Social networking sites were the stars of the 2011 IRCE event. Social shopping is growing and companies are taking an interest in these communication channels to bring them closer to the customer. Twitter and Facebook are the winning duo in social shopping: these two names spring to mind at the mere mention of e-commerce, social commerce is on the up…
But what exactly is social commerce? We’ve heard a lot about it without really knowing what it is. Social commerce, or social shopping, means turning your customers into ambassadors for your brand on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare etc.
There are many forms of social commerce from having “Like” or “Tweet” buttons on your product pages to more elaborate ideas such as discounts for visitors who share your products on their networks.
Social shopping also takes the form of bookmarking sites where users post their purchases online and ask what other visitors think of them. This type of website is very popular in the States and its most famous examples include Wanelo.com, Pinterest.com and Justbought.it.
Reference: Madame Choup (in French)
E-commerce businesses have to get in on social commerce
At IRCE 2011 there were several conferences about social commerce and major American companies gave the audiences some great advice.
During the Innovative Ways to Make Social Networking Work for You conference, Alaa Hassan, General Manager of iNetVideo (14 million dollar turnover in 2010) said: « Stop selling and start finding ways to make people want to buy from you. ».
He doesn’t mean that online shops should stop thinking about their sales; he means that they should start using Facebook, Twitter, blogs and other networks to make their customers loyal to their brand , instead of counting on flash sales as they only attract customers in the short term or perhaps even just for one visit. Often a company’s presence on social networking sites is a way of quickly assessing the customer’s reaction to the products (what they like, what they don’t like etc.).
The conference highlighted Vision Retailer Inc., a company that manages several shoe e-commerce websites, and gives customers the chance to “love” or “hate” products on Supershoes.com.
Vice President Frank Malsbenden said: “Once you’ve got your visitors’ attention, you’ve got demand.” The site also added a live feed to show which products visitors were viewing in real time. This idea sparks interest and makes products into must-haves.
Whilst many companies prepare to launch on Facebook and Twitter, Alaa Hassan reminded us of the importance of blogging as a great connection between the company and customer as well as an excellent way to improve the site’s ranking.
Online shoppers use social media as a major source of information (second only to search engines). Google and Bing rank their search results based on whether or not a link has been shared. They also consider the number of fans a brand has to calculate the website’s page ranking.
Count on social networking sites to improve brand visibility: « If you count the number of times you’ve gone online to look for a product, information or get news about your friends on Facebook, you’ll realise the potential market is huge » says Catherine Paschkewitz, Hewlett Packard Product Marketing Manager (over 1.5 billion dollars turnover last year).
30,000 fans on Facebook? Why not!
Several of PrestaShop’s 80,000 boutiques are already successfully involved in social shopping. Archiduchesse, a website selling socks, already has a 10,000 strong online community, Faguo Shoes have 26,000 fans, Timefy and its watch collection have 9,000 members, Eleven Paris, an up and coming prêt-à-porter brand has over 20,000 fashion victims etc.
Also, Michel et Augustin, a well-known food brand distributing in a dozen countries, had over 30,000 fans before even launching into the world of e-commerce: the perfect platform for any e-commerce company...
Social marketing is the future for online merchants no matter how big or small.
Connect your PrestaShop boutique on social networking sites and generate sales!
To help you get the most out of social commerce’s fantastic opportunities and build a real community around your brand, PrestaShop has several modules for you to use and connect your shop to Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to name but a few
Put your latest tweets on your website to promote your profile, broadcast your latest news and turn visitors into followers with our Flux Twitter module, designed by our team!
Give each new fan of your brand a discount coupon with Facebook Fan Coupon! Find out how this brand new module can increase the size of your online community.
There are also several other modules for Facebook to choose from: get fans together and encourage them to comment on your products or share them with their friends. Check out Fan Club Facebook, Facebook Comments, and Facebook PS Shoptab... to name but a few!
Add videos from Youtube to your product pages and present your items in images our team’s recently launched Youtube Instant Suggest module.
With over 50 other modules for social networking websites on PrestaShop Addons you’ll be spoilt for choice!
3 key points to boost your turnover with social networking websites!
1 - Give sneak previews of your products on networking sites to assess your community’s reaction to them before their release: get visitor stats, reactions from your members in real time etc.
2 - Having a strong community on social networking sites can improve your visibility in search engines. The more your products are shared, the higher their position in search results!
3 -Social networking sites and blogs are great for word of mouth marketing and brand awareness. Sharing your news and day to day life with your online community also turns customers into loyal clients.
With 72% of online merchants planning to further develop their social marketing strategy this year (source Forrester Research Inc.; Shop.org), we can expect a lot of experiments from the social shopping sector for the next few months... PrestaShop is ready !
Check out the following articles for more information:
Don’t sell on social networks, but make consumers want to buy - InternetRetailer.com
Connecting with consumers on social media can boost search rankings - InternetRetailer.com
10 Social Shopping Sites to Watch in 2011 - Apartmenttherapy.com
5 Hot Social Shopping Trends to Watch For - Mashable.com
Zapos, Zappoz, or Zappos: Why Typos Are Good For Your Brand - Blog.forbes.com