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Why Merchants Should Embrace Social Commerce

February 5 2014 | By Pam Mukiama

Small business owners are becoming more tech savvy every day. As consumer shopping trends continue to evolve, merchants are finding they have little choice but to adopt multiple channels in order to accommodate their customers. Many retailers have already invested in internet merchant accounts, some have developed mobile commerce strategies but a large majority is still testing the waters when it comes to social commerce.

According to an Emarketer survey, user generated content is becoming more valuable to consumers, especially when it comes to the purchase of small electronic items. Consumers are making it a habit to read at least one piece of user generated content prior to making a purchase. Social Media provides an excellent platform though which small business owners can amplify customer reviews and make user generated content work for them.

Once a user happens upon your e-commerce site based on reviews or social media activity, it should be relatively easy for them to find and purchase the product that brought them there in the first place. The intent to buy is still fragile and can quickly disappear. It is important for merchants to make the process as seamless as possible by eliminating any hurdle a customer has to go through. Having a robust payment processing solution should definitely be part of this strategy.

A Comscore study on the spending index of fans and friends of fans of various retail brands revealed that Facebook Fans were valuable customers for Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. There can be true value in social media marketing, converting browsers into customers and low value customers into high value customers.

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