How Social Commerce Can Boost Online Sales

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 30, 2013

online shopping

Most people who are active online shoppers are generally also active on the social media circuit. Online retailers and e-commerce companies are trying to take advantage of this fact to boost their online sales.

According to a recent Business Insider report, social commerce is much more than just online purchase transactions. If used effectively, social networking can play a significant role in motivating and encouraging online buyers, which in turn can fuel the growth of e-commerce. The BI Intelligence report says that the new social commerce model will be about ‘inspiration and discovery’.

In order to leverage this opportunity, many of the proactive players have started building social networks around e-commerce platforms, partnering with brands, or otherwise transforming social commerce’s strengths into a clear value proposition.

The BI report identifies some ways in which social companies can effectively drive sales:

- Go beyond just click-to-buy and focus on creating a ‘holistic’ shopping experience like a digital catalogue or virtual shopping mall.

- Social commerce can help shoppers to connect through different channels, say social media and TV, to help coax a consumer. The shopper may not buy the first time, but social commerce will become a valuable link in the chain.

- Other methods like retargeted advertising can enable social commerce to connect the sales funnel from end-to-end by serving ads that remind users of products they have browsed across the Web but have not yet purchased. So far, only Facebook has developed this capability.

- Clever merchandising and user interfaces allow for sticky merchant-to-consumer relationships that can help nudge a consumer toward purchase over time.

- Another solution is for social commerce to develop as a sales referral engine, and take a cut of the sales. If social commerce sites have a large enough audience, even a low referral and conversion rate will result in a good revenue stream, says BI.