Why Facebook and Instagram are Integral for Online Retail
There’s never been a better time to open a retail brand. If that sounds like a bold claim, consider the following:
eCommerce is taking off. By 2023, some 22% of all global retail sales will be online. Retail businesses are becoming more remote and more digital—and plenty of customers are becoming comfortable with that.
Tools. There are more tools and platforms than ever from to build an online retail brand. Do you need logos? A website? A shop to handle order fulfillment? There is a service for you already in existence. In the days of brick-and-mortar only, shopkeepers could only dream of having such a low barrier to entry.
Two of the most popular platforms for getting started on a shoestring budget include Facebook and Instagram. They also happen to be two of the most valuable ways of growing a brand from the ground up.
For starters, there’s the social element. People are looking for “social proof” for something they buy, before they buy it.
Today, 43% of global shoppers will look up products on social networks before making a purchase. People are looking for validation and verification if they can’t see the product in person. Videos and photographs help, but what really gives people confidence is getting a recommendation from family or a friend.
Swagger asked Nathan Otwell, the CMO of Shopanova (a modern growth media buying agency for eCommerce shops) to offer advice on social media brand-building, as that company has had a lot of success in helping retailers grow through these channels:
Tip #1: Look for Opportunities to Scale—Even from the Beginning
Let’s say you run an advertisement on Facebook that yields 100% return. But unless you have a scalable campaign, you won’t be ready to grow your online retail brand the way you should.
It’s because not every campaign will work. If you’re going to grow, you need to have a plan to scale if one does hit, because those are the times to optimize for success.
A $100 ad campaign that yields $200 in sales is a tiny sample size. How will your campaign do when it ramps up? Unless you have the ability to offer plenty of sales on a wide-scale campaign, you won’t know what your audience is looking for.
Tip #2: Find Help When You Need It
Some of the world’s elite golfers seek out teachers to help them with their swings. On the surface, this seems counterintuitive. After all, what can Tiger Woods, one of the most talented golfers of all time, possibly have to learn from a golf coach, who’s probably never won a major championship?
Two things: specific expertise, and third-party perspective.
Bringing both to the table can result in tremendous growth potential for online retail brands. Even top marketers using Facebook ads sometimes get lost without some third-party perspective.
However, there are people who can benefit from a third-party perspective as well. People who don’t know a lot about marketing or Facebook advertising. They’ll only benefit from learning from an expert.
Tip #3: Use Instagram Explore to Connect with What’s Trending
Otwell found that half of accounts on Instagram are using Explore every month. That means that half the audience is keeping up with the latest trends.
Online retailers especially need to keep up with the latest trends, to have a much better sense of what their audience is thinking about.
Instagram is a trendy social media application, and if you want your online retail brand to be just as trendy, you need to know what’s connecting with people. And ultimately, building up your online retail brand on social media is about building those connections.