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Social Commerce

The Five Factors That Drive eCommerce Loyalty

By eCommerce and Marketplaces, Social Commerce, Social Media No Comments

As we all know, brand loyalty was disrupted during the pandemic, and it changed nearly every part of the eCommerce playbook.

Over these past couple of years, marketers needed to find a way to attract shoppers and convert them into repeat customers. One of the best ways for brands to understand their customers’ wants and needs is through harnessing social media, which provides opportunities to create personalized marketing campaigns.

The Five Factors

The five key factors that can help online brands with digital loyalty are relevance, a seamless shopping experience, convenience, personal connection, and community endorsement.

  1. Relevance: Shoppers want the ability to discover relevant products they desire and need that they hadn’t thought about.
  2. Seamless shopping experience: Consumers prefer technology that recommends products that meet in-the-moment needs.
  3. Convenience: Shoppers expect to receive their products within a couple of days at a reasonable delivery cost (and a no-hassle return experience).
  4. Personal Connection: Consumers expect a personal customer service experience, where the brand reflects their identity and knows them enough to provide relevant offers.
  5. Community Endorsement: Shoppers want to feel part of a community and will naturally trust recommendations or reviews by other like-minded members.

This shift in the eCommerce reality has forced many businesses to rethink their approach to customer relationships. With more users online, fostering digital loyalty can yield a real and significant revenue boost.

By focusing on these five factors, marketers drive loyalty to your brand by harnessing the best social media tools and creating personalized marketing campaigns.

You can ensure a seamless experience that prioritizes usability, but also delights shoppers with new and innovative experiences. If possible, offer curbside or locker pickup, which will cut the cost of delivery and time, in turn making customers satisfied.

We also recommend employing new tools, like customer care online chat platforms or messaging apps, to improve responsiveness to consumers. These kinds of tool are highly desired. In fact, a recent Accenture study shows that 90% of U.S. consumers and 86% of businesses prefer apps and mobile chat. This can also help create a more personalized experience.

And, bear in mind a recent Yieldly report indicated that 75% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from brands offering personalized experiences. It’s also important to ask loyal customers to leave reviews and recommendations; this tactic can broaden your brand’s social reach through enlisting creators who have credibility in a particular product area.

If you’d like assistance with your integrated social media, eCommerce, marketplace or app strategy, contact us today. Our experts are here to help.

The Digital Marketing Trends Shaping New Customer Experiences

By Brand Engagement, Content Marketing, Insights & News, Social Commerce, Uncategorized No Comments

It can be increasingly challenging to keep up with digital marketing trends as they change so quickly.

To help marketers and digital leaders navigate this new landscape, we’ve identified the key trends to help you improve engagement and drive conversions this year.

1. SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS

TikTok Will Continue to Grow & Brands Need to Take it Seriously

The rapid rise of TikTok has seen the app reach 1 billion users and counting. The platform has enormous engagement (U.S. users spend up to 850 hours a month on the platform) and enables brands to create hyper-personalized content that truly connects with customers.

In terms of the platform’s revenue, TikTok was the top-earning non-game app in 2021 with more than $110 million spent by users. This just shows the earning potential of the app for marketers looking to drive sales amongst young consumers. 

The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

Influencers have also played a role in TikTok’s rise with many earning huge amounts through sponsorship deals. Battisby believes that brands are now taking notice of influencer marketing on the platform.

In the platform’s early days, it seemed to be a place for kids and teens and the influencer who want to reach them. But, today, we are seeing influencers like Gordon Ramsey and financial influencers like @johnefinance and @breakyourbudget who help GenZers learn about planning for their financial futures.

Social Commerce Will Become Seamless

During the pandemic, social commerce took off and is expected to reach $1.2 trillion globally by 2025 according to an Accenture study – a growth that’s three times faster than traditional ecommerce, aided by hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.

2022 is set to see the experience of social shopping evolve as platforms work behind the scenes to enable customer payments without leaving social media apps, creating a seamless customer experience. Gen Z and Millennials are predicted to be the biggest spenders as they will account for 62 percent of global social ecommerce revenue by 2025.

The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

The key to driving engagement is for brands to create compelling shop windows on Instagram. It’s no longer enough to rely on one great image, companies need to have multiple images per product and add keyword-rich descriptions. Video is also crucial as the popularity of the format  – as witnessed by TikTok’s growth and Instagram’s recent transition – is exploding across all audiences. 

YouTube Advertising Will Explode

YouTube is going to explode in terms of investment from advertising in 2022. As more people move away from linear TV, fragmentation with subscriptions, and streaming services all means that more advertising spend is going to move to YouTube.

Last year YouTube’s global revenue (through its parent company Alphabet) grew to nearly $29 billion, up almost 46 percent from 2020. This level of revenue puts the social media platform on par with Netflix and is a result of the rise in more traditional TV advertisers on the channel, direct response ads, and brand advertising.

The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

2. DIGITAL MARKETING JOB TRENDS IN 2022

Marketers Need to Upskill in Digital

As brands clamor to engage, promote, and convert successfully online, the need for digital talent across industries is intense.

A recent whitepaper, ‘Perpetual Evolution’, from The Economist Group, revealed that securing talent with the right skill set is the number one challenge that the digital marketing industry faces, while the lack of training to upskill marketers ranks seventh.

The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

This demand is great news for marketers but poses a challenge for many in the industry who lack digital know-how or experience in digital marketing. So what digital marketing skills will be in demand in 2022? Social media skills remain in high demand, along with SEO and SEM.

The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

The Digital Gig Economy is on the Rise

Over the past decade, many workers are pursuing a more flexible ‘gig’ lifestyle for their professional lives. The emergence and rise of online services and apps such as Airbnb and Deliveroo have offered new ways of working for people rather than a 9 to 5 traditional job.

In fact, according to a recent Mastercard study, half of the U.S. population will do gig work by 2028.

This gig economy opens up the door for marketers with in-demand skills. We are seeing more creative or digital marketing professionals choosing the digital nomad route as this enables them to dictate their own working hours and have flexibility.

3. DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TRENDS IN 2022

The Metaverse Will Become a Marketer’s Playground

While it has existed and evolved for years, the metaverse saw a boost in interest after Facebook changed its parent company’s name to Meta in October 2021.

This move, according to Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg is because “the metaverse is the next frontier in connecting people, just like social networking was when we got started. Over time, I hope we are seen as a metaverse company, and I want to anchor our work and our identity on what we’re building towards.”

So what is the metaverse? Basically, it’s virtual worlds in 3D that people can connect through Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Imagine having an avatar that looks exactly like yourself with you exact measurements shopping in a virtual store. You would be able to try on clothes and see what they look like on your body from the comfort of your own sofa.

While we are still a few years away from reaching critical mass with the metaverse, brands are beginning to embrace it now to build on their customer experiences.

According to eMarketer research, there will be 65 million people that use VR and 110 million using AR every month in 2023. That’s a lot of potential young customers to have in one space.

The Next Big Digital Marketing Trends in 2022

Artificial Intelligence Will Hinder & Help Data Privacy

Privacy issues continue to plague brands as more customers demand transparency and control over their own data and we are seeing increasing concerns as AI continues to evolve the customer experience.

According to a Gartner study, 40% of privacy compliance technology will use AI by 2023 while global spending on privacy is expected to reach $8 billion by 2022.

However, companies can use AI in their data privacy initiatives to classify sensitive data and use it to search data to identify individuals that have asked to be forgotten (a specification covered under privacy regulations like GDPR).

The bottom line is the digital marketing space is changing rapidly and brands need to ensure they are testing new tactics and technologies while building the right presence across these new channels. If you need assistance taking a future-forward look at your brand’s digital presence and engagement, contact us today. Our experts are here to help.


Social Commerce on TikTok vs. Instagram and Facebook

By Social Commerce No Comments

Brands and marketers are all looking to profit off TikTok and the current trending hashtag: #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.

While TikTok doesn’t boast the large consumer base that Facebook and Instagram possess, it is a very strong driver of purchase intent. The platform’s strength lies within its algorithm that serves users a very personalized “For You” feed and therefore, people who shop on TikTok browse and buy goods more frequently than shoppers on other social platforms, due to that customized experience.

Many TikTok-inspired purchases actually take place off-platform, including eCommerce sites or even other social platforms. This is because TikTok allows businesses to direct people to other pages/sites using the links within their profiles.

TikTok’s younger demographic contributes to the high levels of off-platform buying as they are more likely to keep up with current trends but may have less purchasing power than the older generations.

According to eMarketer, people who shop on TikTok browse and buy goods more frequently than shoppers on other social platforms. More than one-fifth of TikTok shoppers worldwide said they bought goods on TikTok “all of the time,” ahead of all other platforms measured.

TikTok’s share of the total US social commerce market is expected to remain relatively small. US consumers will spend $45.74 billion on social commerce purchases this year, including purchases made via in-app checkout and those made by clicking through to a retailer’s site. Facebook and Instagram continue to account for the majority of those purchases, and the majority of social buyers.

However, eMarketer’s forecast does not account for the in-store or other off-platform buying that is common with #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt purchases.

The platform is constantly releasing new features to drive in-app purchases including mini storefronts, product links, and the ability to integrate product catalogs to assist in more social commerce spending. We’ve talked about how to make social commerce work for you previously and if you need assistance including TikTok into your social commerce strategy, contact us today. We’re here to help.

Tis the eCommerce Season: Prepare Now for the 2022 Holidays

By eCommerce and Marketplaces, Social Commerce, Uncategorized No Comments

Holiday season and social climate:

The last few years have been atypical to say the least and eCommerce/shopping was greatly affected by the social climate. During the pandemic-driven hibernation in 2020, eCommerce was thriving because there was less opportunity for travel and subsequently more funds for purchases; particularly in demand for at-home use (candles, athleisure, office supplies) and digital education/fitness apps.

Starting in 2020, COVID was the catalyst for the change in consumer behavior. We began to see some relaxed restrictions with a slow return to offices, and more customer demand for Airbnb/staycation/travel experiences as well as general in-person activities with family/friends. Still, the landscape was not quite identical to pre-pandemic behaviors, and in tandem with this shift, modeled META data, the looming threat of cookie deprecation, shipping/demand issues and rising CPMS, there are additional layers of changes bringing a new transformative time in the industry.  

With all these social changes, platform nuances and industry transformations, how do we use the data we have to better inform our holiday strategy and prepare for 2022?

Evaluating 2021

To look ahead to this year, we need to evaluate 2021. The prior holiday season had the “strongest retail growth in more than 20 years” due to increasing customer spending. The expectation is for this metric to grow to 1.262 trillion in 2022, with 15.5% coming from e-commerce, while brick-and-mortar is expecting 1.026 trillion.

The 2021 Review

  • Fewer users shopped Cyber Monday/Black Friday overall and most shopped earlier to avoid inventory/supply chain issues and subsequent shipping delays.
  • Spending increased, particularly at brick-and-mortar retail stores, as there was a large appetite for in-person shopping/consumers were in a better place financially than the prior year. This included in-store shopping for apparel for in-person events/office usage.

Key stats (eMarketer 2022 Preview Report)

  • Retail spends grew 16% YoY to 1.221 trillion.
  • Mobile e-commerce accounted for 45.9% of sales, and 61% of digital visits and is projected to be almost 50% in 2022.
  • Brick & mortal sales increased 17.3% to 1.017 trillion.
  • Cyber Monday had the highest spending day online.
  • Black Friday inched up to .3% while Thanksgiving grew 2.3%.

What should you do with this data?

  1. Ensure your holiday planning/creative is approved assets to be ready for an earlier time in market and to be seen among the clutter as many brands will be present earlier.
  2. Invest in video assets because these have higher costs, but they see great LTV/revenue and work well with static.
  3. 2022 will have a longer holiday cycle, with less spend during the typical post-Thanksgiving period. So, you’ll want to ensure you have a strong evergreen presence. You should release seasonal/holiday messaging earlier to align with consumer demand. No longer do you need to save funds for the holiday spending all in late Q4.
  4. Consider starting early and implementing flat spending if it aligns with your business. Last year there were Black Friday promotions as early as October, and in general, holiday discounting was only 9% in 2021, vs. 14% in 2020, so monitor competitors/trends to see if this continues into 2022.
  5. Because brick-and-mortar sales increased, you should consider setting up store locator ads and ways to track your in-store or online ads. “Click to collect” drove 1 in 4 online transactions, so, if possible, you will want to set this up, and run CTV ad campaign tests.
  6. Cyber Monday should still be priority and if you have an offer; be sure to showcase/be present as this is still an instrumental day.
  7. As there are significant mobile visits and share of revenue, you will need to ensure your ads and user experience is mobile friendly. Invest in app/shops, in preparation for this influx.
  8. To drive purchases and rise above the clutter, ensure each receives a specific user journey and relevant messaging for where they are in funnel (new user vs. returning) and start soft vs. heavy copy to drive user to convert.
  9. Invest in your CRM data and learn from it as well as promote to repeat customers from these list with special offers to drive loyalty and continued purchases. Consider establishing a program/reward for these users.
  10. Test influencer marketing, that way your product is top of mind and when they are ready to purchase, you aren’t as affected by audience modeling.
  11. Ensure you utilize the shop features and continuing to monitor new features (i.e.: FB/IG shop, and enabling checkout within platforms, dynamic ads for hyper targeting ads to users that have seen specific products etc.) of the platforms and ensure you have an integration with a tool like Shopify, so you’re accurately tracking performance.
  12. Consider using a listening tool, to continue to meet consumer expectations and change messaging/strategy based on feedback, with a tool like Sprout Social.

With eCommerce growth back to mid-teens, rising 15.5% to 235.86 billion, the channel is back to pre-pandemic levels. However, we still anticipate earlier holiday shopping to stick as demand will occur earlier in the holiday season, and these habits were established for several years now. Profitero’s Black hypothesized:

“October will be the permanent new kick-off for the holidays, because it feels normal now after two years and it gives retailers three months to make their number versus two. ”

That’s not to say you shouldn’t be in market during the big three (Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Thanksgiving) but the strategy should start earlier while we monitor trends/industry changes.

Of course, it’s early and there are several factors to look out for, as we move toward the early holiday season, that will impact projections/spend.

  • Inflation/Labor Market Changes and General Economy health (i.e.: if gas prices go up, users will have less discretionary income).
  • If stores close, during Black Friday for social climate changes, this will impact spending.
  • If Prime Day (Apple) or large brands (Amazon, Walmart etc.) change their holiday calendar, it is likely to have a trickledown effect.
  • COVID/Social Landscape.

There is no one-stop solution. So, it’s important to speak with experts like us so you consider historical performance, creative and the audience targeting that out-performed. With previous insights/data and the above, you are set up for another successful holiday season.

POV by: Gellena Lukats, Director, Paid Social

Making the Social Commerce Landscape Work For You

By Insights & News, Social Commerce, Social Media No Comments

This year, change has been a constant in the social media world. In addition to media measurement changes, increasing privacy concerns, pandemic shopping fluctuations, platforms are leaning into their product capabilities. These changes, spurred by iOS 14.5 – such as decreased audience sizes, reduced targeting capabilities, and increased platform costs – have ushered in 2022 as a major transition period for social.

While there have been stock fluctuations, new modeled data, and much adversity for social platforms (especially Meta), there have also been improvements in the eCommerce world. And, social’s role is now recognized as not just a view-through channel, but as an important part of the user journey that is instrumental to product success.

Covid-19 expedited the online shopping experience and created digital touchpoints that bridge the gap between online and in-store shopping. Thirty-three percent of sales are made through e-commerce this year, whereas this metric was twenty-three percent pre-pandemic.

Customer Experience

Social media is a channel that showcases customer experience, feedback & engagement. The unsolicited communication of messages on social platforms and at-mentions (i.e.: Twitter) are great ways to get learnings/insights from customers and because it is self-reported, it increases the authenticity of the data. By keeping open communication/transparency, social provides an avenue to obtain direct product feedback for improvements to eCommerce features. Consumers will create their own path to purchase, and social provides guidelines regardless of where they are in the process (discovery, or ready to buy immediately.) Therefore, it’s important to create experiences that lead to brand recall; experiences like sharing recipes/coupons for a restaurant brand to drive users to dine (WARC guide)  

Social Listening tools like Sprout Social or Hootsuite can help you search for keywords, monitor trends, and develop content capable of impacting messaging and ultimately guiding product success; an example of this has been the impact of users’ feedback on corporate sustainability and ultimately consumer responsibility. 4.62 billion of the world’s population is on social and the incremental reach/impact with this platform is unparalleled. One out of every two consumers look for deals specifically on social, making this a great channel to tout promotions and special products and offers.

With data depreciation, first-party data, lookalike modeling & customer personalization are the keys for customer success in a cluttered landscape. You need to define your key audience, use contextual marketing insights, and use the top performing segments for retention, re-engagement and brand loyalty. Be sure to store this data in a compliant way and check you are targeting the correct user on the right platform.

Online channels are now the primary driver for social eCommerce, with over 60% of customers saying they find browsing online easier than being in store. The ease of use of social media lends itself as a great discovery channel. “Online window shopping is also higher,” with sixty-one percent browsing online and only thirty-four percent in store. Correlate store locator data with Snapchat/Meta, but make sure the online experience continues to be king.

While there is no one-shop answer and users will still probably want to buy a significant number of mattresses/televisions in-store, brands can create digital touchpoints that lend to effective shopper journeys, as well as incorporate assets that are engaging, snackable, and drive performance.

Social is growing

In 2020, the average person spent three hours a day on social, vs. 90 minutes in 2012.

Messaging has grown forty percent since 2020, and mobile is key at over 4 hours of activity on average per day.

There is unparalleled time spent on these apps, and you want to make sure your products are being shown and you are fully monetizing on this growth of online activity and subsequent shopping behaviors. Social is not just a place for discovery/awareness: fifty-one percent of users said content they find on social media sites does lead to them to buy a product, adding social to the mid-funnel success, consideration phase.

More than 80 million people made purchases via social in 2020, and the projection is set to be 101.1 million by 2023.

Even industries like travel, which have faced major struggles from the pandemic, have increased their usage of eCommerce investments and tools. This is partly due to demand, but also consumer willingness to employ new tactics like virtual shopping and live streaming, the latter of which has attracted the likes of retail brands like Burberry and Louis Vuitton.

There is less and less separation between in-store and online experiences; the two need to continue to merge and syndicate. In fact, specifically for higher priced, luxury brands like Burberry, customers are coming back eight times to research products, so you want to make sure there is a personalized, robust customer experience, that takes individuals through the funnel while listening to customer needs/expectations.

Platform Capabilities are Growing

Facebook and Instagram (Meta) developed Shops in 2020, bringing stores where users can make purchases to the platform. IG Shop Tags and posts were also developed, so users can have seamless clickable access to products based on the ads they see. There is already a beta with live shopping/influencers on the platform; with the rise of these features in Meta, we anticipate more AI/shopping capabilities as well as integrations with feeds/user behaviors through platforms like Shopify that are not as affected by cookie-based marketing. FB/IG Shops make purchasing an item seamless and the tie-in with influencer marketing is specifically large with Instagram. Even though Facebook has seen some dips in revenue/users, its shop capabilities are growing, and we do anticipate some virtual reality shopping features in the future.

A large part of influencer marketing success is through Meta, and this is set to grow to $15 billion this year. As platforms realize these results, they are expanding these features at an exponential rate. With social’s access to first and third-party data, as well as these new features at play, social helps guide the user purchase.

Pinterest integrates the same shopping feed as “Meta,” allowing you to retarget/remarket those that have added a product in the cart, viewed products or actively searched for relevant keywords. You can customize your collections within product groups, ensuring personalization in tandem with dynamic retargeting, and use a Shopify integration to import seamlessly, while implanting conversion API.

Twitter, like Meta, has dabbled in Live Shopping, and has tested e-commerce for organic tweets that drive tweets to a shop button with product, shop name price, and product details. This is also a great area for customers to @ your brand and share e-commerce feedback/information.

TikTok is impacted largely by the influencer market, as well as YouTube. Now, just like with Pinterest, there is a Shopify Integration, so users don’t have to exit the app to explore products. In addition to live stream integrations, TikTok shopping has been piloted, allowing for shopping tabs on the profile, like with Meta.

LinkedIn is a great platform for niche audiences, especially in verticals like education. The first-party data and self-identification for member groups helps reach a professional audience, which can be used for e-commerce. For instance, if you are selling software to teachers, you can schedule appointments with “lead generation” or “start conversations” forms. This is a great place to nurture those relationships.

As you can see, most of the platforms use similar features. For a good e-commerce strategy, it is important to have strong creative assets, with a particular preference for video/short form; measure audience impact on each channel; and focus on multi-media measurement through another partner. If you can see where social lands in the user journey, and for what purpose, the impact from social on e-commerce is unparalleled.

Influencer Marketing is Key

With privacy as a key focus, it is more important than ever to show engaging, authentic, and personalized content, especially for the awareness and consideration phases of the funnel.

While users are likely to ad block/opt-out of traditional ads, this is not the case for influencer content, making this impactful during cookie deprecation.

Additionally, there is more clout when it comes to influencers. Forty-nine percent of Consumers depend on Influencer recommendations, and forty percent have purchased after seeing influencer content. In fact, ninety-two percent of consumers trust influencers more than traditional ads/celebrity endorsements, showcasing the effectiveness of the strategy. With a wide range of micro vs. macro influencers, there is certainly an engaged market by content type available for the taking.

This form of paid media continues to grow, and we anticipate this becoming an important phase of the e-commerce journey for social, especially considering growth trajectory. Influencer marketing has expanded exponentially over the past two years. Worth just $1.7 billion in 2016, the industry is set to reach $13.8 billion this year.

With the willingness of platforms to invest in influencer capabilities, and some even investing in influencers themselves (TikTok Creator’s Fund), it’s more important than ever to properly vet influencers through brands like Influential that are equipped with special consumer insight tools.

Specifically, Influential uses IBM Technology that helps you learn the brand presence, interests and potential reach of consumers who are engaging with niche communities and interests (i.e.: beauty brands would work with beauty influencers vs. targeting a beauty interest in platform). This audience is key to success. It’s important for brands to find effective content and markets based on properly vetting content creators and using their community to drive brand interest and endorsements your users can trust.

Align your Team

Each brand and stakeholder must work with internal and external parties to ensure it is clear on KPIs and how to gauge success; and to ensure it keeps the consumer in mind while being privacy compliant. Make sure you are clear with your goals, and drive purchase intent on each platform.

The Journey

Customers are looking to brands for experiences, but each brand needs to do its own deep dive of success. Ensure you use best performing assets at different touchpoints (prospecting vs. remarketing) and across channels.

“A strategy for different verticals will require a bird’s eye view and remember to build the brand for long time retention,” Head of eCommerce at WaveMaker, Mudit Jaju, said. “Building strong bias before a consumer begins an online shopping journey improves a brand’s odds of being considered before purchase by fourteen percent,” he also stated.

Ensure you are personalizing your messaging, but continue to test, monitor, and optimize as this is a fast-paced, changing landscape. You want to make sure you stay relevant and noticed among the clutter.

If you’d like a consultation on how to make the social commerce landscape work for you, please contact us. We are here to help.

POV By Gellena Lukats, Acronym’s Director, Paid Social

GenZ’s Preferred Social Platforms and The Behaviors That Drive Them

By G-Commerce, Insights & News, Social Commerce, Social Media No Comments

eMarketer released a new report on Gen Z’s preferred social media platforms. The monthly usage breakdown is:

  • Snapchat (42.0 million)
  • TikTok (37.3 million)
  • Instagram (33.3 million)

eMarketer predicts these will remain the most popular among Gen Z over the next four years. However, they say TikTok will pass Instagram to claim the number one spot by the end of this year.

They also state that Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Reddit have relatively large followings among Gen Z and predict that the reach on those platforms will grow as the generation ages out of more teen-focused sites and apps.

Meanwhile, according to Pew Research, Gen Z’s use of devices continues to increase. According to their report,

Recent data revealed that 98% of them own a smartphone and that in the third quarter of last year, they averaged more than 4 hours a day on apps — and that figure doesn’t include gaming time.

So, how are these Gen Z’ers using these platforms?

Social commerce, especially, continues to dominate Gen Z behaviors as algorithms learn their preferences and suggest relevant products, while delivering a personalized shopping experience. In fact, the majority (97%) of Gen Z consumers say they now use social media as their top source of shopping inspiration; 65% say they use social media to find entertaining content; and 61% of them are specifically interested in watching more video content.

Proof of the popularity of social commerce can be found in the fact that the hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit has of 2.3 billion views on TikTok, and #amazonfinds has more than 6.7 billion views. 

Pew also reported increases in the popularity of G-Commerce, something Acronym’s experts discussed earlier this year, as a way to keep Gen Z interacting with your brand through gamification and rewards that drive purchase.

To capitalize on these growing trends, we recommend brands deliver a seamless experience from discovery to checkout to move buyers through the funnel quickly, easily and securely.

If you need assistance leveraging social commerce or G-Commerce to better connect with Gen Z audiences, please contact us. We’d be happy to help.

Pinterest TV

Pinterest Launches Live Shopping with Pinterest TV

By Brand Engagement, Social Commerce, Social Media No Comments

As social commerce continues to grow, Pinterest is entering the game by launching a shoppable live series, Pinterest TV, which debuts November 8th. Each episode will star a content creator from the platform and it will air Monday through Friday at 6PM ET on iOS and Android. Shows will cover fashion, beauty, home, food, and more.

The first few episodes feature c Olympic athlete Tom Daley and popular makeup artist Manny MUA and viewers can purchase exclusive products from different brands, such as Patagonia, Crown Affair, Allbirds, Outdoor Voices, Mented, and Melody Ehsani, using special discounts.

Additional Pinterest-exclusive shows are in-production, including Christian On, where fashion designer Christian Siriano will replicate the most popular fashion-related searches on Pinterest. And, food creator, Monica Suriyage is set to host Unfail My, a show designed to help viewers correct cooking mishaps.

Every episode will be available via the Pinterest app and viewers can ask questions in the chat and interact with hosts.

Pinterest live shopping show
Image Courtesy of Pinterest

To assist content creators, producers from Pinterest will be on hand to provide technical support and collaborations with creators to make engaging content. Creators can show off and tag products during their shows, as well as offer exclusive discounts — viewers can then select, view, and purchase the product from the retailer’s site.

Acronym’s Director, Paid Social Media, Gellena Lukats weighed in on this news:

“With Pinterest expanding their e-commerce features and adding a shoppable live series, we look forward to helping brands use this to showcase products this holiday season and beyond. More and more brands are focusing on video content through engaged ad formats and we’re excited that there are now live streams available to advertisers on Pinterest. We have been conducting live streams on Facebook and LinkedIn, and do see more engaged consumers, so we anticipate similar results on Pinterest.”

Pinterest first entered into creator monetization in July of this year by introducing shoppable pins that let creators tag and sell products to earn a cut of the profit. As social media platforms seek more ways to attract influencers and help them make money, live shopping has become a major trend.

If you’d like assistance leveraging Pinterest TV to drive more customer connections and boost your sales, please contact us. We’d be happy to help!

people holding signs

Paid and Organic Social Media: A Tale of Synergy on Social Media Day

By Insights & News, Social Commerce, Social Media No Comments

Happy Social Media Day! Paid and organic social media are more often than not put into silos, so, we wanted to celebrate the true synergy of paid and organic by sharing our views on how they work together.

eMarketer found that 29.6% of US consumers completed a purchase via social media, showcasing that this audience is engaged and these platforms influence consumer purchase/lower funnel decisions.

Advantages of Organic Social Media Engagement

An organic user proactively looks for content, engages with your feed, and provides valuable feedback. They are a qualified, loyal audience that every company should pay attention to. Your organic audience will amplify your message by sharing your content with their friends and networks without requiring any advertising dollars, so it is vital to make your content engaging and sharable. A vigilant brand will use platforms like Sprout Social to help monitor brand engagement and sentiment on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., through social listening. By listening to your audiences and responding to feedback and messages, you become a key player in their decision-making process. You can get ahead of some of your consumer needs and expectations.

Additionally, organic social media platforms provide an excellent opportunity to share brand messaging, positioning and communicate with your existing social base. Audiences on engaged channels will dictate any changes they would like to see, giving brands the chance to be transparent with mission statements, share changes to products, and offer a first look to those actively participating with your social posts. This is a great audience to use for awareness and for scaling broad messages.

Advantages of Paid Social Media Campaigns

Paid Social flexes the ability to expand reach by using targeting that is relevant and scalable for your brand. You can target based on location, employment, household income for U.S. audiences (although there are exceptions with the special ad category), gender, age, and interests, creating more nuanced audiences based on campaign goals and channels. LinkedIn is for C-Suite targeting and is much more B2B-focused, whereas purchases for a beauty products are more likely to happen on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or TikTok.

How Organic and Paid Social Media Work Together

Working from channel insights, you can use organic contextual targeting and social listening and leverage these insights to develop personas and targeting segments. You can also expand on formats and tests you’ve performed in organic social media without running similar A/B tests that require a budget. We recommend create similar audiences to users who engage and interact with organic videos and target your followers to better focus on lower conversion events (such as lead ads or purchases). This can help expand your reach to a new audience. However, that is not where the cohesive conversation ends. Both organic and paid social media have a place in your marketing strategy.

Suppose a post performs well and gains high engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc.) organically. In that case, this success is something you will want to scale with paid dollars to capitalize upon the post’s organic success. Learnings from organic should inform paid, and vice versa, whether it is insights from comments received on posts or best-performing creative types. Leverage that success to a conversion or store locator ad and include lookalikes from your first-party data and site traffic to expand the impact of your organic posts. This will also help you remarket to loyal existing customers and drive impact to top consumers with special promotions and new product launches. Ensure you are using brand-approved hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to continue trending conversations.

Paid and Organic Social Media Play a Role In the Customer Journey

Successes from paid social media can be shared on organic social media, and organic social media successes should be shared on paid social media. These conversations/successes should be part of your holistic marketing plan instead of organic and paid social media working in silos, as each has its place in the consumer journey and ad conversion funnel. This goes beyond social media and should be a strategy utilized across all your digital marketing campaigns.

Your most influential advocates for your brand’s experiences and products are your social media followers. Feedback on paid and organic social media can work in tandem for updates, tweaks, and optimizations you might need to make as a brand. Potential influencers and UGC content are ripe for the taking, and brands can amplify these assets at an efficient ROAS without the content burden on your team. This applies to all paid and organic channels and can be used across channels like Snapchat, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.

According to Ad Roll, “On Facebook, organic posts only reach about 2% of followers, and that number is steadily declining.” Using the qualified nature of organic with the sophisticated tools of paid, you can cater to and expand your social presence as a whole while being both relevant and scalable. If you do not use insights from both, you will be missing an essential piece of the social media marketing puzzle, and your content marketing campaigns will lack impact.

POV by Gellena Lukats, Director of Paid Social Media and Mary Sutter, Director of Organic Social Media for Acronym

keyboard shopping button

The Key Factors Influencing Online Purchases

By eCommerce and Marketplaces, Insights & News, Social Commerce, Social Media No Comments

Facebook published a new report, using research derived from Hong Kong and Taiwan, that shows how digital media has reshaped the modern shopping process.

Among other trends, the report found that convenience continues to be the #1 purchase driver, underscoring the need for hyper-seamless checkout.

While the downside of online shopping is the lack of tangibility (which formats like live shopping and AR aim to address), the upside is the ability to compare prices and options, something that may be associated with declining brand loyalty.

The report explains that brand loyalty as we used to know it is under threat. According to Nielsen’s Global Consumer Loyalty study, only 8% of consumers consider themselves committed loyalist to their favorite brands. With the variety of choices presented in consumers’ lives today, coupled with rising spending powers relative to product costs, brand switching becomes effortless and less risky.

Why is this important? 

While the report is based on data from the APAC region, the findings have worldwide implications. Boosted by the pandemic, more consumers than ever are shopping online, and “have high expectations [that they] are not willing to lower when online shopping.”

Acronym’s EVP, International GM, Farah Sadiq explains:

“According to an Epsilon study, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized service. Personalization in a messenger environment isn’t new to Facebook (the Facebook messenger bot has been around since 2018).

The key to success is for brands to build out a conversational eCommerce strategy that places prospects in a low pressure environment where they are comfortable sharing their budget and preferences and receptive to product recommendations in a highly visual (image or video based), engaging and personalized manner. In other words, access to your very own personal shopper at your finger tips.” 

What is the impact on brands?

Acronym’s VP of Asia Operations, Pearlyn Kua takes it a step further when it comes to the opportunities this report presents for brands.

“The disruption caused by the pandemic has evolved consumers’ buying behaviour due to shops being closed as the city goes into lockdown. Consumers’ usual go to products / brands may often become unavailable. This presents opportunity for businesses to capitalise as consumers establish new brand loyalties and patterns of purchasing behaviour.

In Asia, we have seen businesses revised their business models to remain agile through removing cumbersome processes & increased communication across teams. This allows them to continue business while remaining competitive and operational under stringent measures.”

Shopping of all types, not just physical products, is subject to rising consumer expectations.

While companies that sell consumer goods need to use creative new tools to help online shoppers get a sense for how products look and feel, companies selling services also need to up their game in providing engaging shopping experiences.

A fuss-free checkout process is equally important for every brand selling online.

In fact, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 70%. But, it doesn’t have to be that high if brands pay attention to the customer’s experience and initial intent. Acronym’s Director of Paid Social Media, Gellena Lukats explains:

“We have found our dynamic product ads on Facebook drive some of the most efficient ROAS and revenue. Tapping into the audience that shows intent helps scale our campaigns and drive performance.”

In fact, the study goes on to show that continued engagement with consumers keeps them loyal. Per the study, an overwhelming majority of Hong Kong and Taiwan shoppers want brands to stay in touch with them and have indicated an interest to receive brand communications from brands.

We recommend optimizing your brand’s online shopping experience, including experimenting with new creative formats, like live-stream shopping, brand stores, or shoppable posts.

If you’d like more information, including a deep-dive competitive and customer analysis of these purchase opportunities for your brand, contact us today.