For years, social advertising has resulted in decidedly lackluster boosts in eCommerce sales. Around Black Friday in 2013, IBM tracked traffic and sales at about 800 online stores, finding something pretty depressing: Less than 1% of sales (on this, the ultimate shopping holiday) came from social media networks.
Of course, the numbers are a little skewed, because they only track direct referrals (users coming straight from Facebook to the eCommerce site).
But the sad truth remains: Social advertising is just not as effective as was promised. Why is this?
Social advertising has been frustrating for eCommerce businesses – we know there's a wealth of shoppers online, so why can't we get them to shuffle over to our site and convert?
A New Approach
Consumers want simplicity, and they love visuals. With new connective tools, you’re able to give them both.
Connective tools are intended to create a seamless shopping experience for Internet consumers. It also gives a huge boost to user engagement and builds a stronger, deeper connection with the social media platforms consumers are already using.
Fancy is a relatively new app that's designed for Google Glass. It bridges the gap between eCommerce and its consumers through the emerging wearable technology trend.
It links with your social media networks, allowing you to buy, gift, or collect & share your favorite items. The picture-driven sites, like Pinterest and Instagram, are natural platforms for this type of buyer-friendly app.
Like2Buy is a new tool developed and launched by Curalate, and it makes Instagram shoppable. Curalate already has over 450 retailers signed on, including Charlotte Russe, Nordstrom and Target – they're all linked to Instagram to create shoppable, browsable social catalogs for shoppers.
Now, when users are flipping through photos from friends and celebrities, they have the ability to purchase items in the pictures with just a click – no need to switch apps or go on a long hunt to find what they're looking for.
Surprisingly, Instagram is the most engaging social network – it boasts 58 times the engagement of Facebook and 120 times the engagement of Twitter. It's a great place for users to connect, share their styles and hear from their favorite retailers.
With plenty of time to work out kinks, get shoppers on board and optimize the experience before Black Friday 2014, connection apps like Like2Buy and Fancy may finally open the door to the wealth of eCommerce sales that haven't been tapped yet.
Start Today Tip: Do you know where your ideal customers are shopping online? When you're developing buyer personas, don't leave out this crucial aspect. Of course, demographics and psychographics are important features, but you need to dig into buyer behavior, too.
Put time into this research before you develop a marketing plan or determine how to improve the performance of your store across every medium.