Influence Over Purchase: What Matters in Social Commerce

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Most brands are scrambling to get a return on their investment from social media channels. Names – including Gap and JCPenney – opened and closed their Facebook stores, presumably because they were failing to make sales on the platform. This has led many to believe that social commerce can’t work; it isn’t profitable. But brands like Fab.com, Asos, and Net-a-porter are proving otherwise.

Fab.com grew it’s sales by 300% and increased membership from 1.5 million to 11 million in the last year. Half of Fab’s members come from social sharing and make up for 33% of the brand’s revenue. Fab isn’t using social media as an ecommerce platform, but rather using it to drive interest and traffic.

Social commerce is about influence, not purchase. The most successful brands using social commerce are focused on providing their audience with content. They know that giving their fans great content that they can share with their network is the best way to grow their influence on sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and Tumblr.

Brand influence matters, especially when looking to expand internationally. Brands that are able to create an emotional response with their content create influence. Asos provides a rich content layer over their ecommerce site. Net-a-porter uses content to create a unique shopping experience that feels like buying items from the pages of a fashion magazine. Holstee, an art subscription service, went viral two years ago with their manifesto. By clearly defining what they stood for through their content, they were able to put their brand on the map and garner a loyal following.

It’s becoming clear that brands that appear to be more focused on offering quality, shareable content than simply making sales are gaining an online influence. And it’s this influence that leads to ROI in the world of social commerce.

Source: Business Insider

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