2017 Social Trends – Integration of Social and E-commerce

February 09, 2017

2017 Social Trends – Integration of Social and E-commerce

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A significant change is coming to social media that any brand, especially small brands, need to take advantage of to capture a larger market share. Social media is no longer a fun place to hang out. We’ve seen brands blossom here, but the goal has always been either to get a customer to know your brand and visit in-store or visit your website. Now, a break in that process is coming. Customers will more readily and more effortlessly be able to see your social media page and buy directly from it. The integration of e-commerce and social media will be an incredible component of marketing in 2017.

People Are Buying on Mobile Devices Constantly

Most social media happens on cellphones. Most people don’t leave home without their mobile phone. They browse the internet in the car, at their desk at work, and even while waiting in the doctor’s office. That’s led to a significant increase in the number of people who buy using their mobile devices.

  • Adobe reports that Black Friday’s online sales record hit $3.4 billion this year.
  • That’s a 17.7% increase from 2015.
  • Black Friday traffic was up 220% over a normal day, according to Qubit.
  • Mobile sales hit $1.07 billion this year on Cyber Monday – that’s a 34% increase from 2015 according to com.
  • Of the sales taking place on Cyber Monday, 31% of them were done on smartphones or tablets.

E-commerce’s transition to mobile is easily proven, but how does this translate into the marketing plans for brands? As noted, the integration between mobile devices, social media, and e-commerce is rapidly occurring, creating a sense of urgency for brands of all sizes to take advantage of this market or be left out. The good news for small companies, even those with limited budgets, is that it may not be difficult or expensive to be a key part of the process.

The Ability to Buy Through Social Media Is the Change to Watch

Customers want the easiest way to buy. They want to buy from the brands they trust. And, if you’ve worked to develop your social media campaign, you know that brands build trust through social media. Keeping this in mind, consider the following.

Nicole Jennings, the senior vice president of paid digital media at PM Agency, makes a point when she says, “Consumers have found that they can receive the same, if not even more, customized experience from a brand on mobile that they may not necessarily get across other platforms.” How can a brand connect the dots?

The “Buy” Button

One way to get the most return on your investment in social media marketing is to make it very easy for the buyer to make a purchase. The buy button makes that possible. Thus far, few brands are taking advantage of these buttons on various social media platforms. That’s good news for young or smaller companies that need to get their foot in the door.

First, consider what the buy button is and how it can help your business.

Many social media platforms are allowing users to add a buy button to their posts. This means that the customer can read the post and take action immediately to buy the item. Here’s an example of Twitter’s buy button in use.

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When launched in September of 2015, Nathan Hubbard, the VP of commerce for Twitter, make  it clear why such a button was valuable. He said, “The goal for all our commerce initiatives on Twitter is simple: Make it as easy as possible for businesses to connect directly with, and sell to, customers on Twitter. With “Buy Now”, businesses can drive more conversions and remove much of the friction in the mobile purchasing process.”

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Here’s an example of a Pinterest Buy button:

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Facebook, of course, offers something similar:

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Why Incorporate a Buy Button in Your Campaign?

The use of a buy button is one way that social media and e-commerce will meld together. It’s not something to overlook, especially if you are a smaller brand. There are several key reasons why it will be an important component of your next campaign:

  1. It’s convenient. Customers want to be able to easily make a purchase. This is a no-hassle solution. In short, customers can see something and buy it. No websites are necessary.
  2. It’s everywhere. Mobile devices are critical to today’s buyer. Buy buttons allow customers to act where they want and when they want. Imagine being in the car learning of a gift someone wants. Within minutes, you can buy it online and have it within two days.
  3. It’s easy. Pinterest, for example, has integrated Apple Pay and Stripe into the process. This means your business doesn’t need to worry about the transactional part of the process. Your customer’s information is safe, too.
  4. It’s new. Not many brands are taking advantage of it yet. That means it’s not hard for small companies to make an impression.
  5. The ROI is outstanding. It’s easy to set up through the dashboard of any of the social media tools.

Plus, there’s a growing assortment of data becoming available through these buttons, including information on click-through rates that can help to shape your investment decisions and marketing plans. This, along with social media listening tools and the social media analytics tools we offer can really help let your brand take off in this area.

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