We’re all well acquainted with the ecommerce age.
Most of the people using partners such as IRP Commerce are doing so because the digital shop-front and sales checkout has long since replaced the High Street window display and cashiers.
Often then, when we talk about Social Media Marketing it’s seen as an add-on, it’s about building engagement and loyal consumers, it’s about communicating brand personality, it’s about online reputation.
It’s not about sales. Right?
Not any more.
Social media may currently drive a smaller proportion of web traffic referral sales than digital advertising or Search Engine Optimisation efforts, however social-driven retail sales and referral traffic are rising at a faster pace than all other online channels according to a recent Business Insider Intelligence report.
The top 500 retailers earned $3.3 billion from social
shopping in 2014, up 26% from 2013, according to
the Internet Retailer’s Social Media 500.
The evolution of social commerce
Social commerce is a type of electronic commerce that involves social or digital media to assist online buying and selling. More succinctly, social commerce is the use of social networks in the context of ecommerce transactions.
Facebook and Twitter are set to roll out facilities for users to purchase products through their platforms by 2016. Instagram hasn’t taken the same direction; they’ve integrated a “buy now” button, but this is just an ad that leads to the retailer’s website, different from the direct commerce approach Google and Facebook are testing. However Instagram is increasing its targeting capabilities.
And it doesn’t stop with the online networks.
Just this month leading female fashion and lifestyle magazine ELLE teamed up with retailers for a beacon-enabled September issue called “SHOP NOW!” When readers walk into partner stores in the physical world, they are being sent relevant, immediate style content and exclusive offers from the September issue directly to their mobiles.
Elle are using their own geo-location marketing platform called Swirl Networks which they have invested in heavily. And they have worked alongside the personal shopping app ShopAdvisor and discount code app RetailMeNot to offer location-based direct digital marketing to an estimated 27 million American consumers!
Get ready for the revolution
So it’s now more important than ever to create, build, and strengthen your online audiences because pretty soon, the very channels you’re using to engage with them may be the very same platforms through which they can buy your products.
Therefore a strong social media presence will be particularly important for brand growth with key channels working to move sales away from traditional buying platforms like eBay and Amazon, on to their own social networking sites.
The fact is that today’s path-to-purchase is evolving.
Welcome to the age of the Social Commerce Revolution! Are you ready…?