2015 was a huge year for eCommerce globally, and this is in part due to the ever increasing use of social media. It was estimated that over $30 billion were generated directly from social networks out of the total global eCommerce sales for 2015.
‘sCommerce’ is predicted to be the fastest growing trend for 2016, with different social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest creating different features for eCommerce to allow users to take advantage of this trend. If you run an eCommerce business or rely heavily on online channels for sales, you need to be able to adapt to these upcoming trends to take advantage and remain current.
A report on Mintel states that social media platforms are looking for better ways to monetise their services. Toward the end of 2015 Facebook introduced a separate shopping section and other eCommerce options.
What are advantages of this expected sCommerce boom?
A study by Hubspot found that people are 75% more likely to purchase a product when referred by a friend on social media. People are more likely to trust consumer reviews more than advertisements. To ensure positive reviews, customer engagement is key to creating a positive word of mouth for your brand. Incentives such as discounts, giveaways and competitions can also increase your chances of positive reviews and recommendations. Obviously this works both ways and a consumer is more likely to talk a lot more about a negative experience and so this has to be taken into account
Could overcome the ‘passing trade’ problem of a website
One of the limitations for a website is that effort is needed to actually get consumers to visit a website, there is no passing trade like there is with a high street store. So the online shopping process needs to be brought to where internet users spend the majority of their time. 75% of Facebook users visit the site at least once a day, so this is where retailers need to be.
Websites tend to have a huge product range for the user to navigate, and this can be off-putting for the user. Although websites are trying to increase personalisation, it works better the more frequently a user visits the websites. sCommerce could base personalisation on more detailed information and it could occur more naturally to help attract more first time customers to the brand.
Guest blog by Erin Wilson, Bournemouth University
Images courtesy of Timothy Muza via Unsplash