To state the obvious, social media is a large part of everyday life for a lot of people.
As Statista shows, daily time spent by users on social media has increased every year from 2012 to 2017, and substantially from 2015 to 2017. More people are spending more time on social media than ever before, which means, in turn, that e-commerce businesses are searching for ways to meet their customers where they are: namely, on social media.
Mark Macdonald, content manager at Shopify, wrote about the importance of the integration of e-commerce and social media on Shopify’s blog. “Business owners often wonder about the ‘ROI of social media’ … Well it turns out, when it comes to e-commerce, being social matters,” he wrote.
Another expert on the topic, Patrick Mackaronis, founder and director of business development at Brabble, a startup that released an app that combines social media and e-commerce in one platform, added, “Integrating e-commerce with social media helps people, companies, and brands sell their products, while maximizing their sales reach and sales power.”
Patrick Mackaronis also emphasized the importance of social media integration, explaining the benefit of allowing users to access both e-commerce and social media functionality. “ [Brabble’s] e-commerce component provides our users — whether they’re the average high school or college student, or the largest brands and celebrities out there — supplemental revenue streams. We can help drive those sales online.”
This intimate approach is exactly what Ajeet Khurana talks about in his recent piece on e-commerce social media strategy. “Through this incredible tool [social media], you can now establish a link to your demographic that is direct, personal, and practical.” Khurana goes on to discuss the differences between social marketing, which is more about customer engagement, and social shopping, which entails “making the shopping experience available on social media sites and hopefully encouraging customers to share their purchases.”
Tracking the effects and ROI of social shopping will also become paramount for e-commerce businesses. Maximizing sales will remain important, but also tracking data that comes from transactions, e.g., when the transaction happens, how much the customer spends on average, what types of products the customer is interested in. This data, in turn, allows people, companies, and brands to precisely target customers with products of interest.
The importance of social shopping will continue to grow in the future. As Statista estimates, the number of digital shoppers in the U.S. could grow to 224.1 million in 2019 and keep increasing over the next couple years. This means that it is critical that e-commerce businesses and entrepreneurs understand how to take advantage of social media integration in order to meet their customers’ needs and grow their revenue.