Unsurprisingly, social media channels are important for acquiring new customers.
However, if before the role of the social network was primarily to take the consumer to an external purchase platform (such as an ecommerce), today, commerce carried out within the social networks themselves is a reality that has expanded even more since the pandemic began in 2020.
According to a study recently carried out by Emplif (a Customer Experience platform), the discovery and purchase of products through social media channels are expected to grow by 31.4% annually, between 2020 and 2027.
Companies and consumers see positive results in the purchase process being carried out on social networks: this same survey shows that 83% of organizations in the B2C market are investing in two or more social networks as direct sales channels.
For brands, social commerce offers the possibility to attract customers, provide a quick shopping experience, have an assertive segmentation, create and maintain a close relationship with the audience and obtain relevant data from consumers.
At the same time, this scenario is also favorable for the consumer: it is possible to easily analyze and compare the most diverse options on the market, search for reviews, talk to other consumers and make the purchase simply and quickly — all with just a few clicks. As a result, we have a more active and independent consumer.
Despite the gains and facilities provided by trade on the networks, it is necessary to pay attention to the complete strategy.
This same Emplif study reveals that the main objective of the interviewed leaders is revenue generation: less than 30% prioritize aspects that directly relate to the customer experience.
With that in mind, I would say: beware! A strategy that focuses primarily on increasing sales may be doomed to failure.
By primarily prioritizing revenue generation, a critical component of success is overlooked: delivering value to the customer along the journey. So all your efforts become just to sell and not to sell with a focus on the customer. That’s a problem.
When customer experience isn’t prioritized, revenue can stagnate. You need to understand the customer’s needs and provide an appropriate experience.
Increasing revenue should not be the strategy, but the result
As a Global Customer Experience Analyst from Rock Content, I usually say that our customer is our biggest (and best) seller.
A satisfied customer buys from the company more often, stays longer (in the case of recurring services, for example), gives good ratings on social networks and, above all, makes referrals to new customers.
On the other hand, a customer with a negative experience can do exactly the opposite: in addition to not making new purchases, they evaluate negatively and influence other people not to buy (specifically when you’re talking about a social platform as a vehicle for that purchase).
And one thing is certain: consumers trust other consumers.
According to a GlobalWebIndex survey, 54% of users use social media to search for products and services and 71% are more likely to make a purchase based on reviews.
A negative customer rating can have a greater impact than a good marketing campaign.
I’m not saying here that you shouldn’t be aiming for revenue growth, but structuring your strategy around just that is not profitable in the long run.
Efforts should be directed towards providing adequate customer experiences, considering their needs and expectations. As a consequence, the increase in revenue follows.
Experience is the result of customer interactions with the brand
Thinking about the customer experience is considering their entire journey — from the moment of discovering the brand to post-purchase.
When we talk about a social commerce strategy, this includes a good shopping experience on social media, but it also covers several other aspects, such as content, service, delivery, product quality and the fulfillment of your brand promise.
That said, it’s critical to take a holistic view of the entire journey to ensure that all sectors and processes are aligned with the same goal (this should be customer focused).
When planning your Black Friday and Holidays campaigns, put the customer experience first
Imagine the following scenario: you create a strategy in live shopping on Facebook to publicize your Black Friday promotions. Your strategy is assertive and, luckily, you sell a lot.
However, the high number of orders overwhelms the team or causes the stock not to meet demand. Your customer doesn’t receive the product on time. He tries to make contact with your brand, but to no avail: your team was unprepared for the high volume of calls.
What is the perception at the end? What will this consumer say about your brand?
In situations like this, that same customer can post on social media describing the negative situation they experienced with your brand. How many future sales opportunities do you miss out on because of this feedback?
Or, in another case, you plan a campaign to qualify your followers and increase Christmas sales, but don’t consider the real needs and expectations of your audience. The result is a low rate of adhesion and few sales. In fact, 47% of companies, according to the Emplif study, have difficulty converting followers into customers.
Often, brilliant marketing strategies end up in a failed experience due to a lack of vision of the complete consumer journey and a lack of alignment between sectors and processes. A negative interaction with your brand can ruin your entire strategy effort.
The focus must be on the customer
Social commerce is a reality and the expectation is that it will continue to grow. However, there is still a long way to go when we talk about prioritizing the customer experience.
Adhering to a customer-centricity mindset, involving the entire organization and placing the customer at the center of your strategy and decisions is assertive and profitable.
And deep down, we all know it. I don’t know what your profession is (maybe social media, marketer, Customer Success Manager, etc.), but one thing I’m sure of: you’re a customer.
Long before you took on your current position or decided on your profession, you were already consuming. We are natural customers and we know exactly when we have a good (or bad) experience.
So, I ask you to reflect: if you were a client of your own company, would you be satisfied with your social experience?
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