The social age of retail

By 13th June 2019November 4th, 2019Ecommerce, Social Media
The social age of retail
Social media apps are paving the way for an ecommerce revolution with the recent introduction of ‘buy buttons’ to its platforms. Consumers can now shop the advertised products they see on social media within the app, without the need to be redirected to an outside site.

Making the purchase journey seamless:

The evolution of shopping has taken us from bricks and mortar stores, to online, to mobile, and now follows us in to social media. There are of course, specific retail apps (such as Asos and Amazon to name but a few). But these rely on the user having a product in mind and a reason to visit.

This comes as a smart move by brands as users now spend on average a staggering 2 hours and 22 minutes a day on social media scrolling through posts, seeing items they didn’t even know they wanted or needed.

Leading at the forefront was Pinterest with ‘buyable pins’. This is followed by Instagram’s ‘Shop now’ buttons, and Twitter’s “Buy on Twitter’ feature.

Targeted advertising and customer engagement:

It’s not just retailers utilising this feature. You can now shop the clothes you see being worn by influential figures and celebrities direct from their post.

With targeted advertising being one the most successful sources of marketing, a place for promoted posts is opening up as an equally popular tactic. It comes as no surprise that brands are turning to individuals with a high following within their target audience to tailor their feeds and maximise their exposure.

A tailored feed aims to push the posts that include the personal interests of the user to the top of their viewing feed based on what they have looked at, engaged with, previously bought or even merely mentioned in passing (technically not proven, however happens a spooky amount of times for it not to be true)

So, if you see your favourite celebrity wearing the latest must have trainers, chances are there will be a link somewhere on their post, or in their instagram story to take you direct to the buying process without a second thought.

It’s just too easy:

Given the success of payment companies such as Stripe, and Amazon’s one click payment system, it is clear the main importance to users is speed and ease; which is something the buy buttons provide.

While this is great for retailers and brands to connect directly with their customers, speed up the purchase journey and make it impossibly easy to buy their products. How will this affect the buying trends of 2019?

Well, as convenient as buying buttons are, they are only as effective as their audience. With Twitter’s main user demographic aged between 18-29 years, it excludes the majority of financially stable ‘working professionals’ in their 30’s and above. While this may suit some brands target range, it won’t be for all. Luxury and home lifestyle brands will still need to rely on alternative and proven social marketing strategies.