It’s only a matter of time before Facebook overtakes YouTube to become the world’s second biggest online search engine. This is my biggest prediction for the next 18 months to two years!
Facebook recently published a new report on how social media is impacting on our shopping habits. We know mobiles are overtaking desktop, but how do retailers utilise this to their advantage?
In the latest Facebook report – ‘Why shoppers are using their mobiles in your store – and why you should care’, it discusses the real-time opportunities that retailers and marketing managers can explore.
According to the report:
- 6 in 10 of all fashion purchases visible on Facebook are made on mobile
- 70% of online fashion journeys that result in a purchase had at least one mobile touchpoint
- Mobiles can sometimes result in a shorter buying journey when compared to desktop
- When using a shopping app, the buying journey can last longer due to more browsing sessions and being exposed to more customers
David Tucito, Facebook Solutions Manager, explained that whilst some marketers prefer shorter customer journeys for a quick purchase, it can be more beneficial to the retailer if the purchase journey is longer, especially when using an app. Working in ecommerce, online marketers want users to stay on the site for longer, rather than jumping off after a minute or so and going to a competitor.
The data indicated that when a fashion purchase begins on mobile, conversion rate can increase by up 1.45 times compared with consumers browsing on a desktop. This is particularly true for users beginning their journey using an app.
- Length of purchase journey: 7 days
- No. of browsing sessions: 10
- Percentage of conversions: 2%
- Length of purchase journey: 3 days
- No. of browsing sessions: 4
- Percentage of conversions: 5%
(Source: Facebook Shopping Report)
Over 50% of participants said they would be open to receiving exclusive offers whilst on their mobiles and shopping in-store. This highlights an opportunity for retail marketers to be really smart in influencing the customer in the crucial purchase decision-making process.
When asked which mobile apps are commonly used during their last in-store visit, 44% said they were on WhatsApp, presenting the instant messaging app with an opportunity to set up a ‘Click-to-WhatsApp’ ad. Before you get too excited, chatting on WhatsApp to your friends doesn’t necessarily mean they are talking about a new pair shoes they have their eye on for the big girls’ night out on Saturday; it could be what they’re having for dinner. However, 18% of those who said they use WhatsApp whilst shopping share photos or videos taken in stores, and 14% are asking for advice on a purchase.
You can see the opportunity to create an ad tailored to this individual, right?
Other apps reportedly used whilst shopping include Facebook Messenger (20% of respondents), Instagram (18%) and Facebook (32%) – no doubt ‘checking in’. If this is the case, another opportunity has just opened up to create exclusive in-store events when you check in to the store on Facebook, keeping the consumer engaged and increasing the chances of completing a purchase. This is something restaurants and bars are doing, particularly newly-opened ones.
An important question asked by many of our clients is “How do I convert a consumer browsing online to make a purchase in-store?”
Measuring footfall and purchases made in-store based on a Facebook post or ad can be difficult. However, if the ad is specific to an offline purchase, such as a special offer that is exclusive to in-store only e.g. 10% off your purchase when you check in on Facebook, this can increase football, sales and awareness, therefore increasing ROI.
63% of those asked said if they saw an ad on Facebook about a product that could be purchased in the store they were shopping in, they would find the ad more beneficial and relevant.
So what do retail marketers need to do?
According to the Facebook gurus, marketers should implement the following into their strategy (if they haven’t done so already):
- Make sure your website has been optimised for mobiles – remember, 6/10 fashion purchases Facebook measures are done through mobiles. It’s important to ensure your site is mobile friendly to boost user engagement online. To learn more about optimising a mobile friendly site, contact PushON today.
- Create an exciting and interesting in-store design to capture customers’ attention, especially when they’re using their mobiles. Give them something to talk about when they start WhatsApping their friends. It’s all about merging offline and online experiences. This will massively boost your brand awareness and overall shopping experience.
So next time a customer visits your store and gets their mobile out, create an unforgettable (for the right reasons) experience so they can shout about it on Facebook, talk about it with their friends on WhatsApp and create cool Instagram or Snapchat stories. Speaking of Snapchat, why not create your own branded filter?