Social commerce has now been around for nearly ten years if you are counting Yahoo!’s initial coining of the term back in 2005, with the introduction to the early generation of digital shopping tools such as “Shared Pick Lists”, “User Ratings” and other similar user generated content.
With the introduction of social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and the now ever-so-popular “Pictionary-Sharing” platform, Pinterest, companies are no-doubtedly seeing the value to capitalize on such platforms. The opportunity seems endless for brands (particularly those in fashion) to increase the brand connection with their most valuable consumers…those who are online and who are social.
A recent study from Forrester Research (conducted by Gina Sverdlov) found evidence to support that a brand’s Facebook Fans, are actually their most valuable consumers across all channels. Particularly the study found that Facebook Fans are more likely than Non-Fans to:
- Consider Buying
- Purchase (79% vs. 41%)
- Recommend (74% vs. 38%)
There is a great article from Social Commerce Today, that goes into its details and I highly recommend reading this but the essence to pull from this post, is that the findings are shouting to a more obvious assumption which many Social Media marketers and E-commerce professionals have been trying to argue all along – that Social Media can drive sales and generate a monetary ROI for your organization!
There are seemingly endless amounts of tools, apps and platforms that brands can use to help drive engagement but the challenge that remains is how do you connect the dots from Fan to Revenue? For fashion brands especially, this becomes a hurdle as there aren’t many tools that can drive traffic directly from your Facebook Page to your E-store.
Luckily the new Timeline launch for Facebook Pages have been a huge improvement to help fashion brands drive traffic to their products but the major issue is how do you convert the consumer’s habits from using Facebook for socializing, to using Facebook for shopping? This has been the age-old (and million dollar) question.
A slow shift is occurring though, with companies like Pinterest doing an excellent job of bridging that gap between commerce and Facebook, as well as Facebook’s push towards creating more real estate for app development. These shifts are luckily providing brands the opportunity to push and promote that connection between consumer and brand but even with these improvements, some major hurdles still remain.
In our next post we will go into some examples of how fashion brands are using social commerce tools to bridge the consumer shopping gap and the trends of where the industry is heading.