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How Social Media is Changing the eCommerce Industry

by Mike DeFabis on 2017-08-09 11:24:59

ecommerce_order_fulfillment-2.jpgEverything in today’s world is so fast-paced. We have faster cars, faster internet, faster forms of communication, and faster delivery methods. With things changing so rapidly, internet retailers must find new and innovative ways to keep up with the demands of consumers and follow the latest trends. One of the newer and ingenious ways of doing this is to use social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter to market their brand, gain customer input in a more honest fashion, and advertise sales and bargains to an exclusive group of followers.

 What are the Latest Trends in Online Shopping and Social Media?

According to the 2016 issue of the UPS Pulse, 77% of online shoppers use social media on a daily or weekly basis. That’s a huge majority of society. Almost half of consumers have purchased a product on a social media network or follow them on their accounts. 34% of them say that social media influences their purchase decisions, and these numbers seem to go up by the day.

SLANT Marketing offers some statistics on social media shopping trends that can help further put into perspective how important these outlets are. They have found that:

  • 87% of Pinterest users have purchased an item because of Pinterest. 
  • YouTube videos provide an 80% lift in consideration and 54% in ad recall. 
  • Facebook accounts for 50% of social referrals and 64% of total social revenue.

 How are Social Media Sites Using This to Their Advantage?

Let’s start with the most popular, Facebook. If you log in to your profile, your home page is immediately hit with advertisements for clothing, shoes, toys, food… Have you ever noticed that these advertisements are usually eerily similar to things you have looked at recently on your phone or computer? How does Facebook know what you like and/or buy? These are called Target Ads, and they have a greater influence than you might realize. Advertisers base these targets on your likes and dislikes. They are able to set up the parameters of their ads by using keyword searches that sync with profiles. So, the more information you have on your page, the more relevant advertisements you might see.

Other websites like Twitter and Pinterest follow a similar model, but they are based more off of things you specifically ask to be shown. On Pinterest, you make “Boards” or categories of the things you like and add to them (wedding ideas, quotes, clothing style…). These Boards create a platform for the website to show you more items or ideas they assume the consumer would enjoy, pushing them to the possibility of making a purchase.

 Do User Reviews and Comments Really Have a big Impact?

The short answer is yes, we as consumers are so influenced by what is popular and trendy that we don’t even realize the impact other people’s opinions have on us. Have you ever been on Facebook and found something you really liked, then scrolled through the comments relentlessly because curiosity just got the better of you? How many times have you decided NOT to purchase something based off of what other people had to say?

The latest trends and statistics on this put together by Invesp show that 90% of consumers read online reviews and 88% of them trust the online reviews as much as personal recommendations. They also found that 72% of customers only take action after reading a positive review and 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a company that has negative reviews. It was found that on average; only ONE negative review can lead to a drop of up to 30 customers.

Overall, social media may seem like an aspect of the ecommerce fulfillment industry that you can gloss over, but it is actually incredibly important to the marketing and sales aspect of your business. A well-rounded social media strategy will keep you engaged with your customers and allow them to feel you are recognizing them. We are living in the digital age, and making sure you stay up to the trends and know how these sites are strategizing their advertisements is instrumental.

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