In the last 2 years consumer shopping behaviour evolved rapidly. There has been no recession in on-line business with annual sales growing globally and in the UK for the past 10 years straight! Shopping online and through mobile devices is the new norm, and the experience has become increasingly more social with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. These platforms, in turn, have launched new commerce capabilities like the “buy” button.
These new buying habits provide small business “etailers” opportunities to immediately grow their revenues. Social commerce will grow and will represent an increasing share of the online marketplace. It’s no surprise that many large retailers are making significant investments in social media marketing, to offer millions of potential customers a seamless, flexible and more personalized shopping experience.
While large businesses may have significant budgets to spend on social commerce and marketing, smaller-size companies too can take advantage of the new social trends to drive increased traffic and revenue.
Five strategies to boost sales in 2015:
1. Get personal.
Social media is a place for genuine engagements with consumers and often these dialogues result in loyal, long-term customers. Platforms such as Twitter & Facebook will drive potential customers to your website/business so long as you engage in relevant and interesting dialogue.
2. Prioritize customer service.
Stay on top of you messages and customer enquiries by responding to all queries ASAP and at least within 12 hours. If you do not have enough time to provide this level of service, consider investing in social media monitoring tools. Additionally, when a customer shares a favorable experience or testimonial, consider re-sharing it across social channels.
3. Don’t underestimate the selling power of a hashtag.
Hashtags allow Twitter users to search rapidly for relevant content/services/products. Do a bit of research, see what #’s your competitors are using and what groups they belong to and use the information. Get a list of the most relevant #’s and use them.
If you don’t have time during your busy working days to tweet regularly you can schedule regular tweets regarding product deals etc using products such as ‘Buffer’ there free service allows you to schedule upto 10 tweets at any one time. Remember, each tweet should include a picture, promo code, direct link for purchase and a relevant hashtag, such as #petfood and #petlover if, for example, you are a pet store owner.
4. Recognize that social and mobile go hand-in-hand.
Businesses of all sizes cannot ignore the significant impact of daily mobile use and mobile purchasing, especially given the fact that 70% of UK adults surveyed said that mobile devices are a central part of their everyday lives, according to Salesforce. A mobile friendly site and an active and interesting twitter feed will help drive this growing demographic to your business.
5. Add an online store directly onto social media platforms.
You can optimize your online reach even further by adding a shopping cart directly onto your Facebook page, so your customers are able to shop and purchase without ever leaving Facebook. E-commerce platforms such as Ecwid can synchronise between your facebook and e-commerce site.
By using these five strategies, you can make a significant impact on future sales. While your small business may not have the sizable budget larger businesses do, these moves can provide the postive experience consumers are looking for, and you will have the opportunity to reach a broader range of potential customers who just may become your most profitable.