In the last six months alone, social media marketing has continued to change the way that consumers shop online. Over recent years, consumers have begun to have more choice than ever when it comes to ecommerce. The days of online shops that exist in a vacuum are giving way to an era where consumers can shop from any device, whether browsing Google, visiting their favourite brands on Facebook or even watching videos on YouTube.

How Social Media Shapes Online Shopping

Needless to say, these changes are important to those trying to build a presence with ecommerce marketing. Social media has become a hugely powerful tool that offers plenty of potential for growth and sales.

Some of the ways that social media has shaped the world of online shopping include the following:

Purchasing decisions are made faster

Traditionally, customers would visit an online store a few times before making a purchase. Trust plays a huge part in the process, with features such as online privacy and security, shipping, returns and various others all playing part of the decision to purchase. The rise of in-app purchasing has changed this process considerably. Now, shoppers can shop without leaving Facebook or YouTube. The increased accessibility of social shopping has helped to remove common barriers, speeding up the purchasing decision in the process.

Peer reviews are more important than ever

With that said, there is still a large element of trust when it comes to social shopping. One of the things helping to build trust is peer review. Traditional online stores may have reviews, but these are often seen as faceless comments rather than actual people that are already known to shoppers. When consumers can get instant feedback from those they follow or those in their wider circle, they are far more likely to feel safe enough to make a purchase.

Cross-channel shopping is here to stay

One of the biggest mistakes that many make is assuming that there is no point in having an online store if products can be sold on social platforms. In fact, a limited approach can be the most damaging thing of all. The danger of relying purely on social channels it that you will never truly own your own lists. Instead, aim for a cross-channel strategy that integrates social and website with lead generation, mobile marketing and other channels that drive sales. This will allow you to bring in customers across each channel in a way that ensures genuine conversion across the board.

If you are not integrating your social media strategy within your broader online shopping strategy, now is the time to make that change and reap the rewards.

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