Why Social Commerce Is A Retail Trend You Can’t Afford To Miss

Social commerce is perfectly straightforward. It refers to commercial transactions that take place through social media platforms instead of standard ecommerce websites. And while they’re not exactly common at this point (at least, not relative to typical sales), they’re certainly becoming a lot more popular. But does that mean that you, as a merchant, need to care about it?

Technically not: but regardless of whether you care about it, you need to consider it. If it isn’t something worth implementing now, it may well be worth implementing in the near future. So instead of furrowing your brow and scoffing due to a distaste for social media (or simply disregarding the idea if you’re indifferent), you need to pay close attention to the prospect.

To help convince you, we’re going to cover the key points of why social commerce isn’t a retail trend you can afford to miss. Let’s get to them, shall we?

Additional exposure is a clear benefit

When you sell exclusively through your website, you need to bring someone there to sell to them. When you also sell through your social media profiles, you have two avenues that can lead to conversion. They can buy through your Facebook page, or they can buy through your website. This is a flat and inarguable improvement.

If someone is never going to visit your site, you get a rare chance to sell regardless — and if they intend to reach your site but buy through your social channel before that, what have you lost? The analytics information they’d have generated through your visit? Your primary goal should be to generate sales, so it’s hardly a big loss.

What’s more, selling through social media doesn’t exactly require a lot of effort. All it takes is for you to find some relevant social-selling plugins (or intermediary services like Ecwid), get them configured, and add the resulting links to your social posts and/or predefined chat responses. You may already be running a PPC campaign, in which case you can just replace the relevant links for ads served on mobile platforms. It isn’t foolproof, but it’s unlikely to fail.

It needn’t complicate your processes

One reason some merchants shy away from significantly altering their tactics is that they fear the resulting admin work. It’s understandable, admittedly. Working as an ecommerce seller can be stressful if it’s your main source of revenue, and every fresh piece of work drains time from your day. But selling socially needn’t add any complexity to your working process.

With the right plugin configured, a social sale will come through to your system and be processed just like any other sale. Support will be just as simple: provided you make the effort to bring all messages together in one shared inbox, your social media queries will end up in the same list as those submitted through your website or your email address.

The more work you put into refining your process of processing and supporting your orders, the easier you’ll find it to cast your net far and wide, trusting that a given sale (regardless of the source) won’t place any undue pressure on your business.

Buyer actions trend towards convenience

What do online shoppers want more than anything else? Yes, they want low prices, and high quality, and funny product descriptions with accurate photos — but they largely want convenience. In many cases, they’ll sacrifice all of the above to achieve it. Consider the Amazon marketplace. Third-party sellers often can’t hit price points that are any better than those of their competitors. They sell products that are merely mediocre, and will pad out their product descriptions with half-translated nonsense that answers none of the core questions.

Yet people buy from those sellers regularly and without complaint. Why? Because it’s convenient. They know and trust Amazon. They don’t need to think about whether the site is legitimate or whether they can get a refund if needed. They know that they might be able to get better prices or products elsewhere, but they simply don’t care.

Consequently, answer this simple question: is it easier for one of your social media followers to buy within a Facebook Messenger chat or head to your website and buy there? It’s the former. Not necessarily by a wide margin, but by enough of a margin. So unless you want your customers to get so used to the convenience elsewhere that they stop coming back to your product range, you need to start moving with the times.

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