Friday, April 17, 2015

Speed & Simplicity - The Key for Social Shoppers

Omnichannel retail strategies have been much on the thoughts of retailers over the last couple of years because of an increased focus on ‘social shopping’. Omnichannel strategies aim to create a seamless consumer experience across different platforms. One of the platforms that is being utilised more often is social media. Social shopping refers to consumers who use social media spaces to share coupons, reviews, purchases and more in order to help with their own and others’ future retail experiences.

Recent apps such as Like2Buy combine the huge popularity of social media with a purchase platform. Like2Buy is now incorporated with many companies’ Instagram accounts which allows users to click on a picture that they like which will take them immediately to the brand page for purchasing. With Instagram getting more than 75 million users daily, it could be a huge source of revenue. Getting a seamless transition from picture to buying is vital. Being on a social media site also allows consumers to see the popularity of the product. Instagram allows users to like pictures and seeing that a product is popular will go a long way for persuading a customer to buy.

This quick link between picture and purchase shows the drive to create faster links and an easier experience for consumers. Social shoppers are notoriously impatient; slow websites and longwinded routes to purchase often means a higher probability that the customer will click off site and may in the future go elsewhere.

A survey carried out by Compuware showed that social media shoppers are influenced greatly by the speed and efficiency of online retail platforms. Around a third of survey participants expect a retail website to load in two seconds when using tablets, 24% expected loading in one second and 13% expect loading in less than a second. Obviously there is quite a large dependency on how good of a signal there is but it also shows the fickle nature of social shoppers. These statistics show how important navigation of an online retail platform is. Allowing users to move easily and quickly throughout different areas of a site can go a long way to retail customers. 46% of customers are more likely to go to a competitor’s website if they have a bad experience on a website.

Catering to the needs of social shoppers and boosting omnichannel retail strategies could really help to boost retail sales. The majority of social shoppers are millennials between aged 18-24; this generation of consumers have grown up with the internet and expect more now from online retail. With the wealth of information available, online retailers should use this to their advantage and put social shopping as a priority for the future of their omnichannel retail strategies.

About the Author: Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN as a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival, World Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at

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