How Social Media Has Set The Scene For E-commerce

When the World Wide Web came into existence, it started as a competitive advantage for every business that made use of it. Eventually it became an essential entity for any successful businesses.

It simply isn't possible for any sort of business to get a competitive edge over others without having an online presence. Fast forward to today, businesses now generate an approximate $2.4 million every minute through e-commerce. A large part of this revenue comes straight from the social media giants with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest contributing more than $40,000 every minute.

However, these figures only represent a small slice of the large social media pie. Looking at the bigger picture, both social media and e-commerce are increasingly becoming intertwined in the lives of people. With this increased interaction, the chances for both of these business entities to leverage from each other are inestimable.

It is also more relevant than ever, considering the fact that the average person spends over an hour and 40 minutes browsing social media on any given day and the number of internet shoppers in every country is constantly growing.

In this blog, we will shed some light on the reasons why social media is making headway for e-commerce and will also explore exactly how it is being done.

Impact of Social Media on Consumer Shopping

Back in the day, a business’s presence usually consisted of adverts in the newspaper or a physical storefront. But today, in the digital era, business reputations live and die by their social media reputation.

Currently, social media is used by e-commerce businesses as a platform to advertise, boost their online presence and even improve their customer service.

In 2018, these trends are anticipated to continue along with emergence of new ones.
Social media greatly influences consumer shopping and it’s no surprise, given that  it’s a free marketing platform where companies get the opportunity to engage with customers all over the world and vice versa.

Advertisement on TV/, radio and print media are still a part of modern advertising campaign, but nothing beats free or relatively cheaper social media advertisement opportunities.

However, cost is only the tip of the iceberg. Unlike other advertisement tools, social media marketing functions on two-way communication. When you advertise through television or radio, you have to wait months to figure out whether your campaign is working or not. This is not the case with social media as it allows immediate input from users.

More importantly, these inputs are highly segmented by demography, geography and consumers’ interest. Those days are long gone when businesses were just dependent on generic advertisements tools. With social media, it is now possible to test individualised messages for equally individualised target audiences.

Social media also profits from a multiplier effect. With just a click of the mouse, users can resend the brand message to thousands of followers. One might have to spend millions of bucks to create a catchy radio jingle or appealing TV ad, but a low-budget social media campaign can go viral overnight.  

Ways Through Which Ecommerce Leverages Social Media

Paid Advertisements

With the highly personalised customisation options available, you can put up a Facebook ad and target a specific demographic. With these details and the ease of getting reports thanks to analytics software, it’s not hard to get why an increasing number of brands are using Facebook and other social media advertising tools.

It’s also a win-win situation for businesses and social media platforms and that is apparent with Facebook generating over $7 billion in advertising in just a year.

In 2018, any brand that maximises their reach and effectiveness through paid social media advertising is more likely to be successful. E-commerce businesses are investing a lot more in Google Ads and it will continue to increase over the coming years.

But it doesn’t end there as they also need to build a good audience through Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Pinterest and other paid social media accounts. It is quite easy to set these up and track the Return on Investment (ROI)  on advertising, with more and more brands continuing to do so.

Private Messaging

Over the last couple of years, analysts have observed an unexpected yet interesting trend. While social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are starting to decline in terms of messaging, private messaging services are  now becoming more popular. Applications such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and Kik are all messaging giants and their user engagement numbers amount to billions.

Through these, businesses are able to trace customer spots and are able to send out the brand message via chat-bots. To top it off, AI personalities can be introduced into the picture to stimulate real conversations, answering questions about products, recommend services and even resolve complaints from consumers.

Even consumers like the idea and they are more eager to contact a business through a 24/7 messaging service than contacting a customer service through phone. This is the reason that brands are more likely to make chatboat service a supplementary channel in order to reach customers.

In addition, many private messaging services are even offering financial integration. For instance, it is  a possibility that in coming times, while using a private messaging app, you can chat with a brand AI representative and even purchase a product without closing it even once.

In-App Purchasing

The harder it is to buy a product or access a service, the less likely consumers are to follow through with the transaction. This explains why e-commerce sites that take too much time to load have higher bounce rates, and why online stores with heavy interfaces sell less.

Nowadays, consumers can buy products through Instagram, Pinterest, and even Twitter. The days of being able to swipe on anything you like and have it delivered to your door are not too far from being reality.

Brands are starting to evaluate how they can sell their products easily through social networks, intertwining a strong advertising presence along with an easy purchasing process.

Why Your E-Commerce Store Should Embrace Social Media?

Shoppers around the world spend a tremendous amount of time surfing the Web-both on computers and smart phones. Obviously, having an online presence is necessary if you want to bring in more traffic, but with the increased number of hours that users spend on social media, it is lucrative to invest in burgeoning advertisement opportunities on Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter.

Getting started with it can be daunting; especially for newly launched ecommerce sites, but bear in mind that the largest cost is not money, but time.

This year, social media is not only expected to play a major role in setting the scene for e-commerce, but also in almost every aspect of our social life, too.
Moreover, a plethora of latest social networking technologies along with influential advertising tools, chat bots,  in-app purchasing as well as improved e-commerce order fulfilment will make the e-commerce world bigger and better than ever before.

It won’t be wrong to say that e-commerce businesses that make the most of social media and other related sources will be achieving through the roof successs, while the businesses you are trailing behind will start missing out more than ever. Either get with the times or prepare to fail.

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