We’re observing a recent phenomenon: many brand and stores eg: GameStop, Gap, J.C. Penney and Nordstrom have shut down their Facebook stores. Yeah, Facebook Storefronts was not a success story for everyone who started selling directly on Facebook.
What is missing here, what is the opportunity for brands with social networks?
Recently an article published by eCommerce Times had an interesting insight, ‘the real value of Facebook’s 900 million users is the amount of engagement and reach a brand can achieve, and not the direct dollars the platform can push their way’. As we know, the inherent purpose of any social network is to connect and engage, but not sell. Brands learnt this lesson a hard way that the concept of buying and selling on such platforms does not fit with the very basic nature of social networking. It is like a salesman approaching us when we are out with our friends in a bar.
However, those who approached this differently on social networks have seen the benefits. Study reveals that (eMarketer) in US, 33% of women social network users have made a purchase based on the friends and family recommendations on Facebook. Also, as per a recent report by Barclays, the global online shopping trend is rapidly changing, and by early 2020s more than 4 out of 10 in UK will be influenced by or will be using social media to make a purchase online. These studies make it clear that brands that harness the power of social networks as medium for communication and engaging with their customers, benefit significantly.
The point here is, make social networks as a medium for customer engagement, increasing brand awareness thus enhancing traffic to your store/ pages rather than an online platform to sell products. Also, for getting the maximum from social networks it is necessary to incorporate innovation and virality in your products/ campaigns to make the customers act.
What is your take on this?
Next up : How to make your customers spread the word about your business?