Is Social Media really as important as we think it is for retailers and brands?

According to some, the social media craze will eventually come to an end whereas for others, it is simply impossible to imagine a life without it. Irrespective the side onto which you are though, the impact of social media on every aspect of our lives is unquestionable. It has changed both our personal and professional lives, and if we need to focus on the retail market, its impact has been unprecedented. So my answer is yes. Social media is really as important as we think it is, whether it is or not of our liking.

According to Global Digital Reports (2019)*, the average adult in the UK spends 1h50mins on social media per day, and that includes such platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, LinkedIn for the most popular. If we have a closer look at the figures, 67% of the population in the UK uses social media. There are about 66 million people in total living in the UK. If you do the math, it is the attention of nearly 45 million people every day that retailers can capture, during nearly 2 hours per day. If stats show that the use of social media is not really increasing anymore, it is not slowing down either. Hence, today, it is true to say that no means other than social networks allow a larger reach of consumers to retailers.

Those who have not joined the game yet are undoubtedly missing out on massive opportunities to generate additional sales. But to actually make the most of those new selling channels, content creation is not enough. Launching a selling strategy on social media must be done carefully in order to avoid the common pitfalls of offering only part of the experience to the consumer. The challenge is not about having a page on Instagram, or using the marketplace of Facebook for instance. The challenge is about bringing convenience at the tip of the thumb of those consumers who are swiping their time away on their screens. Convenience would mean having social networks as a built-in part of commerce, along with such methods as eCommerce and physical shops, which are the two other preferred buying channels of consumers. And giving the possibility to the consumer to virtually travel with the same basket either he shops on social media, in-store or online.

It might sound very obvious and you might think that every retailer does it today, but you’d be very surprised to know that only few are actually able to offer that kind of outstanding buying journey to their consumers. The reason is because only a few have been able to come up with a truly unified commerce proposition with one single unified cart which can be moved across every channel.