Whether you manage an online business or simply love shopping online, there’s never been a more exciting time for ecommerce.
Social media platforms are transforming the online experience, giving brands and buyers new ways to interact with each other.
Fans can find, follow, and communicate with their favorite brands across multiple social media channels. As users spend more time on social media, brands have more opportunities to grow their reach and sales.
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are arming brands with sophisticated analytics and sales tools, blending social media and ecommerce.
Despite these developments, many brands have inefficient sales funnels which lose customers.
They see social media as little more than an addition to their current practices and funnels. An extra element to be fit in any way they can.
It results in a cramped and complex purchase journey.
Instead of cramming everything together, brands should be focusing on how they can create experiences that fit with users’ social browsing habits.
They need to create a social commerce funnel.
The first step in building a true social commerce funnel is to make sure you can accept payments on any social platform.
This will allow you to create quick, unobtrusive sales processes that don’t require your buyers to leave the social sites they’re browsing.
Before we get into how you can accept payments on social platforms, let’s dive a little deeper into why you need to understand and integrate developments in social commerce.
How social media is transforming ecommerce
Relationships are deepening
Brands and buyers have unprecedented access to one another via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social sites.
Engagement stats across digital platforms are through the roof – Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat report an average user spends nearly an hour per day on their respective sites.
In addition to spending more time on social media, people are checking in more often:
So social usage is up and seems to be forever increasing. But what does that have to do with ecommerce?
Well, 58% of millennials (who are becoming the major purchasing force in the world) have purchased a product after seeing it on social.
Not only is usage of social channels up, but the potential for driving sales through the channel is also increasing.
Experiences are multi-dimensional
So while these platforms are getting better at serving both brand and individual user, the social experience is also getting wider.
Users of one social media platform are likely to also use other social sites.
This gives brands the chance to serve their users from different, integrated angles.
For example, a brand could run Instagram contests for engagement, YouTube videos for education, and Facebook for community and product support.
Each social media channel offers brands the chance to engage slightly differently with their audience while potentially building deeper, more holistic relationships.
So, what’s wrong?
These are fantastic developments. They represent an evolution of the online experience, as social media and ecommerce overlap to create social commerce.
But if you’re running an online business, you’re probably focused on a more specific goal: growing your sales.
Two issues stand in your way, though.
Problem #1: Leaky funnels
You know that creating exciting, engaging content will draw your audience closer to your brand and likely will lead to some buying in the long run.
Each channel you choose to develop probably offers advanced performance analytics, so you can optimize the content you produce.
You’ll also be able to track the movement of your customers between channels, including to your online store.
And therein lies the first problem.
You’re losing customers in the gaps between channels.
If you’re running marketing campaigns on social media platforms, you’re essentially creating little funnels on each platform:
- Engage with content;
- Introduce attractive offers;
- Direct user to your online store;
- Complete the sale;
- Keep engaging and encourage future sales
Even with highly optimized content, beautiful design, and a great offer, you’re still asking your customers to do something dramatic:
Leave the social site they’re currently on.
Moving your audience from your brand’s social page to your online store is a major step, and it’s likely leaking a lot of interested traffic.
Asking a customer to drop everything, leave what they’re currently doing and visit a store to shop is never easy.
All you have to do is look at how brands like Facebook and Twitter handle this.
If you click on an external link within the platform are you directed to another app or external site?
These networks bring up a window within the current window for you to check out the content you wanted to.
They keep you on site so your attention isn’t split and you’re not presented with a distraction – like the below.
Think about it like a TV viewer – how many times have you watched a television ad and immediately called the phone number to order the product?
My guess is rarely to never. After all, you’re watching your program.
Online isn’t much different. If you’re in the middle of something – even if it’s simply browsing your news feed – do you want to be disturbed?
Problem #2: Selling subtly
There’s a fine line between positively engaging your audience versus interrupting their social experience.
On one hand, you’ve got to make sure that your offers, content, and format all fit seamlessly into your audience’s social feeds.
You need to adjust your marketing to fit the context of social media behavior. Users are online to browse their feeds, share content, and engage with each other.
Their primary motivation is not shopping – unlike when they visit an online store.
If you don’t adjust your copy to match your audience’s social behavior, you’ll turn them off immediately and lose customers forever.
On the other hand, if you’re too passive you’ll never convert viewers into buyers.
Facebook and Instagram actually do offer shopping options directly from a brand’s social profile. These native solutions allow users to buy products without leaving the platform.
It’s a great first step, but it could be a lot more effective. Facebook Stores and Instagram’s Shoppable posts still require users to navigate to the right location and walk through the sale themselves
This is a particularly important point. Instead of offering something seamless, the native solutions currently out there act more like an internal online store. You’re still asking the buyer to significantly interrupt their social experience in order to buy a product.
Fortunately, there’s a tool that allows you to approach social commerce much more effectively.
Reinvent your social sales funnels with a single solution
Let’s recap. Your social commerce performance is probably being limited by two factors:
- Losing traffic between social platform and online store;
- Ineffective sales experiences for your buyers.
The good news is that there’s a single, simple solution for these issues.
Chatbots like jumper are specialized tools, specifically designed to manage your social sales, accept payments, and improve the user experience.
jumper takes care of the leaky funnel problem by fundamentally restructuring the sales process.
A hashtag comment will trigger jumper’s sales sequence, where the chatbot will automatically manage all aspects of the sale from product options to payment.
This sequence also solves the second problem outlined above – providing an appropriate sales experience for social media users.
Instead of one-way marketing – selling “at” your general audience – jumper is built to respond to a viewer demonstrating interest in a product.
This two-way experience is unique – even native social shopping options don’t create that relationship.
Social media has created a totally different online experience. Users have become conditioned to expect speed, efficiency, relevancy, and convenience.
Ecommerce has also developed into a sophisticated process with similar norms and expectations.
Social commerce represents the natural overlap of the two worlds. Brands and users operate on both types of platforms, so it’s natural that the two would come together.
The thing is, many brands don’t develop a truly social sales experience. The simply try and point traffic to an external store or cram an ecommerce store into their social media pages.
Sales-ready chatbots like jumper are changing all this by retooling the traditional ecommerce sales funnel into a one that’s a much better fit for social platforms.
Here’s a recent example from a jumper-managed campaign for Marvel:
As you can see, this is a totally different approach compared to traditional ecommerce product posts. It’s fun, efficient, interactive, and highly relevant to the social platform the buyer is currently using.
You can stop asking your audience to “change the channel”. It’s annoying and ineffective.
Instead, you can sell to your audience in a manner that actually fits their social media use. jumper is quick, unobtrusive, and handles everything from customization to payments and follow-ups.
How to accept payments on any social network
Now that you’re ready to disrupt the traditional sales funnel, you’re probably wondering how to get started.
Step 1: Create your jumper account
Head over to jumper.ai and follow the big buttons on the homepage to create your jumper account.
Step 2: Complete your first baby steps.
You’ll be prompted to enter your business information and connect your accounts.
Step 3: Connect your payment gateways
You’ll be able to choose your preferred currency from an extensive list.
Once you’ve set that up, you’ll want to connect to a payment gateway.
Stripe and PayPal are the two primary options, and clicking either link will take you directly to setup pages with each provider.
If you’d like to set up alternatives, scroll down and you’ll see options for manual payments. If you still don’t see what you need, you can get in touch with the team at jumper to request another option.
Step 4: Complete the rest of your account
Once you’ve set up the basics, you’ll be prompted to add products, customize chat sequences, and complete your profile.
Scroll down on the jumper homepage to find jumper demos running on a wide selection of platforms.
Once you’ve set up jumper to handle your social commerce, take a minute to stand back and have a think about how your funnel on each site has changed.
By accepting payments on social platforms, you’re erasing the gap that used to exist between your brand’s social media marketing and your online store’s sales.
Instead of having multiple streams of traffic leading to your online store, jumper allows you to create standalone sales funnels on each social media platform.
You’ll be creating a sales experience that’s much more appropriate for social media.
That means it’s time to start experimenting with your new setup. Ask yourself questions like:
Which products will work best on each platform? How will your audience respond to different forms of sales-focused content?
The more experimenting you can do, the better. You’ll quickly learn what each sub-audience responds to, and you can carry your lessons across your brand’s multiple platforms.
Make no mistake, social commerce isn’t just the future of online retail – it’s the now.
Certain platforms are more ecommerce-ready than others, but with jumper you can accept payments on any of the major sites. You’ll be creating smoother, better experiences for both you and your customers.
Now’s the time to get started. As social commerce becomes the norm, your customers will expect your brand to provide the right kind of social sale – are you ready to give it to them?