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How Social Is Your Ecommerce?

social media icons

Given how much they have in common, you’d think ecommerce and social media would go together like two peas in a pod. After all, they provide the perfect platform for bringing technology, people, and products together.  But although it seems like they should be a great fit, a recent survey indicates ecommerce might not be as social as you think.

Argyle Social, a social media marketing platform that enables social publishing, customer engagement, and marketing insight, recently collected responses from 566 online retailers ranging in size from big brands to specialty sites. According to Argyle’s data, consumers and businesses alike have been slow to fully embrace social commerce.

Integrating ecommerce and social

Of those surveyed, only 17% of businesses indicated they featured a product catalogue on their Facebook fan page. Less than 30% (29% on Facebook and 23% on Twitter) offered deals exclusive to a specific social media channel. That means the vast majority of online retailers aren’t taking full advantage of their social presence and, as a result, are missing out on the opportunity to market their products to their followers.

Embracing calls to action

It’s difficult, if not impossible, to make a sale without having a clear call to action. That rule applies whether you’re writing content for your online storefront or using Twitter to generate leads. When it comes to social commerce, you absolutely must find a “socially appropriate” way to ask for the sale. Yet more than 44% of respondents indicated they never use a call to action on Facebook or Twitter.

Leveling the retail playing field

The good news for niche online retailers is that audience size doesn’t appear to be strongly correlated with revenue. In fact, Argyle’s data indicates smaller ecommerce sites often have more followers than big brands—proof that technology (in particular social media) is continuing to help close the gap between the two.

How is social media changing ecommerce?

And what will those changes mean for online retailers and consumers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


[Image: Flickr user Gavin Llewellyn]

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