How Social Media is Changing eCommerce
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E-commerce has a place in most of our day-to-day lives. Whether purchasing a new shirt or groceries, booking travel accommodations, or buying an online course, we’ve become accustomed to executing transactions online.
Our fascination with eCommerce will only continue in the future. So, companies worldwide are prioritizing how to better their eCommerce operations. One way they’re facilitating improvement is through social media. As a result, social media is changing eCommerce in various positive ways for marketing, sales, and customer service.
Let’s look at a handful of social media’s roles in digital commerce and how those roles could evolve in the future.
Optimizing Customer Service
Traditionally, customer service issues are handled via telephone or on a designated page on a company’s website. But social media is now an integral part of most business customer service strategies.
Instead of having to dial a phone number or submit a form for customer complaints, we’re able to contact a company directly on its social media pages, whether that’s sending a direct message or leaving a comment under one of their posts.
Even if you have to take a customer service issue to another platform, social media can initiate the process.
For instance, a customer can directly message a company about a problem with a product they recently purchased. During the conversation, the customer service rep may decide that a refund or exchange is necessary. Therefore, they need to direct the customer to a more secure messaging platform to collect private information and process the refund or exchange.
So, they send them a direct link to their customer service live chat. When the customer clicks on it, they’re automatically connected to the company’s customer service team and can continue the process there.
Ecommerce customer service strategies deployed on social media also include the use of chatbots. When a customer DMs a company about an issue, a chatbot may greet them and start the communication process. The chatbot will ask them more about their problem and gather necessary information before a real person takes over the conversation.
In the future, we can likely look forward to conducting an entire customer service process without ever leaving particular social media platforms, whether that be to process a refund, do an exchange, learn more about a product, or launch a customer complaint.
Furthermore, we see a replica of this process through social shopping.
Social media’s growing role in digital commerce includes social shopping.
Social shopping explains that “customers can now click on a Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest post and instantly see how much the product or service costs, and can additionally make transactions without ever leaving the site.”
In other words, customers can learn about a product and purchase it within specific social media platforms. You can create an entire shop with your products or showcase specific ones in a collective marketplace.
E-commerce will likely introduce social shopping options on most, if not all, social media platforms in the future. The goal is to shorten the sales cycle and give customers a convenient purchasing avenue.
Social media is also helping eCommerce companies learn more about their customers.
Learning More About Your Customers
There’s only so much customer data you can collect via your website or email platform. Adding social media to your data analytics strategy significantly expands your customer data collection efforts.
This is because the majority of your customers spend time on social media daily. As a result, they do more things on these platforms, and companies can take advantage by tracking how their customers behave on social media.
Data analytics isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Instead, more and more tools will emerge that will hopefully help eCommerce operations collect, process, and analyze customer data more efficiently.
Social media is changing eCommerce with the help of social listening tools as well.
People always talk about their experiences with eCommerce businesses, how they like a specific brand, and whether products/services are up to par on social media. As a result, social listening tools were created. Social listening tools allow businesses to track conversations about and related to their brands on most social media platforms.
Because there’s so much chatter on social media, it can be challenging to manually keep up with everything related to your brand. However, social listening tools save eCommerce businesses a lot of time, money, and effort in optimizing their customer service, sales, and marketing strategies.
Social listening efficiency will continue to evolve. For example, the faster a company can reply to a conversation about their brand, the better. So, companies producing these tools will work to provide speed and accuracy in the future.
Also, social listening tools and other techniques birthed by social media are opening up opportunities in marketing.
Implementing Social Media in Marketing
Marketers for eCommerce businesses are absolutely enjoying all that social media brings to marketing, including:
- The introduction of social selling
- Being able to interact with an audience personally
- Leveraging influencer marketing
- Obtaining user-generated content that can be repurposed
- Using social media advertising to promote products
- Taking advantage of cross-promotion opportunities
- Unique opportunities to build brand awareness and brand recognition
Social media marketing will evolve in the future to include more platforms dedicated to launching the most effective social media marketing campaigns for eCommerce companies.
Ultimately, social media is changing how eCommerce companies deepen their customer relationships, promote their products, and give life to their brand.
Social media’s been incredibly powerful in eCommerce. From customer service to sales to marketing, social media plays an integral role in how powerful these strategies are for any eCommerce business. Continue tracking the trends above to ensure you’re taking advantage of how social media is changing eCommerce for the better.