In summary, social shopping is the process in which through the advent of digital technologies and the web. Consumers are becoming hyper connected and relying more on peers to suggest purchases and identify deals rather than traditional information channels. They are looking to their networks and digital footprints to become hyper informed when making purchasing decisions.More importantly having those decisions influenced by their friends, families and broader digital landscape experiences of brands and products.
So what does that mean for brands. Well, since the birth of Social Media, marketers have asked themselves what is in it for me, what does it mean to my brand and how can I leverage these highly engaged audiences to the most value. In turn generating the best commercial dividend for my brands.
Let’s face it we are here to get consumers to buy product not be our friends. Although social and more broadly digital media has put an elephant in the room (social media) and everyone wants to talk about it but very few understand and or know how to use it.
It is simple the whole landscape is shifting toward the consumer. You want the consumers attention then that poses the question what value are you giving them in their digital and social connections with your business. It is not enough just to yell anymore. You have to have something compelling to say, announce it over the right platform, reward the consumer for interacting and give them value for their time. This is an incredibly challenging time for us as an industry and as communicators. Consumers expect you to be relevant, entertaining and useful.
In saying all of this if you are doing social well, there are phenomenal opportunities now presenting themselves in which you can harness your branded communities as advocates, amplifiers and influence potential purchasers. Social Media and a collaborative culture has become the most influential factor when people are making purchases both online and offline. So it is important to recognise how to create these conversations, how to encourage interaction and more importantly how you leverage them to increase sales.
There are three key components to succeeding in creating socially centric shopping experiences for consumers that in turn they will spread
a) Socialise your digital platforms. Make sure that every connection whether that be in owned or third party media channels/platforms can be amplified through consumers digital networks and footprints
b) Listen, creating processes and data analytic measures so you understand what consumers are saying about your brand and products. Then create ways to reward those that are contributing to your brand equity and address people having poor experiences
c) Deliver excellence in all areas of your business that a consumer can connect with online or offline. This sounds obvious but more often than not, brands are underperforming and not willing to right their wrongs.
Social is key to unlocking your fans to create more purchasers and buyers in their broader networks. Once we grapple this, there is phenomenal potential in increase the influence of your branded communities.