Five Ways to Accelerate Your Social Commerce Strategy in the New Year

Five Ways to Accelerate Your Social Commerce Strategy in the New Year
This is a special guest contribution by Max Hjelm, Head of BD & Strategic Partnerships at Curalate

The holidays are over, and it’s a brand new year. As an ecommerce manager, this is a time for strategy, planning, and setting fresh goals. How can you set yourself up to have a spectacular 2019? To help, we’ve assembled …

Five ways to accelerate your social commerce strategy:
  1. Celebrate Your Fans and Improve Conversions Onsite
  2. Think of Social as a Window Display, Not a Mannequin
  3. Make Instagram Shoppable in Three Ways (Plus One)
  4. Build an Acquisition Strategy Around Micro-Influencers
  5. Get More Out of Your Mega Influencers, For Longer

1. Celebrate Your Fans and Improve Conversions Onsite

Your followers share images of their favorite products from the brands they love on Instagram every day.

Once you find this content and request rights, it can be repurposed on your site as a powerful way to celebrate your community, improve product discovery, and give shoppers the confidence to buy.

Introducing this “social proof” across your website drives sales: homepage, gallery pages, category pages, product pages, etc.

Today, more than ever, it’s critical to power your on-site galleries with a badged Facebook Marketing Partner (you can find them here). This will ensure that you have the latest and most complete access to Facebook’s ever-changing APIs in order to source content from hashtags, @mentions, and photo tags.

Parachute Home’s “Instagram Shop”

Our clients — like Parachute Home’s “Instagram Shop” — see an average of a 31% increase in conversion rate, a 16% increase in average order value, and a 45% increase in time on site with Curalate Fanreel

Pro Tip: Feature “best of” social content in email as well.

Email works — we know that. There are a lot of awesome solutions to help automate email, create personalized experiences, and reintroduce your customers to the products they almost bought yesterday.

To help enrich your email campaigns, consider using the content you know drives discovery on social and increases sales on-site. Curalate easily integrates into your email strategy, allowing you to “set it and forget it” by dynamically featuring your most recent, top performing social content upon email open.

Pro tip for a social commerce strategy: Feature “best of” social content in email as well

We’ve found that emails containing relevant social content can increase email clickthrough rate by 55%

2. Think of Social as a Window Display, Not a Mannequin

Your social content is the digital equivalent of a window display, where the goal is to bring your audience into your store … not to just buy the products that your mannequins are wearing.

This presents an opportunity to expose your audience to a broader array of products that you sell, helping each potential customer find the right product.

In fact, 80% of clicks to site through Curalate Showroom come from recommendations rather than the products featured in the hero image. Leverage dynamic landing pages this year to serve as a jumping off point, helping your customers “walk the aisles” of your store. This is all the more important for mobile shoppers:

Showroom improves the quality of site traffic; our clients see up to a 53% decrease in bounce rate and up to 45% more time on site when site visitors come through Showroom

3. Make Instagram Shoppable in Three Ways (Plus One)

Increasingly, Instagram is where people start their day. The thumb-stopping content that people view often makes them say, “What’s that?” So how can you help your audience go from inspiration to transaction? By leveraging all three ways to make Instagram shoppable … plus one.

Shoppable Posts

First, tag your photos with Instagram’s native shopping tags! It’s the quickest way to connect in-feed discovery to a product page.

Instagram’s Shoppable Posts are the easiest way to start leveraging a social commerce strategy

Shoppable Stories

Second, you can also make your IG Stories, arguably the most valuable organic real-estate on Instagram, shoppable by tagging products or using a relevant “Swipe Up” experience.

Two Shoppable Stories on Instagram for social commerce

Link in Bio

Third, use strong calls-to-action to drive your followers to the “Link in bio” and allow them to browse your entire feed, discover new products, and engage with other branded content like recipes and blog posts.

Example of link in bio to a social commerce landing page

Here’s the “plus one” …

Curalate Like2Buy was the first ever shoppable Instagram platform and remains one of the most effective ways to drive sales on Instagram. Clients using Like2Buy and Instagram Shopping together see a 2x increase in traffic from Instagram vs. brands using Instagram Shopping alone with upwards of 75% of revenue through Like2Buy.

4. Build an Acquisition Strategy Around Micro-Influencers

Influencers are, to reference an overused sports analogy, a “dual threat” — they allow brands to both source content and increase distribution. As brands continue to invest in influencer strategies, budgets for these programs are expected to eclipse $10B by 2020.

But, big-ticket investments in influencers isn’t the only option. Many of our clients have turned to micro-influencers as a cost-effective option for creating content at scale, all while making an impact on their customer acquisition and retention goals.

By gifting product and providing loose creative guidelines, brands allow micro-influencers to do what they do best: create authentic content and genuine excitement about products that resonate with their followers.

Using micro-influencers in a social commerce strategy

Arming your influencers with the tools to make their content shoppable and capture audience data can help you turn influencers into a valuable customer acquisition channel.

Pro Tip: Build lookalike or retargeting audiences from influencer traffic to improve targeting of your paid Social campaigns.

5. Get More Out of Your Mega Influencers, For Longer

Too often influencer impact and performance is hard to quantify. And — by nature of the short life of social — an influencer’s influence can be short-lived as well. It doesn't need to be that way.

Injecting your micro-influencer content back into the social commerce strategies that you deploy cross-funnel can help provide better measurement on how particular influencers and creative are working for you. This also helps to extend the life of the type of lifestyle content that’s normally expensive to create.

Luxury fashion brand joie did this brilliantly over the holidays with their Taylor LaShae collaboration mixing organic posts from LaShae, its own IG shopping posts, and a dedicated landing page collection:

Mainstream influencer example within a social commerce strategy

Taylor LaShae’s posts tagged joie and led to …

joie’s own Stories, “Link in bio,” shoppable posts, and holiday collection

joie x Taylor LaShae landing page for social commerce

Pro Tip: Include influencer content in your on-site galleries and product pages to give your UGC strategy a boost and increase conversions.

Bonus Pro Tip: Feature influencer content in post-purchase emails to improve performance and drive repeat sales.

Now go out and crush it this year!

About the Author

Max Hjelm is Head of BD & Strategic Partnerships at Curalate, a Social Commerce platform that helps brands and retailers make social sell. Max also plays the piano, has an exceptional (see: excessive) t-shirt collection, and is a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan.