By Steve Neseth – SVP Business Development – ShoppeSimple
Today, when you think of contacting friends, you think of Facebook. It’s by far the largest social media site as it approaches a billion worldwide users early next year. It’s currently growing at the rate of a completely new LinkedIn user base about every 4 weeks. And, earlier this year it surpassed Google as the most visited site!
Almost everyone is on Facebook so it’s tough to ignore it much longer for personal and also business use. Marketers can no longer avoid considering the commerce potential of this consumer community. Yet, there are still so many merchants who choose to stand on the Social Commerce sidelines while their competitors learn how to win in this space.
Enable more powerful Product Reviews in Facebook
When I shop online, I rely heavily on product reviews to make my buying decision. Granted, the reviews I reference on a website are posted by product users who are unknown to me, yet they are still very helpful. But their impact pales in comparison to reviews from people we know.
90% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust opinions of unknown users. – Econsultancy, July 2009
One of the great things about Facebook for a merchant is that users on their Facebook merchant page can create their own personalized product reviews. These are product reviews generated by your Facebook friends so they’re even more powerful in helping make buying decisions.
When asked what sources “influence your decision to use or not use a particular company, brand or product” 71% claim reviews from family members or friends exert a “great deal” or “fair amount” of influence. – Harris Interactive, June 2010
To enable this capability, merchants must provide consumers instantaneous access to their friends while they are shopping on their site. This can be done by providing social sharing tools on the product detail page. When your Facebook connections are activated within your shopping session, you can now send individual messages requesting reviews from people you know and trust on specific products you’re thinking about buying. One- to-one communication is now underway between friends within Facebook as you consider your purchase. It’s as if the merchant enables you to ‘beam in’ your friends at will to join your “shopping trip” from wherever they are. And, a good word from a friend will always help to cement the sale.
Facebook Store Tips for Success
Here are ideas to consider in addition to Personalized Product Reviews that will increase your probability for Facebook store success:
- Consider only those Facebook Store platforms that link the consumer to your product detail page on your site when they want to place an order. As a merchant, you want to control the shopping experience and maintain check-out consistency whenever a consumer buys from you online. The only sure way to achieve this is to direct all ordering through your existing website checkout process.
- Facebook stores that feature targeted product offers are generally more successful at driving social commerce than stores that offer a fire hose of product. Focusing on Daily Deals, New Arrivals, Specials, Closeouts, Event specific product etc. will be more successful than featuring everything you already feature on your site.
- Look for a platform that enables you as a marketer to present your products in innovative product groupings on- the-fly to take advantage of special sales opportunities.
- Provide a way for consumers to share product offers on the top social media channels. Avoid providing too many options that confuse or frustrate the consumer. Giving them a choice between the most popular ones will do (Facebook, Twitter, My Home Pages, LinkedIn, and Google+)
- Enable the consumer to place relevant merchant Facebook Store(s) on their own consumer Facebook page so they can receive relevant product offers from merchants they like without ever leaving their Facebook page.
If you’ve been sitting on the fence thinking that Facebook is just a personal communications channel . . . think again. According to Justin R. Levy in his book, Facebook Marketing, “Social networks are the new way to communicate and market your brand. You can either choose to embrace it or watch your competition pass you as they figure it out.”
ShoppeSimple Facebook Stores drives new incremental business
ShoppeSimple makes it easy for merchants to create, publish and track relevant product offers to wherever their online consumers are. That includes Facebook stores. Typically, merchants are challenged by limited IT resources to add more online marketing programs that can generate additional sales. Because we require no internal IT to implement our program, the merchant is free to create, publish and track as many new relevant product offers as they want, at any time.
The ShoppeSimple program is permission-based where consumers can choose to receive specific products that are relevant to them. The results: consumers place orders of higher value, will buy with greater frequency and convert more readily.
Imagine that your business is not meeting plan and the IT queue is backed up for months. But you don’t stand still. Instead, you add a program to fill the sales gap because you have the tools to create a successful new sales opportunity when you need it most.
Ring in the New Year right and contact us about putting a Facebook store in place. There are no implementation costs. Your investment is limited to an affordable flat monthly subscription fee that is guaranteed to bring a positive return. Your store can be in place generating sales by mid January.
Additionally there are a limited number of New Year – New Customer Trial Offers available for the first to call us.
Call 612-963-3434 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.