Navigating the Social Commerce Landscape, Part 2
In part one of this series, I provided you with a “playbook” to not only better understand the e-commerce landscape, but to effectively navigate through the opportunities and challenges currently at hand. In part two, I examine what impact social media will have on retail going forward. In particular, I identify opportunities to bridge online and offline customer experiences in order to seamlessly integrate multiple touchpoints and selling channels.
Moving Beyond Social Listening
Listening to online conversations on their own sites has changed the way retailers do business. Marketers need to up the ante and start engaging customers via social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
More than simply joining the conversation on social networks, retailers must accelerate trust through a collective voice, leveraging all user-generated content (UGC) from credible community sources, as well as those engaged voices on social networks. This includes the following:
- staff experts;
- customer community experts;
- "people like me" (rely on social commerce solutions that encourage UGC to structure relevant data for better customer experiences); and
- brand experts.
Make it a priority to find out where your customers socialize, then take steps to get involved. Consider Nielsen’s finding that 90 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations. Add that to Hitwise Intelligence's data that revealed Facebook tops Google for weekly U.S. traffic. According to Retrevo's October 2009 Gadgetology Report, 46 percent of under 35-year-olds are using mobile phones to access Facebook.
PowerReviews’ 2010 Social Shopping Study points to Facebook as the social network that's most likely to influence purchase decisions. If it’s not already, Facebook should be a key component of your social strategy as open commerce becomes the standard. The first step is integrating the “Like” button on your website.
Striving for a customer experience that's seamless through multiple touchpoints should be a primary goal for retailers as the increased combinations of interactions with your brand and products continue to evolve.