The Positive Impact of Social Media on eCommerce
When the internet first came out, it began as a competitive advantage for every business that embraced it. Very quickly, the web became a business necessity. It simply wasn't possible to remain competitive without having an online presence.
In fact, eCommerce sales continue to grow year after year. In 2019, sales topped $3.45 billion – a nearly 22 percent increase from 2018.1
Online stores with a social media presence, such as a Facebook and/or Twitter account, have 32% more sales than the average store that is not present on social media.2
It’s almost impossible to calculate the indirect influence that social media has on consumer spending. Paid social media campaigns are continuing to grow on every platform. By spending money on a drip campaign, social networks are giving you data on your audience. This allows you to spend more and also track the influence your spend has on your revenue.
A user might learn of a new brand or promotion from her Facebook feed and decide to purchase that product many weeks after the fact. According to a recent report, social media campaigns are a key driver of shopping habits, with 32 percent of US internet users admitting that social networks have become an important source for making product choices.3
Why is that exactly?
How Social Media Affects Business
The most obvious explanation behind this phenomenon is that social media is a free marketing tool that allows companies to engage customers all over the world. TV ads, radio spots, and print media still play a role in modern advertising, but nothing beats free.
However, cost only represents the tip of the iceberg. Some other benefits of using social media and eCommerce include:
1. Two-way communication
When delivering your message via television or radio, you might have to wait months to see if your campaign works. Social media allows for instantaneous input from users.
2. Segmentation by geography, demography, and interest
Fading are the days of generic advertisements on broadcast television. It is now possible to A/B test highly individualized messages for equally individualized audiences.
3. Multiplier effect
With a click of the mouse, users can share the original "message" to thousands of friends or followers. One might have to spend millions of dollars to create a memorable radio jingle, but a low-cost social media campaign can go viral overnight. Because the referral is coming from friends and contacts, the message benefits from a level of social proof that few corporate advertisements ever enjoy in the world of traditional print media.
Should Your Business Embrace Social Media and eCommerce?
Americans spend a tremendous amount of time on both computers and on mobile devices daily – 6 hours and 35 minutes – of which 1 hour and 15 minutes is spent on social media!4 Obviously, having an online presence is essential if you want to attract this traffic, but given the sheer number of hours that these very users spend on social media each week, it would be a mistake not to invest in popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Getting started may seem daunting, but keep in mind that the largest cost is time — not money. Paid campaigns can be created and stopped at any time, but an organic following is likely the most promising audience.
Social media is a free and effective tool that can help you connect with millions of potential customers all over the world.