When there are so many brands on different social media platforms trying to reach customers. Moreover, trying for social media retailing. How do you differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd?
During a live webinar, Moon Juice marketing team talks about e-commerce and social marketing strategies for social media retailing. This blog post is a summary of that discussion and some of my thoughts on social media retailing.
When you are a small brand just starting out, you don’t have big budgets to spend on social media advertising. Similarly on social media retailing. You may not even have the budget to employ agencies. But still, want to develop great videos for marketing your products.
So, what’s the hack that you can do? Moon Juice suggested that you should get people to share your products on social media. Furthermore, you need to offer a discount on their next purchase. Because, when people are trying out something new and they love it, they will talk about it.
Come to think of it, this is making use of word-of-mouth marketing. Engage existing customers. When you launch a product and get your first batch of customers, your customers can be the one who advocates for your brand. Provide incentives such as discounts for the next purchase when they share your products. Moreover, ask for reviews on social media. This is a cost-effective strategy.
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Firstly, real customers’ reviews are more authentic. These are consumers who tried and tested your products, not advertisers who got paid to praise you. So, the power of persuasion is much stronger. According to the theory of social proof, people endorse and review your brand online. New consumers are more likely to trust their reviews and purchase from you. In short, real customers’ reviews are very helpful for social media retailing.
Secondly, it saves a huge amount on your marketing budget. User-generated content is far more effective than advertising. You don’t need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to marketing agencies to run campaigns for you. Just focus on developing or bringing in innovative products. Finally, let the fire catches on its own.
According to Moon Juice, when it comes to online sales, you really need to keep in mind 3 KPIs:
Anything you do that can help in these 3 areas to promote your social media retailing.
Traffic is all about how you can bring new people onto the site. Hence you must work on SEO and various social media strategies to drive fresh people into the sales funnel. But you also need to monitor your conversion rate. So that people are not just visiting your site, they are buying too.
Therefore, testing is necessary to optimize your campaigns. Moreover, get the most out of the budget spent. Every week or monthly, it is recommended to track those KPIs. Most importantly, watch the business to understand the relationship between strategies, actions, and results. Furthermore, tweaking it here and there to get the best out of your marketing efforts.
When asked about what works for them for social media retailing, Moon Juice says that it’s always good to encourage people to buy more in their purchases. In traditional retail stores, retail assistants will always recommend other related products so that customers leave the shop buying more than 1 item. For example, if a customer is looking for an eyeshadow palette, then the retail assistant will recommend eyeshadow brushes or lipsticks that will go well with the eyeshadow colors.
The same goes for your e-commerce store – set up recommendations so that it’s related to the item that customers put in their cart and get them interested; create custom bundles or exclusive sets that have a higher retail price but also provide a higher value; go for geo-targeting so that you can suggest items that are relevant, or provide samples to encourage next purchase of that item.
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Monetize your social media platform as people who are following you show that they care for your brand and products. This will help you in social media retailing. Consumers have a question in mind: “Why do I want this product?” Hence you need to answer that question for them by creating content that is informative, educational, interesting, and compelling.
Create re-targeting campaigns to focus on people who have visited your site because it gives a signal that they are interested to know more but somehow did not make a purchase. So try hitting on them again to garner that interest by constantly testing out different subject lines and content, and eventually converting them to real customers.
Last but not least, after all the marketing and sales effort, what’s next?
In social media retailing, we don’t just take care of the front line and neglect the backend. When you start to see results and an increase in sales for your retail store, you need to leverage retail management software to keep everything under control.
Inventory management is the first thing to look out for because you want to meet consumers’ demand quickly instead of being out-of-stock and consumers lose interest as time goes by. Hence when you had a successful marketing campaign, make sure your stocks level match the demand when it’s high instead of bringing in too many stocks when demand dies down.
The same goes the other way as well: if you have slow-moving stocks that you want to sell fast, make use of your marketing tactics to clear those stocks off the shelf, such as including them in exclusive bundles or offering a 50% discount as a second purchase. Yet without a good retail management solution, obtaining in-depth knowledge of your inventories and making forecasts can be a challenge.
When you garnered enough traffic for your e-commerce site and physical retail stores, the next step you need to take is to enhance your customers’ loyalty so that they will be your long-term purchasing customers. Offer customer rewards programs to entice them to spend more in your shop as they earn points and rewards and receive discounts or exclusive offers. This is a very important tip on social media retailing.
The bond between your brand and your customers should not just be kept online where they were just followers of your Instagram or Facebook, but also manifest it offline where they foster a relationship with your brand. To attract customers and build your brand is the job of the marketers, but to keep your customers, there is a lot more to do than marketing.
The entire operations internally determine how customers feel when they interact with you. Any hiccups within the process will increase the challenge for customers to deal with you. What we need to do is to decrease that challenge, reduce that uncertainty, so that customers feel confident to place their first order and their subsequent purchases.
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