The digital transformation has changed how we communicate, how we learn, and how we shop – among other things. Because of these changes, e-commerce stores are becoming increasingly popular. They commanded a large portion of the market share in 2017, with an estimated $353.7 billion in revenue. Those numbers are only expected to increase, with the industry netting a whopping $485.3 billion in 2021.
There are several possible drivers of this trend – first, that the bulk of America’s shoppers tend to be younger. Millennials and Gen Z are worth over a trillion dollars in buying power, and they’ll continue to inform shopping trends in the years ahead. Second, consumers like the convenience of shopping online – it makes it easier to research before making a purchase.
In short, I think e-commerce is here to stay and will only get more popular in the years to come.
Business owners who want to make the most of their e-commerce platforms should consider one more compelling statistic; More than 70% of customers who have a positive social media experience with a brand say they are more likely to recommend it to others.
It should come as no surprise that social media is an essential tool in every e-commerce store’s marketing arsenal. Businesses that fail to leverage social media marketing are missing out on valuable conversion opportunities – conversions that happen organically and without steep increases in cost.
Want to know how to boost your e-commerce sales using social media? Consider this your primer.
Here are the best ways to leverage Facebook and Instagram to improve your bottom line.
Let’s start with Facebook.
Facebook commands a large presence, with 2.19 billion monthly active users in the first quarter of 2018. It offers a simple, yet effective solution for eCommerce store owners to get more exposure, particularly to the right audience. A savvy Facebook marketing campaign can lead to more clicks, increased conversions, more customers, and ultimately more sales. Start with these simple tips and tricks:
1. Try a Multi-Product Advertisement
Facebook offers a “carousel” option that allows you to display multiple products in one advertisement. A few reasons this method proves to be so effective:
- Humans are naturally curious. As we scroll through our Facebook feeds, we want to see the rest of the products available on a carousel ad, especially if the first two products catch our eye. This will naturally increase your click-through rates and garner interest in your brand.
- You have an opportunity to show complementary products, increasing the likelihood of multiple sales. If you sell running gear, for example, you could showcase shoes, moisture wicking socks, and apparel within the same carousel window.
At its core, a Facebook carousel ad gives a prospect more reasons to click. This makes them a worthwhile investment of capital.
2. Always Use High-Quality Images
Facebook is nothing if not a highly visual experience. Users scroll through a feed until they find something that catches their eye and click. Take advantage of this opportunity by using high-quality, enticing photos.
If you’re going to spend the money on a Facebook ad, this isn’t the time to post product photos with your smartphone. Use a professional photographer to catch high-resolution shots of your products. When customers can see the features of your product and at multiple angles, they’re more likely to make a buying decision.
3. Rethink the Hard Sell
Some business owners make the mistake of thinking every advertisement must be focused on sales. A word of caution: We tend to tune out hard selling advertisements. Ads have become such a central point of our online experience that only the most compelling stand out.
Interestingly, one of the best ways to garner interest in your brand on Facebook is by promoting events. These work to increase your brand awareness and ultimately lead to more sales. Consider hosting a product launch or sponsoring a fun event in your area related to your brand. This provides a much more natural avenue for promoting your brand, without turning people off with the hard sell.
4. Target Visitors of Your Website
Most savvy e-commerce store owners know that Facebook is a great way to engage with customers. On the other hand, the quality of your targeting also matters. It’s a waste of your marketing dollars to try to reach as many people as possible – instead, pay attention to the people who are already interested in what your brand has to offer. People who have already visited your website know the basics of your brand and may be familiar with your products. Targeting Facebook advertisements to your website visitors will help them through the sales funnel and ultimately lead to more purchases.
The process of advertising to your Facebook followers is simple. Simply install a Facebook pixel on your website, which allows the social media outlet to gather information about who visits your site. Next, when setting up your advertisement, choose the “custom audience” option and filter by website visitors.
Here are some E-commerce sales-boosting tips for Instagram.
Instagram is another powerful social media tool that falls under the Facebook umbrella. As of the last quarter of 2017, Instagram had approximately 700 million monthly active users. Instagram users tend to be younger, which is important to keep in mind when developing advertising campaigns. If you advertise on Instagram, use the following tips to make the most of your marketing dollar.
1. Streamline Your Marketing Efforts With Batching
Small and medium-sized business owners like yourself likely wear many hats – accountant one day, human resources agent the next day and marketing guru after that. When you’re juggling a lot of spinning plates, automation and efficiency are key. Creating from-scratch content, every day, to engage with your target audience could be too much for one small company to handle.
Batching offers a compelling solution to staying up-to-date with your Instagram accounts, without the constant time-suck. Simply, it refers to the idea that you should do as much as you can in one sitting, instead of creating your Instagram content in intervals. This helps your productivity and helps improve content quality. Here are some examples of batching:
- Creating lots of content at once for your followers to enjoy, but scheduling publication far in advance so that it runs automatically
- Scheduling time in advance to respond to comments and engage with followers
By scheduling your content creation and engagement in advance, you’re more likely to establish an engaging presence with your followers, which will ultimately garner more activity.
2. Create Contests
Want a simple way to boost user engagement? Contests provide a compelling reason for people to interact with your brand or follow you for the first time. Offer exclusive deals such as coupons and promotions for followers or create a contest that allows your people to become more engaged with your brand.
3. Publish User-Generated Content
Not only does reposting or sharing user-generated content take some of the work out of content creation for you, but it also gives you an opportunity to make your followers feel special. User-generated content is a simple way to increase engagement in your brand and encourage a wider reach.
I want to tell E-commerce owners to do more than just post on social media – engage with your audience.
Social media platforms, particularly Instagram and Facebook, present compelling opportunities for e-commerce store owners. If you’re neglecting your social media presence, you could be missing out on valuable chances for conversions, engagement, and sales. Use these simple tips and tricks to boost your e-commerce sales using two popular social media platforms.