In today’s blog we consider: ‘How valuable is social media to ecommerce?’ – a topic widely debated within the business world, with many sceptical of the true value of social media to online sales.
Much of the confusion and debate comes down to a lack of understanding around how to best implement, use and measure digital technology and social media in line with its impact on revenues. However, with studies predicting that around £3 billion retail sales will be influenced by social media by next year, companies cannot afford to ignore these potentially lucrative channels.
Ecommerce models are constantly evolving, with new possibilities being opened up every day by social media, connectivity, mobile web and custom applications. What’s more social media is increasingly replacing broadcast and traditional media, becoming the primary source of knowledge transfer, sharing and communication.
In fact, the below stats to support the importance of social media to ecommerce success are quite staggering:
- Almost 50% of all UK social media users already use social media to influence purchase decisions;
- 71% of conversions on ecommerce sites were driven by social media.
In this modern digital-centric world social media can be a valuable tool for building a community around your brand, increasing customer lifetime value and loyalty, heightening brand awareness and engagement, and ultimately driving sales.
So, in what ways can social media positively impact your ecommerce businesses?
- A proactive online presence (across a number of relevant channels) will significantly boost brand awareness, meaning that you will not only enhance the reach of your brand but also instil consumer confidence.
- Social media channels allow you to provide online support that is personalised, immediate and transparent, whilst also presenting an archive of information that helps a wider user group in the future.
- Regular communication and multiple touch points with your audiences mean you can easily boost the frequency and reach of your marketing communications.
- Social channels allow for peer sharing, reviews and social learning through user-generated content, which engenders trust and credibility around your brand image.
- Your consumers can easily act as brand ambassadors for you, sharing your content, pushing your promotions and encouraging positive word of mouth.
- Businesses can create highly personalised offers, advertisements and campaigns that specifically target susceptible and relevant user groups.
- Social channels present a more personable and direct channel of communication than available through your website or other communications channels, reaching consumers in their homes, on the move and across multiple devices in an online space they choose to spend time in.
- Social media channels are a top source of referral traffic, bringing new and existing customers to your website, who may otherwise never have heard of your brand.
Central to the effective use of social media is your digital strategy (based on solid business objectives) and community-based marketing (insight into your audiences and how they engage with your brand and offering online). Companies must consistently review consumer behaviour to ensure they adapt accordingly and create user experiences that their customers perceive to deliver some value to them.
In essence, an effective social media strategy will be brand-led, looking to monetise content and relationships in the long-term, primarily via greater brand awareness and engagement.
If you require some assistance or advise on how to best maximise on your social strategy for ecommerce please do not hesitate to contact our digital marketing experts.