Thursday, 23 August 2012

Social shopping sales set to soar and how to take advantage of it

Social shopping sales are set to rise 44% by the end of 2014 according to research carried out by auction site, eBay. The figures suggest that the amount spent through social shopping channels such as a Facebook store will grow to £3.3 billion.

But what does this growth mean for eBay stores and how can they take advantage of these increased figures?  Well while eBay will always be great platform for store owners to sell products to customers for the foreseeable future, sellers should be looking to take advantage of social shopping by creating both Facebook stores and Facebook fan pages for their business. As I have explained in an article yesterday, there are many positive reasons as to why you should have a Facebook store and that's before you even begin to consider the extra revenue that has been suggested by eBay's research. 

However, if having a Facebook store is just too big of a step for you right now, you must ensure that you definitely have a Facebook page for your business, as social media plays a large role in the majority of people's lives As your brand grows, more people become interested in your business and become fans of you on Facebook, to find out about products, sales and other news to do with your business. This social interaction is what builds up trust and turns fans into buyers.

While Facebook fan pages are a great platform for any online store to promote their business and interact with their customers, eBay's head of mobile shopping, Petra Jung, suggests that this increase in social shopping is particularly great for female shoppers: "Many shoppers, particularly women, want fun and inspiration as much as information when they shop, and social networks are a great way to seek out a friend’s advice, see other people’s style, and get ideas.”

The whole point of social commerce is to create engagement, and encourage users to buy your products. Generally women are more interactive than males in sharing information and products through social media sites like Facebook. If you run a women's clothes shop for example, social media is a great way for you to share images of your products with your customers, allowing those fans to then share the images between their own friends, achieving a large amount of product and brand exposure in a short period of time. 

Social commerce is an ever increasing platform for online sellers. If you have not already created social media accounts for your business, you should go and create them as soon as you have finished reading this article. The quicker you set it up, the quicker you can start generating traffic to your ecommerce store and the sooner you will start getting your part of that predicted £3.3 billion revenue. 

If you already have a Facebook fan page, you need to make sure that your levels of engagement are as high as they possibly can be, meaning you interact with followers through status updates, comments and images numerous times each day. It's no good creating a Facebook fan page and just leaving it alone for people to become fans of if they choose to do so. Like all parts of business, it takes hard work and effort. You need to give users a reason to follow you. This means posting thought provoking information, providing images of products and placing information about sales in your store for users to see. The more information you provide to them, the more they are going to interact with you and the more chance you have of getting these people to turn from social followers into social shoppers. 

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