Shop Now: How Social Commerce Can Transform Your Retail Brand

Over 44% of global internet users use social media to search for brand-related information.

In the last couple years, as retail continues to drastically shift from shopping at the mall to clicking “add to cart,” a phenomenon has become increasingly apparent: social commerce. There’s a high likelihood that the last time you complimented a friend on their shoes or clothes, their response was something along the lines of, “Thank you — I got them from Instagram!” Of course, this doesn’t mean that they’re rocking Instagram-branded apparel, but instead that they shopped while scrolling through their daily feed.

Simultaneously, a user can view an ad, learn more about a specific product, grow their brand affinity, and shop with just the click of a button. Though this shopping experience appears quick and seamless, there are so many steps in a user’s journey that guide them to hitting that “Shop Now” button. In order to make social commerce work harder and smarter for your brand, you must incorporate omnichannel marketing principles into your ecommerce strategy.

Here are Blueshift’s customer-approved tactics you can use to guarantee your brand’s social commerce success:

A CHANNEL-CENTRIC APPROACH

Promote Products Across Platforms

Being active on social media doesn’t mean investing all of your resources into a single platform; to make true omnichannel a reality for your brand, you must ensure that your customer journeys are seamless across all channels. While Instagram’s in-app shopping feature might seem to be the quickest way to turn a browser into a buyer, Facebook ads also offer a great opportunity for your customers to engage with your brand and make a purchase.

In addition to ads, posting organically on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can highlight your products, increase brand awareness, and open the door to deeper customer engagement. Even Pinterest for business can be the ideal platform for engaging your target audience, given that 83% of weekly Pinners have made a purchase based on content they saw from brands on Pinterest.

Promoting across platforms means every marketing channel — not just social. If you’re running a social media campaign to engage your customers and drive sales, you can incorporate the campaign hashtag into your website to help customers connect the dots. Similarly, you can send out targeted emails related to that campaign to reinforce your brand messaging and remind customers to complete their purchase. The social commerce magic happens when all social platforms and marketing channels come together into one cohesive strategy.

SOCIAL IS A TWO-WAY STREET

Take Customer Engagement to the Next Level

Another noteworthy benefit of investing in your social commerce strategy is the sheer number of customers you’re able to reach. In 2021, there were almost 5 billion active social media users worldwide. Not only does this expand the size of your audience, but it also gives your brand the chance to engage with customers on a more personal level. If your loyal followers have a question about the item they’re considering on Instagram, they will likely comment on your post to ask for clarification. If you set up a poll on Twitter to gauge your audience’s interest in a particular product or subject matter, you can get results within a certain amount of time.

On top of these numerous pathways for customer engagement, social channels give your customers the ability to research your brand more extensively than they could by walking around a store. According to Hootsuite, 44.8% of global internet users use social media to search for brand-related information, and more than half of global internet users between the ages of 16 and 24 use social media to research brands (55.9% female users and 51% male users).

The Catch-22 with your users’ 24/7 access to your brand is that they expect timely, accurate responses to their inquiries or complaints. With word-of-mouth happening at lightning speed (and 32% of consumers discovering new brands as a result), a single viral retweet of a customer interaction can make or break your brand’s reputation in minutes. This means that your social media team will need to be on top of their game as your brand engages with customers across platforms, ensuring a consistent and positive experience.

GETTING STARTED WITH OMNICHANNEL

Enlist the Right Customer Engagement Platform

It’s clear that ecommerce isn’t going anywhere; between the beginning of 2010 to the end of 2021, the share of ecommerce in total U.S. retail sales rose from 4.2% to 13%. Even with fluctuations in different quarters of 2021, revenue from ecommerce sales continues to grow steadily over time and show promise for future growth beyond current trends.

As customers put away their paper shopping lists and rely on social media, apps, and hybrid options (such as curbside pickup) instead, your brand can either reject these shifts in favor of more traditional retail experiences or get ahead of the pack with a more innovative omnichannel approach. If you’re ready to adapt and meet (or even exceed) your brand’s goals, you need an intelligent customer engagement platform that is robust, flexible, and scalable — one that can evolve alongside your brand.

“Blueshift has provided us with a robust data activation platform to track onsite user activity married with customer purchase activity, allowing us to truly achieve 1:1 personalization. The capabilities of the platform have far exceeded our expectations. The implementation team has gone above and beyond to ensure we extract maximum value from our investment.” – Houman Akhavan, Chief Marketing Officer, CarParts.com

With Blueshift, you can unify and activate your customer data to create personalized experiences across every marketing channel. Whether users engage with your brand on social media platforms, through email campaigns, or by clicking around your website, Blueshift’s omnichannel capabilities allow you to deliver dynamic 1:1 recommendations at every step of the customer journey.

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