The Role of Social in Conversion Optimisation
The Bridge delivers User Experience (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) studies with brands to optimise their sales channels. In our experience, brands are investing heavily in driving the efficiency of their sales and marketing activities. They allocate stretching targets to their sales teams and squeeze value from their advertising partners. While this is completely understandable there are areas brands are overlooking. What we often find is a missed opportunity to understand the customer and their journey beyond interaction with an ad or a website. We encourage brands to research users’ preferences, social habits and environment for a full picture of the customer acquisition opportunity.
Brands’ marketing spend is increasing exponentially. Modest acquisition spend is £100k per month, while some are spending upwards of £500k to attract new customers. Success in digital marketing campaigns is often measured in terms such as likes and impressions, clicks, follows and shares, but these measurements don’t address the difficult question of how much revenue a campaign has actually generated. A brand’s strategic focus is to get closer to the customer, but poor planning and implementation of digital marketing tactics can actually create a disconnect.
Brands know they are only scratching the surface of the potential of social. Many are challenged by a lack of a clear strategy to increase growth through digital channels, inefficiencies of the acquisition process plus a lack of customer intimacy and insight. By their own admission, social activity in the recognised channels and its inherent non-linear, random, uncontrollable nature makes them very uncomfortable. Customers are constantly sharing a huge amount of qualitative data but many brands either don’t know how or don’t have the tools to act on it.
Social commerce links a brand’s e-commerce proposition with its social channels, driving social traffic to convert online sales. It meets customers where they already are – on social media, on the move. Social sales provide brands with immediate feedback on conversion and customer experience resulting in clear, actionable data. People will share what they like, and if something isn’t perfect, the brand has the opportunity to respond and fix issues. Many loyal customers and positive messages start out as problems that need to be solved.
On the back of our CRO expertise, The Bridge is introducing its own social commerce platform, SoCom, which tackles numerous channels simultaneously and optimises content for campaigns predominantly delivered through mobile. Our platform provides brands the opportunity to harvest and moderate user generated content across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. This is valuable to brands because prospect engagement originating in social channels possesses a higher propensity to convert to a loyal customer; driving their conversion rate and delivering a return for their acquisition spend. Social-driven retail sales and referral traffic are rising at a faster pace than all other online channels. Last year, social shopping increased 26% ahead of the 16% overall e-commerce growth rate, earning the top 500 retailers $3.3bn.
Brands need to give people a reason to buy through social. Call to action tools embedded in social channels facilitate sales conversion with minimal clicks. Tracking customers from the channel through the purchase is automatic. Brands can promote social-only deals. Technologies like SoCom allows customers to become part of the campaign by sharing user generated content, lending authenticity and building a community around the brand.
Social enables intimate, immediate interactions between peers and trusted advisors. If someone is incredibly enthusiastic about a product, a positive post can be seen by thousands. People trust other people and independent reviews more than they trust a sales pitch. The power of influence has an enormous impact over the choices we make – much more than most of us realise.
Ann Darby is Co-Founder at The Bridge, a user experience-led product development start-up in Manchester. She’s an animal lover who enjoys cooking for friends, food and wine tourism, and visiting her homeland in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.
For more information about The Bridge, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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