We all have seen spectacular examples of ads integrated beautifully into social media feeds. Whether you like it or not, they have always been there, and will always be. The ads are designed to sell a product or service to us, but do they succeed in their motive? Here, we attempt a review of how social media affects e-commerce to get an answer to this question.
Promoting Brand-User Interaction
Promoting their products on social media gives the seller multiple advantages. One of these advantages is the opening up of a direct communication line between them and the users. In the physical world, the company has little interaction with the user, and thus, the company or its marketers are unable to determine the sentiments of the user. In the world of social media, users directly interact and share their views with the marketers. This helps the marketers to effectively measure their needs and accordingly change their selling strategies.
Coupons and Discounts
Brands often offer exclusive discounts to the users on social media who like them or follow them. This results in a win-win situation for the brand. By offering such exclusive discounts, brands attract a large number of people to connect with them on the social media. Once the users are connected with the brand, it can use the platform to promote future products for free and drive high sales. This method of channeling social media for e-commerce has been successfully used by many brands.
How Social Media Changes e-commerce?
It might be a general feeling that having a social media presence directly implies higher e-commerce sales. The assumption may be true, but this is not certain. Social media can be considered as a channel for creating trust and relationship with your user. Your chances of increasing your e-commerce sales through the social media channel will increase when your interaction, and ultimately trust increases with your consumers. Any consumer will think of making a purchase with you only if he/she has enough trust in your brand.
The biggest mistake that brands often do is trying to sell directly to the consumer through the social media. Social media is a place to improve the consumer’s opinion of you; it is not a place to sell products. If your consumers follow you on social media, your chances of selling to them will increase substantially.
Which Social Media Websites Drive Highest Sales?
Let us take a quick look at the numbers. 51% of the Facebook fans and 67% of Twitter followers are more likely to buy products from brands they are fan of or which they follow. Google+ and Stumble Upon are much below in driving e-commerce sales.
Facebook is a big factor in driving sales after Twitter. A report from Sociable Labs suggest that 62% of online shoppers have read product related content on Facebook, 75% have clicked on a link to the sellers’ website on Facebook, and 53% of those who clicked went on to buy products.
Without Social Media
Social media has evolved as an important factor for e-commerce. It has helped change the way products are sold or bought online. The e-commerce world without social media would still be a bright one, but companies would have to increase their advertisement investments without the social media. Even after the increase in allocation of advertisement budget, the chances of higher sales would still remain a question mark. Obviously, marketers would find other ways to sell, but the problem that social media solves; of knowing the pulse of the consumer, would arise again and would force the companies to invest more and more resources into marketing.