Social Commerce Has Arrived!

Starr Hall social commerce

Starr Hall social commerce

Actually it has been around for quite sometime, however socializing commerce is the next big thing…at least I think so, as does Mark. :)

Here is my latest post about social commerce, looking forward to hearing your feedback, insights, opinions:

4 Things Your Brand Should Know About Social Commerce

Social commerce is no longer a distant cloud hovering on the horizon. It is floating directly above your brand, and it’s raining opportunity. The first-mover pioneers have already blazed the trails, intelligently and quickly putting social technology in the context of commerce.

According to SocialShop – a national quantitative and qualitative research study conducted by Leo Burnett and Arc Worldwide, forty-two percent of Americans are currently using social media to shop, and that figure will only continue to rise as over 73 percent of people confirmed that they use social more to shop today versus a year ago. Social commerce helps retailers drive product awareness, stimulate competition in the marketplace, and humanize commerce by shifting the emphasis back to personal exchanges.  In the US, social commerce is currently a one billion dollar market, but is expected to grow to $15 billion by 2015. It is one of the top disruptive trends of this decade, and has enormous potential to create compelling customer experiences that increase brand loyalty and advocacy.

Here is what your brand needs to know (and do):

1. Be Innovative- Tie your commerce across social channels and step out to stand out.  That’s what South African brand BOS Ice Tea did recently when it rolled out a Twitter activated-vending machine, exchanging free samples with those who send and share a tweet @bos BOSTWEET4T. The brand is not alone, however, as many companies are rolling out “pay-with-a-share” campaigns. An innovative approach to social commerce is attention-grabbing and highly shareable.  Don’t be afraid to tell consumers, “your total comes to one tweet, please.”

2. Infuse Reviews & Comparisons (Minimize Showrooming with consumers)-  Showrooming, verb – The act of researching products in brick and mortar stores, leaving, researching more online, and making the purchase from home.  Consumers rely on showrooming, but with social commerce, they don’t have to. They trust their social networks, and look to them for reviews, recommendations, price comparisons, testimonials, and overall sentiment towards a product. Imagine a world where consumers can tap into this social intelligence at the point of sales. Imagine infusing the social experience with the in-store shopping experience. Of course, brands can then exercise their innovation and offer a medley of group-buy, shop and share, deals and promotions right there at the point of purchase. Remove the space that is causing consumers to not act and buy. Social commerce — removing space, scale, and time barriers one showroom at a time.

3. Integrate Mobile- Check to make sure mobile is integrated at every touch point, because no matter what the question is, the answer can always be: Yep, there’s an app for that. Price comparison, e-commerce, personalization, loyalty programs, touch-enabled catalogues — there is quite literally no end in sight. But apps do not even scratch the surface when it comes to the powerful potential of mobile technology for social commerce. With a team of tech-wizards, brands can enhance customer social shopping experiences with location-aware and context-aware mobile technology, spurring traffic to their doors with customized geo-targeted deals and rewards.

4. Invest in Social Utility- Social psychologist and market researcher, Dr. Paul Marsden offered a short presentation in April highlighting that social commerce works when consumers see a rise in their social utility.

This utility comes in three forms:

Social intelligence – learning from social networks, profiting from gleaned insights

Social status – managing their self-expression and desire to stand out

Social bonding – finding a personal niche, fitting in

In closing, devise a strategy that incorporates these touch points, and deliver it to market,  keeping in mind that customers bring more customers, so sell socially.

Social me,

Starr Hall

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