3 Ways You Can Make Social Commerce Work for Your Business

Your Facebook page just hit 50,000 likes and your average likes per Instagram post is trending steadily in the thousands.

As an eCommerce company, this is probably a social media milestone worth celebrating.

Greater reach means more opportunities to drive consumers to transact through social commerce. Online stores with a social presence drive 32% more sales than those that don’t. And with Instagram’s average order value at $65 and Pinterest’s average order value at $58.95, social commerce can drive some serious ROI.

But how do you keep the shopping experience consistent across channels and keep shoppers engaged, all at a cost-effective rate in a space that’s becoming increasingly expensive?

Here are three tips to keep in mind when building out your social commerce strategy:

1. Buy Buttons Drive Mobile Conversions

While a lot of consumers are researching products on their phones, there’s a large drop when it comes to actual conversions. From entering your credit card to inputting shipping information, there are a lot of steps to take on a very small screen.

In the U.S., mobile devices are used 60% of the time consumers shop online, but mobile only represents 16% of eCommerce dollars.

Social buy buttons might be key in helping close this conversion gap. “Social media buy buttons are perfect for impulse buys,” says Ashley McGregor Dey, an eCommerce consultant who has worked with a number of brands such as ModCloth and Quiksilver/Roxy.

The buy button’s ease of use, paired with a compelling call-to-action, like a flash sale, can drive urgency and motivate the mobile consumer to purchase directly from their phone instead of waiting to get back to their computers to engage.

Beyond the buy button, social media channels are experimenting with new paid formats.

Three months ago, Facebook rolled out Facebook Messenger Bots and there are now over 11,000 bots on the platform. Users are interacting with these bots to bank and withdraw cash, manage boarding passes for flights, get shopping advice, and even order hamburgers from Burger King.

2. Personalize The Customer Experience

Almost half of all consumers (48%) consumers want personalized offers, and they don’t want to repeat themselves. Consumers are also open to sharing their data if it means lowering wait times – 81% are willing to grant access to data to help cut waiting times.

Personalizing the customer journey requires tying together three things:

  1. Data: Customer insights
  2. Content: Targeted copy and creative
  3. Technology: Marketing automation tools & social networks

At Bitly, we’ve seen major department stores use our service to gather insights on the regions where customers are most engaged, which products are trending, and what time of day customers are most engaged with digital campaigns.

One particular department store uses Bitly’s mobile deep linking and an SMS service to bridge the in-store and online experience for their customers.

When a customer reaches a brick-and-mortar location, the store will detect their location and send a text message with a custom Bitlink driving back to personalized content based on their purchase history, app search history, and saved items.

3. Test, Test And Test Some More

Live-stream apps like Facebook Live and Twitter’s go-live Periscope button show that consumers are gravitating towards that real-time connection. Influencer marketing on Instagram shows that user-generated content (UGC) and peer reviews resonate strongly with shoppers.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed by all of the new social formats. Do more with less by testing to find the channel and content that resonates most with your audience.

Tech company Social Quant, for example, uses Bitly to A/B test their social campaigns. The team regularly tests copy and visuals across different tweets to see which combination resonates most.

The Social Quant’s data-driven content reduces the number of steps it takes for followers to engage. These insights have helped the team drive over 25,000 visitors a month just from Twitter alone.

“Shoppers want an experience. For a while now, it’s been about inspiration. Now it’s about making it actionable,” says Ashley McGregor Dey.

Optimizing variables such as location, time, channel, and device, can turn a compelling image into an immediate purchase.

Social commerce, when done well, can eliminate friction in the customer journey and land customers exactly where they want to be and where you want them to be.

This article was originally published at Business2community.com, by author Denise Chan.

Original article >>