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5 quick tips to streamline social (and mobile) commerce (Small Business E-commerce Link Digest – October 8, 2010)

Way back in the halcyon days of December, 2007, I wrote a post that looked at 5 ways to drive social shopping to your e-commerce site. Now it seems some retailers are looking to capture social shoppers no matter where they are. As Maria Halkias notes in this Dallas Morning News article:

Why do shoppers need a new platform [such as Facebook]?

“Because this is where the customer is hanging out,” [Adgregate CEO Henry] Wong said. “They’re not hanging out on websites.”

E-commerce at its best has always been about that. As much as we talk about a purchase funnel, it’s not always necessary to pour your customers into a specific site to enable that funnel. If you can give them the opportunity to buy right where they are, you’re one step closer to making the sale.

So, how do you do that?

  1. First, take a look at Social Media Examiner’s post on creating a Facebook “experience.” Capturing your customers where they’re already hanging out, as Wong notes above, is a necessary first step to success.
  2. Learn from the big boys. Proctor & Gamble, which is one of the world’s largest advertisers, has opened its own Facebook store, selling products direct to consumers on Facebook. While shipping may prove a problem for the initiative, it’s clear that P&G believes “f-commerce” (as Social Commerce Today calls it) is here.

    Proctor and Gamble's Facebook Pampers store

    Proctor & Gamble’s Facebook Store
  3. Check out Paul Chaney’s 4 common issues when selling on Facebook. Definitely worth the read.
  4. Focus on the bottom line as much as the top. Kevin Hillstrom shows why not all social customers are right for you (in two parts, no less). Using various social sites may not be right for all businesses. Kevin’s post may be a bit of a screed. But it’s a necessary one. Don’t blindly follow the crowd. Test and see what works for your business. (Quick caveat: Read the whole post. Kevin may sound like he’s bashing a specific social site, but if you read his comments, it’s clear he’s not. He’s bashing marketers who use those social sites poorly. Don’t be one of those guys, OK?)
  5. Oh. And don’t forget mobile. QR codes are a quick way to drive mobile customers to your website. Or to your Facebook page. Again, limit the steps between interest and action and watch your results soar.

Social commerce – and its cousin, mobile – are here to stay. These tips are more like the tips of icebergs. You will learn more from trying some of these techniques for yourself and focusing on the ones that work for you.

Have you tried social commerce? I’d love to hear what you’ve learned – from your successes and challenges – in the comments below.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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