Too often with social shopping solutions there's too much focus on the social aspect and not enough emphasis given to the actual shopping aspect. For brand value and marketing purposes, there are undeniable benefits for getting a shopper to Like your company Facebook page or to Tweet about your products. However, at the end of the day that activity needs to result in a purchase.
According to a study by Eventbrite, shoppers are 20% more likely to share a product via social media after making their purchase. Customers have a feeling of pride when they buy something, which they want to share with their friends. That makes sense, but then what will most benefit shoppers pre-purchase and result in sales? Research.
Social shopping tools prior to purchase should be research-oriented. For instance, on-site Social Q&A allows shoppers to make their experience more social, asking questions to customers as they might do in a brick-and-mortar store. More of the online retail experience should involve sophisticated and social research to drive shopper confidence so that they feel comfortable buying.
If your social shopping strategy is not resulting in purchases, then the mechanisms should be reevaluated. If a social media sharing product is resulting in Likes on fan pages, that's good, but is that your only goal?
Conversion is king, and if you are an online merchant your most valuable conversion type should be a purchase. You must place your emphasis on social shopping solutions that will inspire confidence at the point of purchase and drive sales by engaging shoppers to address their needs.
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