SocialMediaNewz
Social Media is a Key Driver of Ecommerce

August 2, 2016

Felim McGrath, who is the Trends Manager at GlobalWebIndex, believes that social media will be a driving force encouraging online shopping. He says that one third of the world's population is now on social media, which is up an astounding 10% over last year.



"With such a significant amount of online time devoted to social media, there's clear potential not only for advertising and marketing via social networks, but also for directly monetising users via 'social commerce'," said McGrath. "The last year has seen some of the world's biggest social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest, testing or introducing integrated commerce options, acting as the middle-men between buyers and brands. The networks themselves have a clear interest in pushing this trend, both to increase engagement with their platforms and to open up healthy new revenue streams."

The research from GWI shows that consumers are now becoming brand aware because of social media and are also using it to research products. McGrath sees this as an important step to using social to complete purchases. "Social commerce has a bright future," says McGrath.

The Ovum report also predicts that the need for people to document their experiences on social media will motivate retailers to "increasingly align not only their brands but also the shopping experience itself to this consumer desire for encounters worth sharing."

"This can already be seen with the emerging trend for integrating social media with in-store retail, with the aim of creating socially driven shopping experiences," the report notes. "In 2015, Victoria's Secret encouraged shoppers to take selfies in front of displays and show them to sales assistants in return for a free gift – and hopefully share their selfies/experiences with friends."

"Any doubters about social media's powerful role in converting prospects into customers need to immediately re-evaluate their position," notes the Absolunete report. "Like, now. Though their pure conversion rates are lower than those of organic results or Email, they are powerful tools that promote brand loyalty and are a great way to share the brand's values. Through community-logic, social media is a valuable resource to convert curious prospects into new customers."

According to Absolunete, with good social media management online stores can generate results that are sometimes superior to search marketing strategies such as Google Adwords. Social platforms such as Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter are working to enhance their value to online retailers by adding functionalities that will guide the shopper towards a products pages with goal to convert their users into online retail customers.

"You may have noticed more and more "direct purchase" options popping up on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and most notably Facebook, which is responsible for 64% of social sales worldwide," noted the report. "Retailers need to move quickly to capitalize on this; once the big, established eCommerce players will have fully implemented these tools, it's going to be a lot harder – and more expensive – to stand out."

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