2015 will be the year that mobile festive sales come into their own. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but what is surprising is how easy is it to grab some of those sales for yourself with very little effort. In fact, making just one small change now can increase your sales over the next eight weeks by 133%.
Mobile commerce is growing at an astounding rate - IBM predicts that by December, 50% of all holiday traffic to retail sites will originate on a mobile device. In 2012, the value of sales in the US driven by social media was $3 billion. Today social media sales generate $14 billion worth of revenue for retailers. The takeaway from this is clear - more people will use their mobile devices to buy and to inform their purchase decisions this year than ever before.
If you haven’t invested in social thus far in 2015, it isn’t too late to create a short-term strategy so your team is in the race. Those businesses that fail to consider social could encounter a catastrophic loss to more digitally minded competitors, or find themselves speaking to an increasingly absent audience.
As more of us shop online, there are increasingly blurred lines between the in-store and digital experience. Facebook research shows that 72% of shoppers use their mobile device (predominantly their smartphone) while shopping in store. 10% of offline sales are actively influenced by mobile, demonstrating a convergence between the two and 23% of shoppers change their mind about buying a product while physically in the store, due to information found on their smartphone.
So what’s the secret to this 133% increase?
Social media. Mobile shoppers reading reviews about products on social media convert 133% more of the time. If you aren’t already doing so, being proactive about social media (and Facebook in particular - we’ll get to why in a moment) and encouraging opinions and reviews about your products across sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram is an easy way to send your conversion rate through the roof. This one simple trick is packed with potential and means your store will be much better placed to meet its holiday sales goals.
Shopify studies show that 85% of all social media orders come from Facebook. The average order value from Facebook is around $55 and it has the highest conversion rate of all traffic referred to retailers from social media. Facebook also has a very high proportion of older users, with younger shoppers citing Snapchat and Instagram as more important platforms, which suggests there may be a higher disposable income available.
Why do you need to act now?
An Invespcro infographic calculates that a positive review on social media can increase a product’s price by 9.5%. Social media users begin shopping early but still buy presents as late as Christmas Eve. This gives ample opportunity between now and then to build a stronger social presence and deploy new tactics to increase the volume of product reviews and share of the conversation socially.
Easy actions to implement today
Action #1: Unless you are very well resourced and with lots of time on your hands through the week, it’s advisable to focus on just one social channel if you aren’t already proactively seeking social reviews. Facebook is the natural choice given its close relationship with e-commerce and the percentage of sales activity it drives.
The first thing you need to do is audit your Facebook presence. Adding a new cover with a festive theme is a quick win. This shows you are open for business and plants the first seeds of social commerce for holiday shoppers. Include products or services that are key to you at this time of year and don’t be afraid to change it every week or couple of weeks in the run up to the holidays. You can be creative with your cover and the holiday theme - try an advent calendar window style graphic for example.
Action # 2: Refresh your About section to reflect any extended holiday opening hours, include your email address and phone number. These first two actions should take next to no time at all but lay the foundation for the next stages.
Action #3: Invite all of your existing customers to like your page. You can do this via your email marketing, your CMS system or through Facebook itself. This step is crucial - the end game is to get more opinions and reviews to trigger that 133% conversion rate increase. To do that you need more people reviewing, talking and sharing their opinions about your product.
Action #4: With each new sale or order received via your site from now through the holiday season and beyond, include a Facebook page link on the order confirmation screen or email purchase receipt. Include a call to action for the shopper to review their product on your Facebook page and share their opinions with their own social networks.
Action #5: Engaging content is the engine that will drive continued reviews and activity on your Facebook page. Experiment with different formats such as text-based tips, videos, product demos, blogs and images to gauge what your audience responds best to. Use this knowledge to inform your content creation process and give your consumers more of what they are looking for. This is important year around but especially so now when you are aiming to build up product reviews and drive more social commerce.
Do you expect social commerce and mobile sales to be important to your business this holiday season? What measures do you have in place to increase online, mobile and social sales? Share your thoughts and questions with us in the comments.