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Window Shopping Draws People In on Social Media


CuralateSocial media’s origins as a way to connect with others always held the seeds of marketing to people. Finding the best way to do so continues challenging ecommerce pros, but we may be seeing true solutions arriving. Social commerce firm Curalate shared a number of observations about this.

Are online sellers doing enough to reach customers via popular social media presences? According to Curalate and its recent consumer survey, Social Content is the New Storefront, a receptive audience exists in social media.

Luke Butler of Curalate provided EcommerceBytes with some insights on the matter. As far as what consumers want, Butler noted, “Typically fashion and beauty-related products lend themselves well to social media. They’re very personal items, so when we see something we like, we want to buy it, and increasingly our survey shows we’re discovering those items on social media.”

The all-important word of mouth comes into play too. “People also like to post pictures of themselves in their new clothes and shoes, creating user-generated content which brands can use for more authentic, “real” images of their products,” said Butler.

In a medium where common marketing efforts entail young models and product placement, the age ranges correspond to the content. “We found that younger consumers are much more likely to discover products across a whole range of social media channels,” said Butler.

“While Facebook sees the most activity across all age groups, 18-34 year-olds are up to 3 times more likely to discover products on Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Twitter than the general population. This demonstrates the need for brands to see each of these social channels as a way to introduce new products to folks, hopefully inspiring them to purchase.”

The potential for decent conversions via social media look promising. Butler said the survey found 63 percent of 18-34 year-olds saying that user-generated content makes them more likely to purchase on item through social media.

However, the neat trick to selling with social content may be cross-sell options besides the focus of the ad. “The smartest brands recognize that the content they post on social media can act as a window display, designed to catch your eye and bring you inside. You might not want to buy the specific items in the window – or image – but something about what you saw made you want to click and see more,” Butler said.

He also noted, “The most effective brands not only make it easy to purchase all of the items in a particular post, they also provide recommendations of other related products they think people might like. Curalate’s own data show that when given the opportunity to shop related products based on those in a social media post, 80% of the clicks are on the related products rather than those in the original post. Brands that use compelling, inspirational imagery rather than more plain stock photography tend to perform much better.”

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David A Utter
David A Utter
David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR's "All Things Considered" with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.