The new online consumer is increasingly mobile, multitasking, and social.
They’re on the go, dealing with a hundred things at once, and deeply connected to and influenced by their digital social networks...
As consumer habits evolve, retailers face new challenges for reaching and engaging potential customers, but these developments also open a wide door for huge gains, especially on social media.
In this post, we’ll explain these new challenges and the data behind them and outline three simple steps to harness the changing internet consumer landscape in your favor.
By focusing on mobile, optimizing your checkout process, and leveraging two of the most powerful mobile platforms: Instagram and Pinterest, your social commerce strategy can really soar.
1. Laser Focus and Optimize Mobile Commerce
Data from Yotpo shows that 48% of eCommerce traffic comes from mobile, with industries like fashion experiencing closer to 60% mobile traffic. Furthermore, 46% of purchases are made on mobile devices, meaning your mobile shopping and checkout experiences must be easy, intuitive, and user friendly, from visual merchandising to gathering and displaying reviews.
In other words, if your business’s mobile shopping experience and social presence is not optimized, you are under-serving (and possibly losing) at least half of your potential customer base.
Or, look at it this way: step up your game and you’ll double your eCommerce clientele!
On mobile, people are bombarded with distractions trying to take their attention away from you. In order to succeed, you need to help customers complete their purchases quickly, before their next e-mail notification pops up... or their name is called at Starbucks.
In fact, Baynard calculated that an average of 69% of all online shopping carts are abandoned before completion of purchase.
Reclaim those 65%
According to a study by Business Insider, the most common reasons customers fail to complete a purchase are:
- High shipping costs
- Not quite ready to purchase
- Checkout process is too complicated
Here are a few simple tips on how to optimize checkout to reclaim those 65%!
- Boost customer confidence with UGC: User-generated content, such as photos of your real customers using, enjoying, and benefiting from your product, reassures shoppers that they’re making a wise investment.
Campus Protein conducted an A/B test and saw a 28.9% increase in conversions from product page to checkout by featuring UGC on the product page. The results indicate that customers are more confident in making a purchase when they see past buyer’s photos. Customers are more concerned with the visual outcome of the product purchase, whether it be a buffer body or a picture-perfect prom ensemble, than the product description itself. This confidence carries through the entire checkout process, so show off your customer success!
- Streamline the checkout process: The Campus Protein study also shows that the sluggish process - creating an account and the hassle of finding a unique user name, then going through account verification by email, and only then filling out a checkout form - is enough to make high-intent customers give up. Smart forms that fill in location data based on zip-code alone, or utilizing Google’s auto-fill feature for our Android customers, can simplify the checkout process and usher customers along. Make sure you have a guest checkout option, and refrain from the temptation of forcing your customers to create an account.
- Remarket: If a returning customer leaves without completing their purchase, a gentle email reminder that their cart is still waiting for them can have surprisingly strong results. Studies estimate that 15% of customers can be recovered with reminder e-mails, and that those customers end up spending an average of 55% more!
2. Transform Instagram Followers Into Shoppers
You probably already know that Instagram is a powerful tool for cementing your brand and interacting with your customers. But have you taken the next step in making your Instagram a seamless extension of your eCommerce store?
It’s time to learn how to sell on Instagram.
There are three key elements to keep in mind when starting your Instagram shop:
- Tell your brand’s story - Your Instagram shop front should be curated with the same care that you would put into a brick and mortar store. Each image should be carefully selected to show off your brand’s point of view and attract customers with similar aspirations. Given those short attention spans we mentioned earlier, you need to get your brand’s message across in the blink of an eye, literally. And, as Instagram is almost purely a visual platform, you need to make a strong first impression based only on your use of images, so choose wisely!
Check out how PuraVida Bracelets’ Instagram captures their brand essence even in a snapshot of their feed:
A variety of the brand’s products are shown in the context of their target customers - traveling, at the beach, passport and fruity drink in hand.
Many businesses’ attempts at Instagram amount to one product shot after another, but the image above shows how much more powerful it is to tell your brand’s (and customers’) story with your image choices, and in doing so, create a compelling shopping environment.
- Connect with your customers - Connecting social media content to commerce offers a huge boon that traditional eCommerce stores don’t have - the opportunity to directly interact with your customer base. Hosting contests, starting hashtag campaigns, and spotlighting influencers with your brand are just a few ways to get the ball rolling.
For example, the #CastMeMarc campaign, which entered selfie posters with the tag into a modeling contest, inspired 12,000 posts in the first 24 hours! Get creative in how you involve your followers in your brand and you can earn yourself an influx of highly engaged exposure.
Check out more of the latest & greatest Instagram marketing tips to sharpen your strategy even more.
- Making sales easy - Instagram users are more mobile than any other social platform - a whopping 96.8% of users access Instagram from their mobile phones! That means ease of purchase is paramount.
The process of seeing an item of interest, clicking on it, learning about it, and then purchasing it, should be simple and brief. With no place for URLs in photo captions, it might seem impossible, but that’s where services like Shoppable Instagram can really help. By creating a mirror version of your brand’s Instagram account, the shoppable feed directly links to the tagged product’s checkout pages.
3. Capitalize on your Pinterest real estate
Pinterest should be one of your social media secret weapons, because it was designed for the widespread sharing of buyable products. In fact, according to a study by Shopify, 93% of Pinterest users access the platform to plan purchases.
The same research shows that an average of 2 million people pin products on the platform each day, which is 20x the traffic of the Mall of America!
Therefore, it’s important that you polish up your Pinterest marketing strategy to take advantage of this sizeable, primed market. Pinterest users are already on the platform trying to find items to purchase: products that will meet a pain point, elevate their everyday experience, or just be a great gift. In other words, they’re looking for you!
Make it easy for them with these simple tips:
- Create buyable pins: One advantage of Pinterest is that the platform is inherently shoppable, unlike Instagram. Within a few clicks you can make any pin “buyable,” which means the item is directly available for purchase through Pinterest. This is a huge advantage, given the necessity for a smooth checkout that we discussed above.
Services like Push to Pinterest can take a lot of the guesswork out of choosing the right products to pin and presenting them as enticingly as possible to your audience.
- Pin the right price point: Take a look at this screenshot from Everlane’s Pinterest:
They usually showcase their higher-priced products and buyable. Why? Shopify’s research showed that the AOV (average order value) on Pinterest was $50, the highest of all social media platforms. That means Pinterest is the perfect place to showcase your items with a higher price point.
- Aim to be curated: Just as you carefully curate your social media outlets for commerce, so does the Pinterest team. Pinterest regularly features buyable pins in curated albums like “Gifts for her” or “Unique Father’s Day Presents.” If you know that a particular item is likely to be purchased as a gift, make it a buyable pin, so it has a shot of being featured, drawing high quality traffic to your product pins.
In short: Social commerce is a huge opportunity for your brand to grow and thrive in the modern retail landscape. With such high potential rewards, comes many important considerations if you’re going to make the most of this new era of shopping.
If you’re looking for more social commerce strategies, check out Yotpo and Nosto’s webinar on how to sell more on social.