Can social selling save Christmas ?
The Christmas season is often associated with images of crowded malls. However, with the
recent turn of events, this year should be a whole different story.
Facing all kinds of difficulties accessing physical stores, consumers will undoubtedly look for safer ways to shop, and the emergence of new practices may encourage them to make some of their purchases behind their screen.
A contactless Christmas
According to a recent ISPOS survey about COVID-19 sponsored by Google, 25% of French buyers who usually go out shopping on Black Friday have claimed that they wouldn’t go this year.
Still according to this survey, 46% of French buyers have indicated that they would shop more online this year than the previous seasons. 58% have also said that they were looking for online gift ideas rather than in store.
Those indicators are hardly insignificant and must question brands about the way clients interact with them and their products.
If advertisers had to previously show their clients that they shared their concern and worries, the current challenge is to keep on offering to consumers the personalised and relevant experiences that they are expecting, despite the distance.
New distribution channels
If the buying process has changed, so did the selling one.
To tackle this issue, social platforms have designed innovative bridges between e-commerce platforms and social media. These features now outline a new customer journey, which considers social media as an integral sales channel, and a lever of digital transformation.
It would be a mistake to think that this change is temporary and that it will not stand the test of time. It is clear that our society faces a turning point, and that we need to reinvent our ways of consumption. While e-commerce invited clients to buy a specific product on a dedicated platform, social selling displays products directly before clients’ eyes and offers a suggestive approach, a discovery shopping experience.
This approach bears the promise of a more conversational, evolutive, dynamic and inclusive marketing, where, for the first time, the product will be sold directly by a medium.
These technical and behavioural evolutions are linked to avent of new social media grammars and engagement dynamics (editorial selling, live selling, drops, affiliation…) that advertisers had not planned to implement so rapidly.
It is thus more than necessary to thoroughly support the digital transformation of their marketing strategies in order to rethink a customer experience and relationship that could create genuine, meaningful and distinctive value, while still answering growth issues.
From conversation to conversion
Social media are alway more rooted in our connected lives. While platforms are developing features, just like social selling, that go beyond the areas of communication, the power of influence continues to expand exponentially. Furthermore, a recent survey made by Nielsen showed that 92% of consumers trusted their friends’ recommendation. It is thus crucial for brands to be able to connect with their clients in the right place, and in an authentic manner, in order to transform discovery into purchase.
By acquiring today the necessary tools to accelerate this transformation, the entire social media ecosystem is showing both its agility and its ability to generate instantaneous feedback. It is now offering solutions to advertisers, no longer as a medium but as a business partner.
As social media acquire new features that go beyond the area of communication, can social selling tackle the immediate issues of the retail sector ?