Evolving Trends in Social Media Shopping

Social Commerce: Transforming Followers into Buyers

E-commerce, a platform where transactions are made electronically via internet, has become easier with the various social networking websites. Some of the most happening among them are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

It not only benefits people with its distinct features by providing them with multiple choices but also helps marketers in promoting their brands and acquiring potential customers.

Clearly, the overall growth of e-commerce is highly dependent on the rapid developments that are currently taking place in the sector. The aim of the companies, at present, is not restricted to just buying and selling of goods and services instead, it is more than that. It is about setting up the unconventional markets where customer services are available 24×7. Also, they aim to bring the markets at arm’s length and provide different ways for the audience to experience the unexplored realms of buying and selling, while sitting comfortably on their couch, through internet.

“Social commerce started out pretty simply. Retailers would engage followers to develop a brand and hope that the followers would eventually convert into paying customers. It continued to evolve to having strong influencers develop huge followings and people came to value their opinions about what to buy,” Zabrina Hossain, product manager at Shopify, said.

“Up until recently, whether you were a retailer or an influencer, there was no easy way to really capture and immediately seal the deal, but we have been seeing that gap get smaller and smaller.”

To stay ahead in the competition businesses need to look for different ways to derive success as it is significant for them to be inline with the changing trends taking place in the e-commerce. Lets take a look at what’s widely trending in social media shopping below.

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Mobile Engagement

The increasing usage of gadgets like smartphones and tablets play a key role in getting businesses connected with the customers who prefer to buy goods over the internet via web browsing. A wide range of people are turning towards online shopping that is providing them with a platform where they can experience shopping at home. Additionally, customers can also take views of their family and friends regarding a product before purchasing. They can also find gift vouchers, discount coupons and compare prices that helps them save some cash.

Business-to-Consumer Interaction

With the help of social media, businesses are making themselves available round the clock to render the required services to their customers where they can have free conversations. Customers, in the present era, are more comfortable in making interaction with the sellers through tweeting rather than ringing them, even if they are using their cell phone to do this.

Visual Browsing

Visual browsing is one of the most trending things that rolls the eyes of individuals behind the screen. Websites like Pinterest and other image driven sites bring the products so close to the consumers that they can actually feel it while sitting at a corner of their room. These sites also aid customers to maintain their own collections, promote the brands that they like the most and to browse and know the things that are in demand.

Niche Channels

Niche websites, that specifically focuses on people holding common interests and provides a solutions by understanding their problems, are turning into huge online shopping centres. For example CafeMom, a well acclaimed social networking site, especially designed for moms and would be moms, has launched The Prowl – an online shopping centre where people can surf the most exciting collections in store. This kind of niche market experience encourages people to leave their thoughts or views directly in the comment box via social sharing. With this increasing trend businesses get a chance to sell their products adequately to the desirable customers by providing them with opportunities to shop what is within their reach.

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Peer Influence

Businesses that are active through their updates are largely preferred by people all over the world. These businesses, with their maximum likes, encourage its followers to promote their products, through sharing the current updates about their products with their friends. In short, the massive approval of the brand right from liking, sharing, reposting and retweeting from friends and other people influence the buyers to a great extent. Besides this, some customers are more comfortable in receiving latest updates about the products through an online post, in contrast to direct advertisement.

In the near future there will be a boom in social e-commerce due to the excessive usage of in-app purchasing. People can soon buy things via Facebook messenger as publicly announced by FB last year. As per Statista, the average per order value of Facebook ($55) is comparatively lesser than the average per order value of Instagram ($65) and Pinterest ($58.95). The reason behind this is that both Pinterest as well as Instagram are visual based social networks.

The social shopping experience is budding with the tremendous increase in social media users and their convenient ways to initiate purchases from brand pages.

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