JANUARY 5, 2015

One of the interesting trends in consumer behavior while shopping in both online and brick stores is impulse. It comes as no surprise with apparent trends in shopping on mobile devices and is quite obvious from the competitive landscape of google wetting their feet in employing the “buy” button and Amazon grappling with its one-hour delivery. Retailers are testing a host of strategies and platforms to pacify the consumer’s impulse. Social Media is one elite emotion whipping platform of impulse – search and choose where you are, make your payment and get it delivered to your doorstep- Instant isn’t it? There are three things of interest in the above discussion. Social channels are turning into shopping arenas, payments through social currency and prompt deliveries.

Shoppable Social: Social channels are driving the consumer purchase cycle with the instant mantra. There are real time investigations which quote inferences of consumers’ behavior who share, like, tweet, retweet, comment and make it their favorite product/ brand before making a purchase. Post purchase feedbacks are anyway granted. For retailers this is a blazing business. As soon as a prospect “likes” a product or a brand on social media, it is a fair opportunity for retailers to update their leads. The streaming history followed by email addresses and specific product images of the consumers clicks would help the retailers with “recommendation” and converting business.

Recommendations towards Real-time commerce: When customers are disposed to instantaneously add items to their cart from social media, they also need instant and comforting solutions to pay. Allow the customers to enjoy deals and discounts for having staked their account details. For the same card that is used for shopping, hail them to be premium members and reward their engagement in social shopping. Retailers can pitch in to work around the payment infrastructures and leverage social itself as an avenue for sales.

Customers are happy to pay as they choose and this also makes them expect instant gratification. One-day, two-day shipping efforts of retailers are sustaining the inertia of customers to shop more. Customers are exposed to millions of product options to choose and they are excited about it. As much as they are motivated, it is equally probable to disappoint them with out-of-stock inventory and delayed deliveries. Supply chain is a key phase in this mode of business. Availability of the offered stock, delivering what you promise and securing the trust of your customer makes it a happy social shopping.

Social shopping is sensitive of consumer emotions and plays around the “instant” cue. Customers cannot be taken for granted by displaying jazzy product features and colors. At the end customer adopts this new phenomenon of shopping on social media, provided he is offered real convenience to pay and is delivered what is expected. Having said that, Social media is definitely an open source for consumers to explore and retailers to offer. With open minds come open wallets.

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