Why Social E-commerce Is a Game Changer for Retailers This Holiday Season

As social media sites like Pinterest and Twitter begin to make product purchases as easy as a few clicks, brands are beginning to recognize the e-commerce potential of their social media activity and capitalize on it. Since 2013, sales from social media commerce for the top 500 retailers have risen 26%, to $3.3 billion, according to Business Insider and the Internet Retailer’s Social Media 500.

What does this mean for brands?

For marketers planning their holiday content, pushing e-commerce content that’s supported by a social media activation has two major benefits. First, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow for major media pushes with paid support, along with the ability to connect with consumers one-to-one (see our Organish™ approach). Second, since consumers rely heavily on word-of-mouth when making purchases, brands that make personalized connections with customers can trust that those customers will share the story of their positive experience with other potential shoppers.

A great recent example of a social e-commerce promotion is Best Buy’s #WinTheHolidays. This campaign called on Twitter users to stump the Best Buy staff with their toughest holiday buying dilemmas. Best Buy responded to tweets with customized product recommendations, along with a link to the relevant product page. A few lucky tweeters even received personalized video responses.

During the campaign, Best Buy sent out hundreds of product recommendations individually to users, many of whom retweeted their response. This increased their viral impressions rapidly, with little additional cost.

Best Buy also paid for #WinTheHolidays to be a promoted hashtag and tweeted funny general gift suggestion videos throughout the day, further driving engagement. This campaign combined the one-to-one customer interaction capability of Twitter with lots of paid promotion to the Twitter audience as whole, a great way to maximize the reach of the campaign.

This type of campaign is uniquely possible on social — running a mass media campaign while also directly interacting with your most interested individuals for conversion. Best Buy’s #WinTheHolidays serves as a best-in-class example of social e-commerce.

As the holiday season creeps closer, these social e-commerce activations (with help from new tricks like the Twitter Buy Button) will be a great way for brands to stand out from the crowd.

Ignite Social Media