With competition at an all time high amongst ecommerce stores, any extra edge helps. Social media is a great outlet to promote your brand, but can fall short if not utilized properly. Many people look to platforms like Pinterest and Facebook Ads to engage in social ecommerce, but how do you influence your customers to buy when they are on your site browsing?
After working with various ecommerce brands, we have researched several ways to increase your inbound customers while decreasing checkout abandonment rates. Start by integrating social media into your website through the use of social hubs.
What is a social hub? A social hub is a platform that allows your brand to connect various social feeds into one place through branded or user-generated content. With a social hub, you can leverage content being shared about your brand into one place on your website. To stay competitive, this can be a crucial element that separates a dynamic site from a merely static one for your customers.
What types of customers are you targeting?
First Time Visitors
Visitors Ready to Buy
With the First Time Visitors, your main goal is to give them an easy way to buy. As for visitors that are Ready to Buy, your goal is to seamlessly illustrate value to convert & close the sale. Both targets share one thing in common: they are influenced by social media. According to a recent study done by RGMR, word of mouth (WOM) interactions trump any other outreach method out there. In the digital world, WOM influence takes place on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube (among other social channels).
With this in mind, here are the 3 ways integrating social hubs + ecommerce increases conversions while lowering cart abandonment rates:
1. Create social hub and run a hashtag contest
To increase lead generation, find a common use of your brand. For example, say you are responsible for the social media for a brand like Converse. With a simple hashtag campaign or contest (like #allstar below), you can direct your new leads to a centralized page with photos of how existing customers are wearing your Converse shoes, and attach a contest incentive to drive social user interaction. For example, a campaign/contest could look like this:
With this strategy, you are targeting the First Time Visitors who will want to join in on the social conversations and ultimately get them excited to explore your brand to make a purchase.
Birchbox France took a newsworthy spin on a hashtag contest, using Tint’s social hub to engage audiences that are ambivalent to the World Cup craze. Their hashtag contest #contresoireefoot asks First Time Visitors, “What are you doing instead of watching soccer?” In response to their campaign, thousands have posted this hashtag with non-world cup activities in order to win a 200 Euro shopping spree to Birchbox’s online store.
2. Add Call to Action Button on Social Hub
What is a call to action (CTA)? From email messages to websites and shopping carts, calls to action direct the customer to complete an action, whether “SIGN UP TODAY,” “SHOP THIS LOOK,” or “I WANT ONE.” With a social hub, you can leverage your social feeds to increase click-though and overall sales. How?
Check out the beauty ecommerce brand, Deborah Lippmann. By pulling in their user-generated content #showofhands from around the social web directly onto their site, they can add a “BUY NOW” button to each social post, leading interested (potentially socially influenced) First Time and Ready to Buy Customers directly to a checkout purchase page. This is an optimal example of how to leverage and monetize social content.
By adding a CTA, every social post becomes an opportunity to sell.
CTA buttons also utilize social feeds to display new ideas and uses for your products, straight from your existing customers. For example, fashion brands like J.Crew could use social hubs to promote the various combinations of their clothing and accessories, from the real people wearing them. It’s like having a team of personal stylists promoting your brand!
As we mentioned before, most purchase decisions are based on social curation and recommendation. By adding a CTA button, you encourage the user to click through and buy, such as “Shop this Look,” based on indirect recommendations generated directly from your other customers. You can also add discounts or specials on your CTA, such as “20% off this look,” or “Share for 20% off” to incentivize your customers and increase conversions.
3. Place Social Testimonials on your Checkout Page
Even if you have amazing products, customers may still need an extra push to buy. By adding a social hub to individual product pages, your customers can clearly see how they can use your product based on your existing customers social posts. Social hubs on checkout pages could very well be the future of product page reviews.
They promote positive feedback, multiple uses, best sellers and more. Who wants to read through comments when they can simply scroll through happy customers social recommendations?
Orange and Park utilizes this exact strategy with Tint, offering customers various ways they can hang, frame and decorate with their prints from their user generated content.
+BONUS: Physical Stores
If you also maintain a physical store, social hubs can be displayed on TVs to offer in-store deals. Many stores currently offer a 5-15% discount for customers that check-in (or use their hashtag) on social or post about their products. Imagine a social hub display that could not only increase sales in store, but influence others to buy based on social recommendation.
Move (pictured above) is using Tint to engage their customers in-store, pulling social posts from their happy customers.
To recap, social hubs provide multiple opportunities to increase ecommerce sales:
Hashtag contests: Generates conversation and leads to visit your ecommerce site
Strong calls to action: Directs customers to easily buy your products from user-generated content
Social testimonials in checkout: Enhances product credibility and increases conversion when checking out
One or all of these strategies enables you to leverage social media brand interactions to obtain new customers, recommend purchases and promote social reviews and get customers to buy. Make the most out of your brand’s social content.
Want to learn more about how to utilize your social feeds? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for tips, news and customer success stories.
Have you seen other brands implement social hubs on their sites in innovative ways? Share them with us in the comments below!