Will you ‘socialise’ your online store?
Online purchasing is growing while Aussies have a more ferocious appetite for social networking than most of the world.
So it makes sense that there’s infinite plugins and extensions to help e-commerce shack up with social networks. Get it right and your social media output can be used to add value to your online store continuing the conversation and building relationships and loyalty – way beyond single transactions.
Our preferred e-commerce solution, Magento, can easily be integrated with Twitter feeds and Facebook fanpages using Magento default APIs. Similarly e-Newsletter sign-up options include features that allow recipients to share the newsletter invite across social channels.
Beyond share or like buttons, social commerce can be built across communities through all sorts of user engagement platforms, reviews, mobile apps, newsfeeds, coupons, discount and deals.
Social referrals can aid the purchasing process by spreading the word amongst shoppers’ friends and offering rewards and incentives to do so.
“Peer referrals allows consumers to gauge the product relative to their personal preferences,” explains SocialTwist CEO Vijay Pullar. “A key trend brands can leverage is that friends know what other friends like and they know what their other friends are looking for,” said Pullar.
There’s seemingly no end to the plugins and extensions that can be integrated with your Magento online store, here‘s a handful:
ShareThis, Socialable Allows users to share specific sites, pages or products and distribute information via Facebook, Bebo, Twitter and tell friends.
Beetailer, Storeya, Facebook Store App Integrates some or all of products from your Magento store into social networks and fanpages.
Curebit, Social Twist Get your customers to refer their friends via Twitter, Facebook or email, with useful tracking features
Groupon, Zizio Social Deals Launch social deals campaigns and coupons offering rebates for referrals for your customers to tell their friends. This is a flooded category of social commerce to be weary of but it can occasionally still be appropriate for certain markets.
Facebook Referrals, Open Graph and Comments Allowing your customers to invite people and get automatic discounts, share what they ‘want’ and ‘own’ or leave comments your webstore’s product page by logging into their Facebook accounts.
Shopalize Purchase Sharing Widget After purchase, customers can share their purchases or offers with friends in social platforms.
Tailor your social strategy to your market, capabilities and objectives as running consumables out the door at bargain prices needs a different approach to a premium product looking to create brand longevity and a loyal fan base.
While Facebook and Twitter will give you wide reach, more niche and specialised social platforms are being used by brands to supplement their broader social strategy.
These communities geared to a specific interest may give you a more targeted reach. For example, sharing photos of your clothing range and inspirational images via Instagram may help gain the attention of fashionistas or you may establish credibility with foodies by posting info on Foodspotting. These niche audiences may be the trendsetters within your category of commerce.
We recommend staggering the implementation of your social elements unless you have internal resources in place or the budget to outsource its management. Social needs to be monitored carefully and providing rapid response times or risk alienating users.
Our advice: get your store working, then plan and implement one or two social extensions or plugins at a time.
Access their effectiveness and reach through services such as Facebook Insights and Google Analytics, which includes analysis of your site and e-sales across multiples channels including social.
Socialising your online store will be an evolving process as technologies and communities change, yet it is a necessary and worthwhile investment in today’s e-commerce mediascape.
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