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As the ecommerce race heats up, ecommerce business website owners and digital strategists are coming up with newer, smarter and simpler ways of attracting and retaining their prized possessions i.e their customers. While the tried and tested strategies of reaching out through organic / inorganic campaigns on social media platforms and searches seem to work out well enough, there is a growing need to speak the language of the customer, when he speaks it and on the social platform that he speaks on. The logic being, he’ll like the brand more, so he’ll buy more too.
Enter Social Ecommerce.
Why social ecommerce has become so important?
Traditionally social media was always used as a means of boosting customer engagement, branding and prodding the customers to buy more of the brands products. However, it now appears that the dynamics have altered a bit and the focus has shifted to make the entire shopping experience more ‘incentive based’, with a much more personalised approach tailored specifically for him/her. Social media platforms are the ready medium for this, with astounding results for all to see.
Social buying and recommendations
When you ponder over it for a moment, you will realise that you have consciously/ unconsciously seen, recommended and been influenced by what your social circles have suggested. A very potent medium, data suggests that over 74% of consumers use social media as a means to update their social circles about their newest purchase. Not only that, over 90% of customers tend to depend on referrals/ suggestions given by their social friends rather than purchasing via advertisements (a mere 33% customers use/ buy through ads). The medium of social media has been highly powerful with an effective 200% increase in referrals, when you compare this years quarters data versus last years.
As is common knowledge, inorganic social media campaigns function on the basis of specific details of target customers such as demographic and psychographic parameters, user’s social browsing history- how much they browse and for how long they do so, favorites and so on.
The pivotal question for ecommerce websites remained as to how best to leverage this information to get customers to buy more. Social ecommerce has given some ready answers to this.
The incentive to buy
The basic premise of social ecommerce relies on the well-established fact that customers more often than not count on their friends and social acquaintances for recommendations, referrals and buying advice with the most preferred medium on social media platforms being Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Linkedin and Google+.
With the further introduction of the ’buy’ button on these social platforms, there was an added incentive for customers to buy then and there; without even leaving the page. What’s more, it’s been a win win for social platforms, as it meant added consumer engagement, and for the customer, as it meant a save on the credit card merchant transaction fee.
Raking in top dollar
It is widely being regarded that among the leading 500 etailers, an average of $3.3 billion was raked in via the medium of social shopping, according to the Internet Retailer’s Social Media 500.
Facebook leads the pack with a contribution of over 50% of social referrals and 64% of total social revenue and Pinterest and Twitter being the other active sites contributing to social revenues.
Leveraging the mobile and maximising social on this platform is one avenue that is keenly being watched and anticipated by digital marketers and ecommerce sites alike.
Customer reviews and testimonials can be a valuable source of information for improving your business. Here are some ways you can use them:
- Identify areas where you can improve your products or services.
- Get feedback on your customer service.
- Learn what your customers are looking for.
- Use positive reviews to attract new customers.
- Use negative reviews to improve your customer experience.
- Keep track of your progress over time.
When a customer leaves a negative review, it's important to respond in a professional and courteous manner. Here are some tips for responding to negative reviews:
- Start by thanking the customer for their feedback.
- Apologize for any inconvenience or dissatisfaction they may have experienced.
- Explain the steps you're taking to address the issue.
- Offer to help the customer resolve the issue.
- Be honest and transparent about the situation.
- Don't get defensive or argumentative.
- Focus on resolving the issue and providing excellent customer service.
There are a number of things you can do to encourage customer reviews and testimonials on your e-commerce website, including:
- Make it easy for customers to leave reviews. The easier it is for customers to leave a review, the more likely they are to do so. Make sure that your website has a clear and concise review process.
- Ask for reviews. Don't be afraid to ask your customers to leave reviews. You can do this in an email, on your website, or on social media.
- Offer incentives for reviews. You can offer incentives for customers to leave reviews, such as discounts, free products, or gift cards.
- Respond to reviews. When customers take the time to leave a review, it's important to respond. This shows that you value their feedback and that you're committed to providing a great customer experience.
- Promote reviews. Share positive reviews on your website, social media, and email marketing campaigns. This will help to attract new customers and build trust with existing customers.
Customer reviews and testimonials can help, e-commerce businesses in a number of ways, including:
- Increasing sales. Studies have shown that positive reviews can lead to increased sales. For example, one study found that a 1-star increase in product rating can lead to a 5% increase in sales.
- Building trust. Reviews can help to build trust with potential customers. When potential customers see that other customers have had a positive experience with a product or service, they're more likely to trust the business and make a purchase.
- Improving customer satisfaction. Reviews can help businesses identify areas where they can improve their products or services. By taking customer feedback into account, businesses can improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction.
- Providing social proof. Reviews can provide social proof that your products or services are worth buying. When potential customers see that other people have had positive experiences with your business, they're more likely to trust you and make a purchase.
Customer reviews and testimonials are feedback from customers about their experience with a product or service. They can be written on a company's website, social media pages, or third-party review sites.
- Personalization: E-commerce businesses will use AI and machine learning to personalize the shopping experience for each individual customer. This will include things like recommending products that the customer is likely to be interested in, providing targeted discounts, and sending personalized marketing messages.
- Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR): AR and VR will be used to create more immersive and engaging shopping experiences. For example, customers will be able to try on clothes virtually or see how furniture would look in their home before they make a purchase.
- Voice search: Voice search will become more popular, as customers become more comfortable using their voice to interact with their devices. E-commerce businesses will need to optimize their websites for voice search in order to make it easy for customers to find the products they're looking for.
- Real-time analytics: E-commerce businesses will use real-time analytics to track customer behavior and make changes to their website or marketing campaigns in real-time. This will help them to improve the customer experience and increase sales.
There are a number of common mistakes that businesses make with e-commerce analytics, including:
- Not tracking the right metrics: Businesses often track metrics that are not relevant to their goals. It's important to choose metrics that will give you the most valuable insights into your customers and your business.
- Not analyzing the data: Even if you're tracking the right metrics, it's important to analyze the data and identify trends and patterns. This information can help you make informed decisions about your business.
- Not making changes based on the data: Once you've identified areas where you can improve, you need to make changes to your website, marketing campaigns, and products based on the data. Otherwise, you're just wasting your time and money.
- Not using an e-commerce analytics platform: E-commerce analytics platforms can make it easier to track, analyze, and act on data. If you're not using an e-commerce analytics platform, you're making things more difficult for yourself.
If you're just getting started with e-commerce analytics, here are a few steps you can take:
- Choose an e-commerce analytics platform that is right for your business.
- Set up your tracking code on your website.
- Start tracking metrics that are important to your business.
- Analyze the data and identify areas where you can improve.
- Make changes to your website, marketing campaigns, and products based on the data.
There are many benefits to using an e-commerce analytics platform, including:
- Ease of use: E-commerce analytics platforms are designed to be easy to use, even for businesses that do not have a lot of experience with data analysis.
- Powerful features: E-commerce analytics platforms offer a wide range of features that can help businesses track their performance and make informed decisions.
- Scalability: E-commerce analytics platforms can be scaled to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes.
- Cost-effectiveness: E-commerce analytics platforms are typically more cost-effective than hiring a data analyst to collect and analyze data manually.
E-commerce analytics is a subset of web analytics that focuses specifically on data related to online stores. Web analytics, on the other hand, is a broader term that encompasses all data collected from websites, regardless of whether they are e-commerce websites or not. Some of the key differences between e-commerce analytics and web analytics include:
- E-commerce analytics focuses on metrics that are specific to e-commerce, such as sales, conversion rates, and average order value.
- Web analytics focuses on a wider range of metrics, including traffic sources, bounce rates, and page views.
- E-commerce analytics data is typically more complex and difficult to interpret than web analytics data.
- E-commerce analytics is more important for businesses that sell products online than for businesses that do not.
There are 4 main types of E-Commerce –
- B2B (Business to Business) – Here, a business sells its products or services to another business. In a majority of cases, the business that is at the buying end further sells the products or services to the consumers.
- B2C (Business to consumer) – This is the most common of all the types wherein a business sells its products or services directly to the consumer.
- C2B (Consumer to Business) – This is where consumers sell products or services to the companies.
- C2C (Consumer to Consumer) – This is where consumers exchange goods and services among themselves and make money by charging transaction or listing fees.
By the end of 2021 there will be over 600 million internet users in India. On account of the users, the E-Commerce sector is expected to hit a whopping 200 billion USD by 2026. There are several E-Commerce trends that are making their way online, including smart devices that use voice activated commands to do your shopping on. There has been increased personalization in ads and promotions that has significantly boosted conversions. Much of online marketing will soon be automated, freeing precious human resource from mundane marketing tasks. There is widespread use of AI and VR to enhance customer experience. In 10 years, India’s E-Commerce industry is expected to become the second largest E-Commerce market in the world.
It has come to a point that a business is only considered successful if they have a strong online presence. This is evidently done by creating a dedicated website to the brand. The benefits of owning a website for your business are,
- A credible repository of information on your business
- 24 x 7 customer access to your business
- Boosts interaction with the brand
- It helps expand your market reach
- It improve brand awareness to a global scale
- Provides you with valuable consumer insights
- Helps you beat other competitors with online presence
- Access to all digital modes of advertising
- Makes information exchange easier
When searching for a web developer, it is important for you as a client to know the difference between website design and website development. The difference is quite distinct but a web developer is capable of doing both if they are skilled enough. Web design is the initial ideation and planning of a website’s layout, appearance and content. Web development is the actual process of developing code for creating the site and its subsequent maintenance. Web design is about creativity, while web development is completely technical. You need to engage the services of web developers who can help you with both, as they know how to recreate your brand personality on the website.