According to recent research by BlueVenn, 17% of shoppers do not plan on shopping in stores this year (up from 8% in 2019) and it makes sense that 61% of marketers fear losing their business to online sources.
If you’re one of those marketers or businesses who worries your customers are leaving you for online shopping, you need to take action.
We know not everyone feels confident enough to implement e-commerce and certainly not mid-way through December or later. But we do have an easy way to get online and start selling there this afternoon.
E-commerce Is the Way to Go
In the long-term, you should be implementing an e-commerce system on your website if you have goods or services to sell. For one, people will likely be shopping online a lot and that probably won’t change. Plus, the suggestion we have below is a short-term one. With social media, you’re investing time in a property you don’t own and that can be problematic.
But for now, to meet the needs of holiday shoppers, you want to get up and running “yesterday.” If you don’t have a time machine, here’s how you can do it quickly with no techie know-how.
Leverage the Sales Potential Behind Social Media
If you sell items or services, it’s time to leverage the visual platforms of social like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Post images to your page with stories and/or vivid descriptions. You needn’t take payment on Marketplace or through Facebook’s store, but you can if you want to make buying easier on your audience. You can simply post to your page and invite them to call you. Many business owners offer contactless delivery.
Benefit of Facebook: People are already there. You don’t have to convince them to come by.
Con: People under 30 tend to be on other platforms more often.
This Facebook-owned site is big with people under 30. Post pics and pay close attention to hashtags. These will be vital in helping people find you.
Benefit: You can do some interesting things with reels and stories for added attention.
Con: Instagram doesn’t allow links in your posts.
Pinterest has some of the best sales conversion rates on social media. People who pin things often buy them. If you sell products that photograph well, this site is simple to use. If you sell services write content and pin articles about how you help as well as testimonials and expectation posts like “5 things to expect from a travel agent.”
Pro: High conversion rate plus posts remain visible for as long as they’re pinned to someone’s board so there’s the possibility of future sales as well.
Con: You have to create content that is pin-worthy. That’s easier for some products than others.
Social Media Examples and Why They Work
Two of these examples are sponsored posts. You’ll want to start with non-sponsored posts as you get a feel for what your audience likes you can add sponsored posts for greater reach. Use the ideas here to shape yours.
Tell a Story
Romance the reader with your brand and then add a customer testimonial so you’re not the only one saying it like this ad from Bryan Anthonys.
Notice this post appeals to our desire of wanting to find the perfect gift, the one that fits the recipient and our relationship with that person.
Publish a Flash Sale
Appeal to the impulse buyer by announcing a great deal for a very limited time like Fresh Market did here. They added this pic as their cover photo to ensure it got lots of coverage.
Not only does it have a prominent position on their page, cover changes seem to do better in feeds as Facebook appears to share them widely.
Lift Them Up
People could certainly use a feel-good message these days. This ad by Awareness Jeweler assuages a very common insecurity that people have, particularly around the holidays. They wonder if they are enough. If they’ll find the right mate, the right job, the right line of work, etc.
There’s also a nice call to action at the end.
This is certainly a challenging time with more and more buyers saying they will shop entirely online for the near future. You need to be on there. It doesn’t have to be complicated and you can leverage resources you already have set up.
When creating your posts, keep in mind, people are on these sites to be entertained and inspired, not sold to. If you don’t have a sizeable following, you may want to run some sponsored ads to call attention to your offerings. Make them look like personal posts, not ads, for the greatest level of success. If you let your personality shine through, people will buy from you whether you’re online on social media or sitting at your business greeting visitors.
Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so.