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The Smart Lab: Everything You Need to Know About Social Media Shopping

ColumnistsMay 11, 2021

The Smart Lab: Everything You Need to Know About Social Media Shopping

Smart Age Solutions’ Emmanuel Raheb touches on the social commerce opportunities available to help grow your business.

2021_Emmanuel-Raheb.jpg
Emmanuel Raheb is the CEO of Smart Age Solutions, a digital ad agency and coveted Premier Google Partner. Contact him at eraheb@smartagesolutions.com.
Shopping online is nothing new, but shopping on social media is. Social commerce is the next evolution of e-commerce, and if you don’t fully understand its impact, you’re missing out.

To put it simply, with social commerce, consumers discover, engage, and make a purchasing decision by using Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter, or other channels.

In some instances, even the actual checkout itself can occur through social media without having to visit a jewelry store’s website. The new reality is that the purchase journey of the customer has shortened dramatically.

For jewelers who know how to use social media effectively, this is the perfect opportunity for you to convert more of your audience into immediate sales.

As an example, you could share a beautiful photo of your jewelry being worn by a model on your Instagram account, and with a simple click, your audience can see details about the style, including price, item attributes, and a more detailed description. You can even link directly to your jewelry website’s product page, making it even easier to complete the sale. Everything the customer needs to make a purchasing decision is a mere click or two away!

Surprisingly, many people who see a style they like on social media are afraid to ask for the price (or other questions) for fear of being pressured into a sale. Build trust by providing this information upfront. Social media now lets you tag and annotate your photos with critical style information, which helps convert the shy or reluctant customers.

Remember, the customer is not only buying a style they like, but also buying from you—their local, reliable, and trusted jeweler.

Let’s discuss some of the different social media platforms and what social commerce opportunities are available to help grow your business.

Facebook Shopping
Facebook shopping has a unique advantage in that it’s currently the biggest opportunity and is free to add to your business page as a feature. It’s also frictionless between Instagram, where you can link to products from a Facebook Live or an Instagram Story. Your ads and organic posts can be tagged easily, which leads the customer directly back to your product page.

A big disadvantage is that Facebook currently takes 5 percent of the product price as a transaction fee and some of the features are limited (for now).

Instagram Shopping
Instagram shopping is optimized for mobile users, with reduced clicks making the checkout process extremely well optimized for people who follow fashion influencers. A few downsides are that Instagram (like Facebook) also takes 5 percent as a transaction fee, and there is little customer data available (unless you know where to look and how to set things up correctly). 

 Related stories will be right here … 
Both Facebook shopping and Instagram shopping are well worth any potential fees they charge because customers who buy direct through these channels are already on the platform. This makes the purchase almost frictionless and extremely easy to complete.

If the customer has to leave the social channel to go to your website, there is always the potential for them to get lost or be distracted by too many great options or other styles. It doesn’t mean they won’t buy. They might just put the purchase off to another time and simply forget to come back.

Sometimes less can add up to more. When you make it extremely simple for people to buy from you on social media at the exact moment of an impulse purchase, it’s smart business.

Other Social Media Channels
Although Facebook and Instagram represent the biggest social commerce opportunities for you, every social media channel has unique opportunities to better convert your audience. Two other examples I’ll mention briefly are Pinterest and WhatsApp.

With Pinterest, you can drive additional traffic to your site through pins or themed boards. You can include pricing information on individual pins or on product groupings on boards.

For example, you can set up a special board for great gift ideas under $500 (or any pricing tier you choose). Remember, Pinterest is all about pinning, and people who pin are actually bookmarking your jewelry because they like the styles or are saving them for a future purchase.

There are some disadvantages to using Pinterest for social commerce: pins are singular, allowing a link to only one product page, and your brand identity can get lost if the photos are not tagged properly or watermarked correctly, which can decrease the value of what you’re offering.

WhatsApp is also a great social commerce opportunity. You can segment your audience and see statistics specific to your business. You can even have preset messages and use auto-responses to streamline inquiries from jewelry buyers.

However, you must have a business account and cannot use a personal number. I will also note that some of the automation is basic at the current moment, but things are evolving rapidly.

Your Future Success Starts with What You Do Today
Whichever social channel you choose as part of your social commerce strategy, it’s important to remember that each one has its own unique opportunities. You’ll want to focus on the channels where your jewelry business is most popular and where the biggest potential gains are. A good marketing partner can help focus your efforts and optimize your results.

The future of social media is deepening with more and more transactions happening on these types of digital platforms. Many people today complete their jewelry purchase even without visiting a jeweler’s website. 

Although you may view your jewelry store’s audience as being “just local,” there’s no reason why you can’t expand your sales beyond your own town or city’s borders. 

Why not grow and sell everywhere your audience is online? Your customers can come from anywhere in the world. The opportunities to sell on social media are virtually unlimited if you know how to convert your audience and seize the momentum.

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