The Social Shopper: How To Boost Social Sales

It is a well known fact that today’s consumers are becoming much more comfortable with the world of eCommerce and online retail as compared to years past with sales for 2013 expected to surpass $1.25 Trillion. As shown in a past infographic, it can be assumed that some of this growth can be attributed to the fact that shoppers are also looking towards non-traditional channels for research and purchase.

As most retailers know, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest have been at the forefront for the online community used to create a viral buzz about products or services, but what has been missing in most cases is the call to action, or in this case, the ‘purchase’. The following are some ideas for online retailers to help improve conversion across the big three social networks:

Twitter

Make sure to place the Tweet action icon on each product page as opposed to a global level of the site

As an example from Bench Canada, the AddThis plugin is used to display the Tweet icon for a specific product, not the entire bench.ca site. When the share is made, there is a link to the specific product page with the attentional metadata about the item:

Not only will users be sharing with their followers the specific item that they are viewing, but for those users that click on the Tweet, they will be directed to that product page where they have the option to buy! (The holidays are coming… hint, hint)

Facebook

Think of your Facebook Page as another sales vehicle, not just an informational resource for your fans

Most pages will have links to special offers for their fans, however these are usually shared as a single post or an external link. One of the initiatives that eLUXE has taken is to integrate an iframe app to showcase a variety of interactive products to fans and potential consumers.

The benefit to the app being an iframe is that the page is external to Facebook, allowing additional functionality (product rollover) and easy updates for keeping the content on the page fresh. When a user is to click on one of the products, they are taken directly to the product listing page where the call to action for purchase is located.

Pinterest

Don’t just add the Pin it button, test the end user experience

With some emerging technologies and trends, retailers will scramble to make sure that they do not fall behind the curve by adding the latest and greatest widgets to their site without testing what their end users will experience. In the case of Pinterest, this also goes as far as to examine what information is being shared!

For an example of where the Pin it button has been implemented, see Snuggle Bugz. If you have a Pinterest account, go through the steps of Pinning the image and look to see what information is contained and how this links back to the product page. A couple points to note with Pinterest:

1. Make sure that the default image that is selected to Pin is the image of the actual product

2. Ensure that the link to the image will bring the end user back to the product page where they have the opportunity to purchase!

Review and Adjust

There you have it, a few suggestions on how to create additional channels for consumers to share the information that will create the greatest probability for conversion! Keep in mind to give these a try and to revisit your initiatives on a monthly basis as social channels are always evolving and you don’t want any dead links or unexpected behaviour that may detract from a potential purchase!