Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What eCommerce Sites Can Learn From Social Media

What do the top apps on this infographic have in common? Simplicity. Focused. Intuitive. Social media is here to stay, but not all platforms are. As social platforms grow so does the number of issues they need to solve to keep their users coming back daily. Social platforms that fall out of touch cough*Myspace*cough or don't gain traction are either too convoluted or don't understand their user base. This last point is critical to success and is exactly why Vine, Flickr and +Instagram are growing so rapidly. So how can eCommerce sites (or websites in general) learn from social platforms?

Understand YOUR users' objectives. Don't confuse your objectives with user objectives. If you ignore the user you'll never reach your end goal. Facebook and YouTube were initially ad free services, which now generate revenues in the billions. They have reached these numbers by initially focusing on what their users wanted, building their community and the conversions came quickly followed.

Don't try to be everything to everyone. Being a jack of all trades and master of none doesn't work well in this space. Especially for blossoming brands it is important stay on point, and do it really well. When you have too big a breadth of topics or products, users become confused as to what your site is offering. Once you have established your niche you can start to branch out slowly to increase your piece of the pie.

Keep it simple. The masses flock to what is simple and intuitive. You can have the best product out there but if it takes too many clicks, or too much time searching users will leave your site.  Three out of four shopping carts are abandoned in the retail eCommerce space, usually due to poor site design.

Keep it relevant. New social media platforms indicate the new trends. The fastest growing platforms are rich media specific. If your site/product allows try to format your content in a manner that appeals to these new trends. The trick is not to change too frequently, or drastically that it throws your following off.

Be Mobile. 86% of smartphone users use their phones in store. 55% of users search on their smartphone everyday. 89% of users search for local information, 88% have taken action on this. If you don't have a mobile, or reactionary site you are missing out a huge numbers of potential customers.

When in doubt always go back to your target consumer. If you can cater to their objectives, they will take care of yours.

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