One of the biggest buzzwords in social media is ‘engagement,’ as if engagement is the be-all and end-all to social media marketing. When it comes to e-commerce, social conversations are certainly important, as is general buzz around the topic; however, the real goals are conversions and making the sale.
A new report from Brandshop, provider of digital commerce tools, examines what customers now expect from their e-commerce retailers. Perhaps the most telling and important finding from the report is that consumers are looking to carry out a transaction. The report reads:
Brands must empower their customers with the ability to transact directly on its digital channels. Giving consumers what they desire will allow brands to expand their market share while providing consumers with an authentic, branded experience.
Customers have embraced e-commerce whole-heartedly. 71 percent of survey respondents shop online “at least several times a month,” and 96 percent believe that online research prior to a purchase is a crucial step to take. Consumers are also shopping from a variety of devices, and at times that are convenient for them, so it’s imperative that your business take this into account.
However, consumer expectations continue to go unmet, even as businesses modernize to meet their needs. 82 percent of consumers expect to make a transaction on a branded website immediately, and 88 percent would prefer to do that, yet only 37 percent of consumers report regularly making purchases directly from a brand.
Only 18 percent of consumers reported being highly satisfied with their branded shopping experience, and 10 percent said they were dissatisfied. This is perhaps where brands need to step in most, since more than half of consumers say they hold the brand responsible for the shopping experience, even if they purchase the product from a third party — which the majority of survey respondents do.
Engagement is a big focus in the industry at the moment, but this study suggests that what consumers are really looking for is the ability to trust brands to deliver on their promise. Without a boost in direct buying, better purchase infrastructure, and a campaign designed to drive customers to owned media and sites, attachment to pure engagement might cost you customers.
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