Even before the pandemic, e-commerce was majorly on the rise. Since 2010, the share of e-commerce sales rose from 4.2 percent to 11.8 percent. But once lockdowns and stay-at-home orders went into effect in March of this year, e-commerce growth for brands skyrocketed. In Q2 of this year alone, the share of e-commerce sales skyrocketed up to 16.1 percent—and is only continuing to grow.
Now, retail’s biggest days—Black Friday and Cyber Monday—are just around the corner, and so is the holiday season. Last Black Friday, U.S. shoppers spent $7.4 billion online, which was 20 percent more than the year prior. But this year, 62 percent of consumers say that nothing could persuade them to enter a store on Black Friday—plus, many brick-and-mortar store locations are still closed, so it’s more important than ever to have an e-commerce strategy.
It’s also more important than ever to have a social-specific e-commerce strategy. Since the pandemic, 51 percent of people reported increased usage on social media platforms—and 22 percent of people said they are more interested in shopping via social media than they were last year. Keep reading to learn how you can effectively reach your audience on social and integrate new e-commerce features into your Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday shopping campaigns.
1. Take advantage of the platforms’ new (and old!) shopping features.
The social media networks know that consumers are turning to social for shopping this year—and they’ve released a bunch of new features to prove it. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, and even WhatsApp have features that will allow you to set up shop. Here are a few of them:
- Facebook Shops allow business profiles on Facebook and Instagram to create a Shop for free by uploading a catalog.
- Instagram expanded access to its “Checkout” feature and also launched “live shopping” through Instagram Live.
- Pinterest released a “Shop” tab and curated style guides earlier this year along with its Verified Merchant Program.
- TikTok announced a global partnership with Shopify.
- YouTube is allowing creators to tag and track shoppable products.
- WhatsApp announced that businesses will be able to sell products directly in the messaging app.
2. Make sure you’re ready to respond to messages.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t just about pushing promotions and getting folks to shop—they’re just as much about customer service. Since this is the busiest shopping weekend of the year, expect messages, comments, and posts asking questions about products, sales, and the like. One of the best ways you can prepare for this? Predict in advance what types of questions you’ll be asked, and have your community management team ready with responses for the most common inquiries. This way, they’ll only need to tweak these responses slightly to be more personalized instead of writing them from scratch.
3. Don’t overlook organic strategies.
Paid advertisements, post boosts, and influencer campaigns are all great—but 40 percent of consumers find new brands from their personal network and another 32 percent from word of mouth. So, it’s important not to discount the impact of organic social. A few organic strategies you can employ are posting product reviews on your social channels, increasing discoverability through relevant hashtags, and sharing user-generated content from existing customers. These strategies may be a bit simpler, but don’t turn up your nose at them—that also means they’re faster and easier, and they could get you the same (or better) results.
Ready to go all-in on your brand’s e-commerce strategy for social? Give us a ring.