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Three Ways to Increase Commerce on your Site Using Social Media

Although Facebook has become the hub of commerce for many retailers, it is not a viable direct selling channel. For example, many Facebook storefronts use iFrames or Flash to show product content, which is then completely ignored by search engines. Until it evolves to support the sophisticated analytics, SEO and merchandising tactics that retailers already use on their commerce sites, it is perhaps best leveraged as a complementary sales channel. It is also a branding and engagement tool, and a traffic-driver to your e-commerce site, but it would be more advantageous to think about these ways of incorporating social media onto your own site instead.

Three Ways to Increase Commerce on your Site Using Social Media:

1. Ratings and Reviews:
Many companies still outsource user-generated content on to their Facebook page. Yet studies show that 65% of consumers prefer researching products on a retailer’s website, and a majority use search as the route to finding product pages. Despite Facebook’s sheer volume of users and abundance of user-generated content, on-site customer reviews are critical to a successful social commerce strategy. Retailers have seen significant SEO benefits by housing reviews on-site. Most companies believe that traffic directly to product pages produces the highest conversion rates, and blending product descriptions with customer reviews creates optimized content that search engines rate very highly.

2. Social Login:
Most websites present visitors with some kind of form to learn more about their shoppers in an attempt to build relationships, target or personalize content and increase retention with special offers and promotions. But most people hate filling forms! Often they will falsify information because it just seems too intrusive to lay out all their details to a faceless website. This is where Social Login becomes important. It is preferred by customers, and simplifies registration as well as providing a wealth of demographic data to the retailer. It has been shown that consumers who prefer to use their social identities to interact with sites are more valuable shoppers. They buy more often online and are more likely to rely on their social networks to influence purchase decisions., These consumers are nearly twice as likely to purchase on a site that automatically recognizes them.

3. Via Your Mobile:
The mobile phone is rapidly becoming the focus for social activity online, and now increasingly for transactions too. Shrewd retailers can harness this channel to uncover new revenue streams. A mobile “check-in” posted to a social network feed expands retail brand awareness among a consumer’s friends. This creates a form of social validation – “If my tech-savvy friend checks in to rave about a great deal on a laptop at the electronics store downtown, I may be inclined to go shopping”. Retailers also facilitate loyalty and repeat business by offering badges, virtual currency or special offers to shoppers who frequently check-in, turning their websites into powerful channels for customer engagement.

Fortunately then, with the right mix of tools, the benefits of social shopping can be extended to your e-commerce site. Social commerce is still an emerging area of focus for retailers, but don’t assume that it only needs to take place on a social network. Leverage these strategies to optimize your website and achieve maximum return on your social investment.


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