New social media possibilities empower e-commerce


The rise of social media has represented nothing short of a phenomenon in recent years, likely leaving retailers of all stripes wondering how they can take advantage of it to boost sales. This could be especially pronounced among firms with a strong e-commerce presence, as their key offerings are already based online and easy to access from social sites.

New connections

According to E-Commerce News, one sure way to make both social media and traditional e-commerce work for a company is to combine them through tight connections. The source recommended "like" buttons with direct links to primary purchase systems.

Social media integration goes in all directions. While there could be value to be had in capturing social users and pushing them to a storefront, the source also recommended taking users from the main site and funneling them to a firm's social networking account, where they can connect to others and spread the brand message.

"The best placement for social media icons is 'above the fold' - meaning you don't have to scroll down to see them - on every page," media manager Melissa Ruggles told the source. "Ideally, social icons should be placed in the upper right corner of each page on your blog and website. The point is that you don't want people to have to hunt for them."

One thing that has not changed with the advent of Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter is the need for e-commerce offerings to be strong, trustworthy and reliable. Customers are not likely to stay on a website that does not appear safe, no matter how they navigated there. A secure transaction management system and efficient supply chain management tactics to ensure rapid and reliable delivery have always been cornerstones of online sales.

Boosts and improvements

Once a site has harnessed customers, operators can increase engagement in a number of ways. Practical eCommerce recently suggested tactics that can help sites spike in value. One of the recommended ways to boost revenue centered on expansion into new markets or territories. This could mean pushing a site into new markets and localizing, or even making slight changes and customer assurances if the new territory shares a language with the point of origin.

Expansion, according to Practical eCommerce, could also mean specialization. Sellers with products that have niche appeal can capitalize by developing a sub-store only for those items, becoming an authoritative voice in a smaller market.