Tap Into the Power of Social Commerce, Part 3
This three-part series on how to prepare for success with shoppable ads explores the basics of user experience as well as the typical experience and functionality of several popular social media platforms to help educate e-commerce leaders on how to engage customers in the most effective ways. Part three covers the future of shoppable ads — more personalization and customization ahead. Here are parts one and two.
Shoppable ads are just one part of the social media retail zeitgeist. The future of social shopping could give buyers more power. Instead of passively feeding data into an algorithm that decides what comes up in a social media display, consumers are seeing more options to make this kind of shopping truly personal through apps from startups that focus on social capital, loyalty programs and networking.
Social commerce through MeSpoke allows users to “create their own personalized commercial marketplaces” in support of the brands and retailers that they admire, according to MeSpoke CEO Sid K. Hasan. It works somewhat like visual-based apps (e.g., Instagram and Pinterest), allowing followers to post images. The algorithm analyzes and categorizes metadata from the photos, sorted by product category (e.g., women's blouse), brand (e.g., Dolce & Gabbana), and retailer (e.g., Saks Fifth Avenue). The end result is a product image tagging system which prompts followers to “go shopping” through a link to the retailer’s site. One major way this stands out from the traditional shoppable ad UX is followers receive loyalty points which convert to discounts from favored brands.
Storr takes the social selling concept of word-of-mouth advertising and uses it to empower shoppers to create a people-first commerce network. CEO Eric Senn saw how most product recommendations came from friends, family, and other (nonbrand) influencers. Storr allows anyone with a phone to create a storefront. The app allows people to buy new, pre-approved, brand-name products from friends or people they follow. Brands handle the shipping and returns, and stores receive commissions on the sales. According to a January Forbes report on the future of social commerce, Storr has a waiting list of over 9,000 users.
Test With Your Target Audience
The best way for e-commerce leaders to optimize social shopping strategies is to work with their target audience. Tides change quickly as technology evolves. The future of social commerce is wide open. Understanding where to go next can be as easy as opening the app and taking a spin around a shoppable ad on your own. You can learn a lot just from firsthand experience. The most successful strategy is one that’s road-tested and based on end user feedback. Your audience is one of your greatest resources — start looking at it as a resource instead of just people to sell to.
Indy Guha is senior vice president of marketing and alliances at Signifyd, a fraud protection company.
Related story: Tap Into the Power of Social Commerce, Part 2