Social commerce has taken the world by storm in the recent months. While this is certainly a new frontier for businesses to explore, know that you are not alone. This has been something in the works behind the scenes for a few years now and has just started to take off. Right now we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg that will one day grow to change eCommerce as we know it. To help get your feet on the ground we wanted to share with you some current trends in social commerce that are sure to give you a leg up on your competition.
Thanks to Facebook’s Social Graph, shopping is becoming a much more personalized experience. Today when you go to your favorite store to purchase some new products you may not see the same products everyone else sees. Instead, you may see products that are specific to your interests based on your recent purchases, your Likes on Facebook, and the activity of your friends. Levi was the first to introduce this new form of social shopping a few years ago, but it is spreading like wildfire. Your interaction with brands is no longer a one sided event. In this new world of social shopping almost everything you do can now enhance your experience.
By installing Facebook Connect on your website as a alternative login for customers is not only creates an easy way of logging into the website, but can enhance the users experience with personalized recommendations by gathering information on the user from their activity on Facebook.
Shopping on Facebook
Facebook commerce has been exploding recently as brands of all shapes and sizes are hoping on the band wagon to get a piece of this unexplored frontier. Hosting your own storefront on Facebook is an excellent way to interact with your fans and use social media to increase sales. Adding Facebook stores such as ShopTab has become extraordinarily simple to do and can make a big impact on your social presence and online sales. One of our favorite clients, Coca-Cola has had a ShopTab store on their Facebook page for well over a year now and has seen great success from it. This is a great example of Facebook shopping done really well and shows the flexibility of a platform like Facebook to transform the shopping experience.
Sharing Purchases With Friends
For many people shopping is a very social experience anyway, and you often want to get your friends opinions before buying something, particularly when it’s an expensive item. Ecommerce stores have heard your social cries and are starting to respond. A growing majority of websites now offer the option to share a product or email it to friends to get their opinion before purchasing. One pioneer of the industry is eBay who will soon be launching a new feature that allows users to post multiple products on their Facebook page to get their friends’ opinions and ask them to vote for the final purchase.
Some stores are concerned that people may be discourages to purchase an item based on what friends say, but overall your customers will be much more inclined to make a purchase from a store that offers a trustworthy experience and has nothing to hide!
Virtual currency and Facebook Credits are nothing too new to the online world, but they have recently been taking some major steps that merit a close watch for the future. Currently Facebook credits are most often used for social gamming such as Farmville; however, recently some Facebook stores have begun to include Facebook Credits as a payment option. Facebook has already taken a step to ensure that Facebook Credits are here to stay by making them the mandatory currency for all social games on Facebook at the beginning of the year. Our prediction is that this virtual currency will continue to grow and will one day be integrated with all social commerce platforms and beyond! Perhaps one day Facebook Credits will be as widely accepted as that Visa in your pocket right now. With hundreds of millions of users and counting it is certainly possible that your Facebook Credit Card may not be too far down the road.
Social rewards are one of the fasting growing tactics for businesses today. From the free downloads and incentives on your Facebook landing page to the social check-in offer on Foursquare, social rewards are everywhere. These new social rewards are everywhere these days because they work! Customers and fans like to be rewarded for interacting with your business. It is a great way to get a buzz about your brand spreading around town and can help your business stick out in their minds. From Facebook, to mobile, to email social rewards are everywhere, and if you are not a part of it you are being left behind! Make your business fun and engage your fans in a way that rewards them and incentivizes them to come back for more.