Engaging consumers online

“Shopping online was once only appealing to those who enjoyed shopping from the comfort of their own home. Perhaps, this is partly because if you wanted to shop in your pajamas you could and no one would pass judgment. As many companies, big brands and small brands alike, added perks such as free shipping, free returns, online-only sales, flash sales, etc. everyone began flocking to the Web for their shopping needs.”

“Social media exploded just as e-commerce was becoming more widely accepted by American consumers. Several years later, the two are finally merging to create a social shopping experience known as social commerce. In this new era, social sites and tools are incorporating the missing human element back into the online experience.

Online shoppers are no longer isolated shoppers as they sit behind their monitors; they are given the opportunity to interact with like-minded shoppers, virtually bouncing opinions off one another. Many are skeptical that a “like” or a “follow” or a “pin” will convert to sales but a report from BI Intelligence conveys that social media fans will most likely eventually become customers. The reasoning behind this is attributable to several factors, one of which includes the rise of the “visual” Web.”

“Sites like Pinterest and Instagram serve as a visual catalogue to consumers.”

“The power of influence should never be underestimated and when it comes to real-world decision making; individuals often seek guidance from their peers or others experiencing a similar situation. The live feed helps guide users in creating a registry they can feel confident about, as it presents them with not only a visual guide, but reassurance that they are choosing popular products that are also being selected by likeminded individuals.”

“Looking ahead, retailers that incorporate social and visual catalogues into their online purchasing platforms will likely see an uptick in sales conversions. Seeing which products are appealing to the masses is a way for customers to ensure that they are happy with their on-trend purchase; and for retailers, nothing is more lucrative than a happy customer.”

Embracing Social Commerce and Engaging Consumers – Innovation Insights. 2013. Embracing Social Commerce and Engaging Consumers – Innovation Insights. [ONLINE] Available at:http://insights.wired.com/profiles/blogs/embracing-social-commerce-and-engaging-consumers#axzz2mhjtEr6u.

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