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Social commerce is empowering your customers

Social commerce is empowering your customers

Even though Facebook and Twitter have been used for buying and selling goods for some years, the idea of ‘social commerce’ has never really caught on large-scale. But that is just about to change.

Buyers have been driving this shift in e-commerce by using social media platforms to celebrate items they have purchased. This kind of public promotion via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram has got retailers wondering how they can best take advantage of this new phenomenon.

The experience of organisations such as Gap has shown that it’s not just a case of taking their usual in-store or e-commerce approach and putting it onto social media platforms. The Brands’ global ‘Be Bright’ campaign was anchored with a new social hub site at the Styld.by URL. The website takes on the style of a blog but promotes the products through most social channels.

The success of social commerce on Pinterest

To successfully leverage social commerce, a whole new approach to online retail is required. One that is best exemplified by Pinterest, a social media website setup for retailers to interact with potential customers.

By focusing on striking visuals, Pinterest offers the ideal platform for lifestyle brands to reach out to customers and promote their products.

Successful retail users of this site have realised that, by allowing a potential customer the ability to click through to their store directly from an image, it is more likely to convert a sale than if they had just uploaded a complete catalogue online.

Some of our own clients have embarrassed Pinterest with open arms. We are pleased to highlight the good work by Plum Baby on setting up and running their own Pinterest board, it is gaining momentum quickly!

The time to embrace change is now

Pinterest is not the only social media platform to be enabling social commerce. There is a raft of option available to businesses through websites such as Facebook and Instagram.

Retailers need to be looking closely at how best they can engage their customers online. Even those with extensive investment in ‘bricks and mortar’ stores, like Tesco, are testing the water.

Tesco recently launched a social commerce website that allows buyers to club together to purchase wine at discounted prices. The company driving the Tesco wine push is Buyapowa, they sum up the current business model as follows:

“Your key distribution partners are used to buying at one price, retail customers at another. They are also used to having influence over your range where the general public are not. All that has changed – now your actual customers have the potential to become key distribution partners themselves.”

So what is in it for the end customer apart from spreading your products around their networks? Well, Buyapower says it’s more than that.

“The buyer who brings in the most other buyers gets their product free. So they do it again – and so the cycle continues”.

A very powerful marketing tool indeed.

So, if you are in the retail space, start looking at social commerce now!

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