Safety concerns during the pandemic have pushed the world online in many ways and have accelerated multiple new shopping trends. Customers no longer elbow their way through big crowds on Black Friday and have turned to the safe (and civilized!) e-commerce – which ultimately fueled the wave of Social Commerce worldwide. For most industries, all customers are already on social media. In 2021, a whopping 98.99% of the UAE population alone was recorded as active social media users, spending an average of 2 hours 55 minutes on the platforms per day (Global Media Insight) – highlighting the massive market potential of Social Commerce.
What is Social Commerce and how is it different from e-commerce?
Unlike e-commerce where products and services are bought on websites or apps, Social Commerce allows users to complete purchases on social media apps, without having to leave the platform at any point in time.
As a business owner, why should you care about Social Commerce?
Social Commerce brings the full customer journey under one roof. From awareness to research, purchase, and support – it all takes place on your brand profile. Its purchase aspect makes buying extremely simple and intuitive: a customer scrolls through a brand’s profile, they see a product they want, click ‘shop now’ to buy it, and it’s done. Without being redirected to another website and breaking the ‘flow’, customers can simply go back to scrolling – which places your products at the very heart of your customers’ social media time.
Other than sales, there are different applications to Social Media platforms which impact your business significantly. It is a space of interaction and a direct line of communication between you and your customers. They are continuously speaking with and about your brand – and you certainly want to be a part of the conversation. Through feedback and questions, you are given chance to represent your brand the way you wish it would be viewed.
What can you do to kickstart or improve your Social Commerce?
- Integrate a Social Commerce platform. Opt for an end-to-end plug-and-play solution that would enable you to sell on all online platforms and get full control of your brand and data. You will get to sell directly to your customers with no middleman involved – 0% commission!
- Remove friction and facilitate payment. The easier the purchasing journey, the more likely you are to convert a customer. Every extra added step between the payment page and the customer increases their chances of disregarding the purchase.
- Listen to your customers, it is crucial. Paying attention to what they have to say about your products or customer service will enable you to fix issues you may be having, optimize your existing offerings, or even create other products based on customers’ demand. It is direct constructive feedback.
- Provide excellent customer service. Answer every inquire, find out why customers are unhappy with certain aspects of your products or services with a sense of urgency. Asking customers to privately share their details so a representative can get in touch and solve the problem will appease an angry customer and do some damage control, giving your brand a second chance. Show gratitude towards good comments and amplify them – you can even ask happy customers for testimonials!
- When it comes to pricing, find that ‘sweet spot’. Luxury products do not sell too well on Social Media platforms, whereas medium to low priced products do. The action of purchasing requires less commitment and decision-making, becoming a simple ‘why not’ moment.
- Make sure your delivery business is on point. In addition to the last-mile being the backbone of any online commerce business, in the last year, 40% of UAE shoppers have reported choosing online shopping specifically for its home delivery aspect (Statistica Research Department) stressing the importance of a good delivery process. Besides, what’s the use of having good products on a user-friendly platform if you can’t get them to your customers? Choosing the right third-party delivery company is vital to your Social Commerce business’ success. They should be able to provide you with both the fleet and the technology to manage it. An up-to-date and easy to use fleet management software will enable you to keep track of your orders, fleet activity and get a birds-eye view of your entire delivery process. Having a smooth last-mile process means accurate, fast, and safe deliveries thus increased customer satisfaction and sales.