Improving Customer Experience in the Social Commerce Age
We have seen an undeniable shift in the way consumers are using social media to interact with businesses and make online purchases through social commerce. Social commerce is defined as the use of networking websites as vehicles to promote commercial products and services, and it’s expected to grow three times as fast as traditional eCommerce, reaching $79.64 billion in the U.S. by 2025.
According to Statista, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide in 2020, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025. It’s safe to say consumers are spending a lot more time on social media than in traditional brick and mortar stores, with Smart Insights reporting average daily use of just under 2.5 hours. Nearly two-thirds of American adults surveyed by Accenture made a purchase via social media last year, and approximately 90% of people on Instagram follow a business. We can expect that number to keep growing as more brands take advantage of social platforms’ shopping capabilities.
The buyer journey should be simple and to the point, as consumers have little tolerance for digital inconveniences. By utilizing your customer experience map and spotting bottlenecks where the potential buyer “gives up” on the purchase, you can find ways to improve the customer experience and increase sales. For example, successful online brands take advantage of built-in shop buttons, live streams, and targeted advertising utilizing user-generated content (which saves those precious advertising dollars!)
You’ve probably heard your favorite influencers use the phrases “swipe up to purchase” or “store link in bio” hundreds of times — that’s because having a specific and convenient call to action works. Relatable video testimonials combined with convenient ways to purchase have proven to be valuable for advertisers by encouraging social media users to purchase the items or services they see in their feeds.
We are even beginning to see augmented and virtual reality incorporated in social media marketing for those looking for a more interactive and immersive experience. Think virtual fitting rooms, product demos, tours and brand events. The engagement and content creation opportunities are endless, and user-generated content has been an extremely important tool to communicate authenticity.
Maintaining trustworthiness around messaging and your products is a great way to keep customers and potential customers happy. People are often turned off by corporate and professional communication on social media, so it’s important to stick to your human side and align your voice with the company mission and values to showcase your brand’s personality and point of view. This includes giving back to your community and supporting relevant social issues.
By communicating and connecting with the customer through all experiences, even tough ones, you will gain trust. Transparency is important and communicating challenges humanizes your brand. Review potential weaknesses and develop a thorough customer service plan for social media. Relationship building is business 101, and many relationships in today’s landscape are fostered through online communication.
For more insights on influencer marketing, read our recent blog.