how you can finish checking out later).
Who can see what I’ve added to my Cart?
Most content is public on Twitter, so your #AmazonCart replies will be visible to
whomever you replied, to those viewing the conversation, and on your own Timeline
(unless your Twitter account is set to private).
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How To Leverage Product Pins For Your
Back in August, Pinterest became a true driver of online sales for businesses with
their introduction of rich pins called “Product Pins”.
Product pins provide viewers more information than a standard pin including pricing,
availability, and where to buy.
The advantages of using product pins over a regular pin are:
• Get higher click-through rates than regular pins
• Make your brand more visible because your logo’s on the pin
• Are more likely to appear in a category feed, like Men’s Fashion or Gifts
• Include automatically updated details, like price changes (Pinners will receive
notifications when products they’ve pinned drop in price).
Using and applying for rich pins is a simple process, though you may need the help
of a developer to add metatags to your website.
To apply for rich pins complete the following 5 steps:
1. Verify your website on Pinterest, here
2. Decide what kind of rich pin (product, recipe, movie, or article) you want to
3. Read the Product Rich Pins documentation
4. Add the appropriate metatags to your site (Embed/Semantic Markup)
5. Validate your rich pins and apply to get them on Pinterest (validate here)
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Leveraging Product Pins on Pinterest is a must for any ecommerce business looking
to boost online sales. Consider these promising statistics (Shopify):
Start turning your pins into revenue today!
The Value of Reviews in Social Commerce
No question, reviews are a critical component of your social commerce
strategy. Positive, negative, or average: every review counts. Consider these
statistics from Econsultancy:
• 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision
• 63% of users are more likely to make a purchase from a site with reviews
• Over 50 reviews per product can result in a 4.6% increase in conversion rate
• Consumer reviews are viewed with much more trust than product descriptions
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Thanks to Search Engine Land, we also would like to give you 5 steps in responding
to negative reviews:
• Have a game plan
• Know where reviews are happening
• Use negative reviews to make your business better
• Personalize your reviews and ask questions
• Don’t ignore reviews
So how do you generate more positive reviews?
The most important, and perhaps obvious, way to get more positive reviews is
to provide great customer service 100 percent of the time. Many people are not
motivated to review a company unless they had a bad experience! Don’t give
customers anything to complain about. Below are some additional tips for getting
more online reviews:
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback – Many won’t reach out to their
customers for feedback; consider sending a post-purchase email to request
feedback or a review (include links to review sites)
2. Make it easy – Add review site logos and links on your website;
likewise, on review sites, add links to your website to encourage customers
to write a review
3. Timing can make a difference – Customers are most likely to give you
feedback right away
4. Provide instructions – Maybe a customer wants to leave a review but
does not know how to do it. You can create a SIMPLE step-by-step checklist
to provide to clients and even include in feedback email
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SOCIAL COMMERCE NEVER SLEEPS
This guide scratches the surface of the value and results of social commerce. We
understand that each business has unique needs, unique customers, and needs to
find the best way to reach these individuals. With effective social commerce, your
biggest concern could be faster inventory replenishment.
That said, with social media, a negative comment can go viral. So you need to manage
every customer relationship with utmost care. All in all, remember the following:
• Facebook is the largest in Social Commerce
• #AmazonCart is revolutionizing Twitter in Social Commerce
• Improve sales through Product Pins and other rich pins
• Implement a process for eliciting positive reviews
Mashable Social Commerce Ecommerce Marketing Institute Blog
Shopify Ecommerce University Econsultancy Blog
About Hot Potato
Based in Naperville, IL outside of Chicago, Hot Potato Social Media is a full service
social media marketing agency that helps companies and brands implement and
manage social media and related digital marketing programs for measurable, and
often profound sales results. For more information, check out the award-winning
Hot Potato website, or link to social networks below. You can email a potato head at
email@example.com, or call 630-868-5061.
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