“The market for social commerce has been embryonic to date, but that will change over the next five years as companies race to establish stores, pushing up social commerce revenues sixfold, to US$30 billion globally.”
Opening heading via -Booz&co [Turning “Like” to “Buy" Social Media Emerges as a Commerce Channel]
So, as you just heard… social commerce is predicted to reach an astounding $30 billion in global sales of physical goods in the next five years. That’s a lot. And while social commerce currently sits at about $5 billion in sales of physical goods, according to Booz and Company, the industry is poised for considerable growth. So, who is going to step up to the plate and start selling?
When will we see a brand truly own the social commerce space? So far, three companies come to mind as being recognized for their social commerce efforts on Facebook: 1-800 Flowers, Pampers, and Wine Market Australia. The last was recently recognized for achieving over $30,000 in sales directly within Facebook. Using new social commerce solutions, such as Fanpage Toolkit, companies have begun to engage their customers in new ways, but few have truly taken the step to own the social commerce arena. Or, am I missing something? Do you know of any brands actually owning the space and innovating?
So, let’s get back to that 30 billion number. Where is your cut of that forecasted social commerce market share? What are you doing to contribute to the enormous growth predicted by researchers? Social commerce doesn’t have to be hard, and truthfully I believe that it will come as a natural extension of Facebook and other social networks as soon as one or two big-name brands start using the tools at their disposal. Booz and Company seems to agree with my sentiment, in the report mentioned earlier. Listed below are what the analysts of the report consider to be the four imperatives for getting started with social commerce, with my commentary added.
Imperative 1: Jump in soon and learn by doing.
“It is usually a good idea to study a new opportunity loosely, but given the fast pace at which social commerce is evolving, companies must be willing to learn while doing.” As I said, we’ve yet to see a company truly jump head-first into the social commerce arena, let alone the Facebook commerce portion of it (otherwise known as F-Commerce). When the barrier to entry is simple, and access to powerful F-Commerce tools is FREE, there is no reason more people shouldn’t be jumping into the mix and experimenting.
Imperative 2: Develop a strategy for getting the data you need.
“What would a company most like to know about social media?” When approaching social commerce, realize that there is more data floating around social networks then you can wrap your head around. By completing transactions within a social commerce system, users are sharing personal information, demographics, and other data that is essentially “gold” to any commercial endeavor. Does your social commerce platform offer an analytics tool to capture that value? Geo-location, engagement, and key words are examples of important data points that are able to be captured from F-Commerce. When entering the social commerce arena, make sure you’re armed with the tools to get the data you need to achieve commercial success.
Imperative 3: Define what the customer experience should be.
“Companies should use tests, pilot projects, and sociographic data to map out different social commerce strategies to get a sense of what their customers will see, how they will respond, and what they like best.” This is an important factor in the successful adoption of social commerce, and more specifically, F-Commerce. Users have come to expect a certain secure, simple experience when buying online. Buying within Facebook should be no different.
Imperative 4: Integrate social commerce into an overall multichannel strategy.
“As social commerce becomes a bigger part of the overall sales mix, it is important to understand its position in the company’s broader multi-channel strategy, and in particular to determine the impact social commerce will have on other channels.” Simply said, a F-Commerce storefront cannot stand on its own. As with any other commercial effort, a solid, well-rounded marketing strategy is necessary to truly gain traction among customers and potential users. To round-out the marketing mix, budding social commerce mavericks and newbies alike should look for a full suite of promotional apps, sweepstakes tools, and robust support for their Facebook brand pages.
When everyday users take note of the above imperatives, and especially when large brands take note of these important suggestions, the social media community will begin to see a meaningful leap ahead in social commerce activity.
Original post by: Fanpage Toolkit