Enter Social Commerce, Exit eCommerce?
The unforgettable, pandemic era has affected the universe tremendously. The transformations are crystal clear in everyone’s lifestyle. People were craving for the lifestyle of before-covid-era. Yet uptake of the changes trends the post-pandemic lifestyle. The digital world has become a major part of everyone’s daily life. The rapid acceptance of existing digital shopping solutions instead of in-person shopping which also counts new mobile as well as social commerce fashions has been functioning even in the post-pandemic period. For eCommerce business holders trying to match with the changing retail status quo, it would be a mixed blessing.
“You can’t wait for customers to come to you. You have to figure out where they are, go there and drag them back to your store.” - Paul Graham, Y COMBINATOR
Though tech-forward shopping approaches has increased value for customers, likewise digital shopping experience can be personalized, interactive, and budget-friendly. Alike, retailers have more channels, advertising platforms, and payment options to keep a tab.
Customers are in favour of tech-forward shopping approaches
With the quick shifts of businesses towards digital channels in 2020, the customers were able to access the products and services they required, despite multiple hurdles like store closures and social distancing measures.
In this year, consumers are even more dependent on digital shopping to buy everything from beauty products to clothing, toys, grocery and more. The most considering store throughout the pandemic period were grocery stores. So, this was one of the top categories for which consumers prefer shopping in-store. But now a majority of shoppers prefer online platform to shopping in-store even in the post-pandemic era.
There is an example from the world of Indian unicorn. India’s novel unicorn Meesho has accomplished great success in social commerce method. Meesho, a Bengaluru-based social commerce platform, enables small businesses and individuals to begin their online stores via social channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and others.
"With our new vision we will enable 100 million small businesses to start, succeed and lead their operations online with Meesho as their partner in their journey," Vidit Aatrey, Founder and CEO of Meesho said. As per news, the company has raised $300 million (over Rs 2,200 crore) in a new round of funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, taking its valuation to $2.1 billion. The Founder and CEO, Vidit Aatrey, conveyed his further vision, "With the new round of funding, we are extremely thrilled to have SoftBank onboard. We are focused on expanding our vision - from helping aspiring women entrepreneurs to creating Meesho as a single ecosystem that will enable all small businesses in India to succeed online."
“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” - Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter
During the pandemic period, the business world has realised that the future is already in the present. Entry in Social Commerce is the doorway for future retailers. Let’s see some of the ways to adapt to social commerce.
- Need to sharpen the social media strategy
It’s time to use your social handles for more than just entertainment and keeping contacts with friends and family. Retailers can expand their marketing efforts to social media. It will assist to capture the search traffic and make the brand resonate with the digital audience. It also works as an easy platform for customer interactions, source feedback, and inspire user-generated content (UGC) through engaging followers (and extended networks).
The key to leverage social media is to craft a brand identity that’s authentic, relevant, and expressive, rather than using it to assertively market the products. It requires focusing on forming content that other users will want to share, be it niche-specific memes, helpful videos, or leftovers of stellar product reviews. If the post goes viral, the brand or product could be seen by millions of users - and receive an immense boost in sales to fire.
- Advertise with video content
Video content is one of the most attentions seeking way. The trends of short-form videos on Instagram and other social media platforms are entertaining and helpful too. One can shoot 30-60-second-long videos of a product in action and answer frequently asked questions about the product; all are possible just from a smartphone.
- Provide discounts, deals, and flexible payment options
As we all are aware that 2021 is a financial bounded year for most of people. So, shoppers will always compare the expense of any product before buying. Hence, considering the ideas of running promotions or offering coupons once in a while is a witty move to get more customers. A way to do this through Amazon is by building virtual bundles, join complimentaryitems in your product line for a discounted price. Retailers might also give a thought about providing buy-now-pay-later-options.
- Give certainty of free shipping
Having access to free shipping is the foremost reason why consumers opt for online shopping. Moreover, it gains assurance that online shopping is an easier and time-saving mode than a brick-and-mortar retailer nearby. Free shipping can also prompt customers to add some more items to their cart at a time, saving retailers some implementation cost.
- Enhance the online review count
Reviews about products are also a robust swing on conversations. A major proportion of the buyers say that the best ratings and reviews influence them to go for the product. It seems a little difficult to get customers’ feedback, but there are some strategies developed over the years to assist in review count climbing.
The recommendation is to implement the strategies as much as possible. Moreover, future consumers are going to adopt more tech-forward options for shopping. The reasons behind the foresight are not just the effect of the pandemic, but also the daily-busy life, time-saving option, shopping can be possible from anywhere and at anytime.
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