Laryssa Wirstiuk, Joy Joya
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If you run an ecommerce jewelry store, and you’re not already making the most of social commerce, then you could be missing out on sales by alienating customers who don’t want to disrupt their social networking to shop your site. In fact, a recent article from Total Retail listed the growth of social commerce as one of four predictions about how the future of retail marketing will change in 2020. In this post, we’ll discuss how you can make the most of social commerce, so you can gain a competitive advantage and cater to your customers’ shopping habits.
You’re likely already taking advantage of social media marketing, so graduating to social commerce will be a natural next step. With social commerce, a jewelry brand can create a personalized and targeted shopping experience within a social media platform like Instagram or Facebook, so the customer can have the best of all worlds – scrolling through her social media feed and buying things she loves. In addition, social commerce can refer to a brand that integrates a social experience into its own app or website.
So how do today’s consumers want to shop online? A report published on Smart Insights asserts, “Many users don’t want to leave a social environment for an external site to complete a search or purchase. There is now an expectation for a more seamless, frictionless buying experience.” To cater to consumer shopping habits, social media platforms have introduced new features to make the frictionless buying experience possible. These features include buy buttons within social posts, “shoppable” posts and stories, social media ads that invite the customer to “buy now”, and peer-to-peer buying and selling.
In case you feel overwhelmed, you should be comforted by the fact that you may already be leveraging social commerce for your jewelry brand without realizing it. For example, if you’re taking full advantage of Instagram Shopping, then you’re tagging your products in your photos, videos, and stories and then turning those posts into opportunities for Instagram users to shop.
Soon, you will be able to use Instagram to offer your customers an even more robust social commerce experience, since the social media platform will be unveiling new functionality called Instagram Checkout. Currently in closed beta in the US only, Checkout allows customers to purchase products within Instagram, without ever having to leave the app and going to the retailer’s website. You can learn more here.
Currently, no jewelry brands have been invited to use Instagram’s Checkout feature, but luxury fashion brand Balmain is one example of a brand that’s taking advantage of it (click here to see the complete list of brands using Checkout. Lately, Balmain is mostly using the Checkout feature to promote their handbags, which they have showcased on their Instagram feed in photos with influencers and in editorial product photos.
When the consumer sees Bailmain’s shoppable post, she can click “View Products” and then click the price tag that hovers over the product. From there, she’s taken to a screen where she has the option to see additional product photos, see an item description, view shipping and return policies, browse similar items, and ultimately add the handbag to her cart. After she adds the item to her cart, she can proceed to checkout and pay securely without ever leaving Instagram.
The benefits of social commerce are numerous, but here are three major ones that you can start seeing today:
Eliminate Steps in the Conversion Funnel: Did you know that customers are less likely to finalize a purchase with each step they must take in the conversion funnel? For example, if your customer must interrupt her social media browsing to visit your website, add a product to a cart, and ultimately enter payment information, the customer will be more prone to abandoning the cart. When you can combine the shopping experience with the social experience, then you streamline the purchase journey.
Respond Quickly to Customer Queries: Today’s social-media savvy customers expect to also be able to interact with your jewelry brand in the same way they’d interact with friends on social media – through DMs and comments. They can ask you questions directly, and you have the chance to build relationships with them. Social commerce gives you the opportunity to respond quickly and personally.
Get Your Products Shared: On a social media platform like Instagram, it’s easy for customers to share and recommend your products to their friends. In addition, customers can easily save your products to purchase later, if they’re not ready to click “buy” in that moment.
To get the most from social commerce, your must absolutely optimize your ecommerce site for mobile shopping, since most people engage in social media activity on their smartphones. In addition, you must be committed to investing money and time into your product and editorial imagery, which will represent your brand on social media. Finally, you’ll want to prioritize building trust with customers and focusing on creating lasting relationships with them through prompt and transparent communication. Your competitors are already taking advantage of social commerce, and you won’t want to get left in the dust.