A follow up from my last article, I talked of the On-Demand economy shifts and why it’s important as a business to invest in some on-demand platforms to reach out to many clients but then as the pandemic continues to affect more businesses, I feel while we keep changing our business model, let’s focus on social commerce growth, this is the new frontier. The various business platforms we are adopting will only grow our businesses when we focus on e-commerce dominance and use social commerce tools to push our brands to the targeted market. First, on-demand platforms are apps that can help a company offer extra services to clients, we can order, or get a delivery via a platform, this could be the company or they can outsource platforms from the third party, the tradeoff is customer experience though. Then there is social dominance, where for a company to thrive they have to take a good share of the e-commerce space, especially in this pandemic season.
Customer experience during this pandemic is hard to decipher but through things like customer ratings and reviews, user recommendations and referrals, social shopping tools (sharing the act of shopping online), forums and communities, social media optimization, social applications, and social advertising, many businesses have been able to get new clients. I offer to advertise for start-ups on my social media platforms of course at a small fee and my experience with their sales is that many new clients get interested once they are able to connect to some other consumers of the products just to get to understand their experience.
Why Social Commerce Dominance?
Many companies have been using social media to connect with their customers with the objective of maintaining clients, but it’s high time we use these media to identify new untapped markets. The number of in-person visits to shops, restaurants have reduced but the consumption is still there, this means that there is still a need for some commodities in the places just that the customers are either getting it delivered to them or they are engaging other businesses for the same products. I see people ordering gadgets from Ali express and within weeks they get to receive the items closer to their homes. This only means that they are using the internet to research their needs and how they can find them delivered at their convenience. This pandemic is really shaping the way we operate, most of us have acquired better phones, others who were not having social media accounts have created multiple, I must say that since the pandemic started the past year has been something else, social platforms have grown by say 10% users, personally my Facebook page has had like 8% new followers. This means there are still clients to identify and connect to for increased sales. With a world of more than 7 billion-plus people, there lies an opportunity to generate more sales by increasing your e-commerce social dominance.
How to Get Social Commerce Dominance
Turn your platforms to both information and sales, I look at Instagram and how it blends information and selling, I feel this is the largest e-commerce approach right now since, it has brought a fundamental change in how social selling operates. As for our business, a better customer experience can increase sales hence the platforms will need to offer the following.
First, Increase the number of leads and conversion of leads to business. As clients engage the platform there is a tendency that there could be some needs not made on the first engagements, these could be leads that as a business, one can pick and offer products that will meet these needs. For instance, my SkyGarden search history was for Oppo F9 back in January but was surprised yesterday, I received an email of the latest Oppo arrivals. I could not find an oppo phone then but they used my search info as leads to stock up products that are sought after by many clients.
Secondly, develop deeper relationships with clients, celebrate their life milestones once you acquire their basic information, keeping yourselves at the top of their mind with messaging around birthdays, etc will make a client recommend others to your business and would return to make other purchases. The platforms should allow for the creation of accounts and links to other feedback channels where one can reach out with comments on product sales or ratings on the products. The ratings should be made public to all as this will inform other new clients who are searching for similar products.
Lastly, give your platform the ability to reduce contact time and shorten the sales cycle. Ever visited a platform that has a customer engagement chat box, if it takes longer before getting a response, then customer experience is compromised. My advice is that have auto-responses to frequently asked questions. On sales cycle, close sales faster, if a delivery can happen within 24Hrs, ensure this is done but if not be sure to communicate expected dates to clients even before the buy decision, trust me, it goes a long way.
In a nutshell, social commerce is a blend of sales, and such dominance will give your brand an opportunity to connect with customers, build rapport, boost the brand, increase loyalty and sales. Brands that will try to adopt this and take learnings from this article will definitely see immediate benefits.