Most quality shopping carts are very good at presenting products to customers and moving them through the checkout process. With the growth of new technologies like Ajax and One Page Checkouts, carts have ramped up their ability to take a website visitor through the checkout process as quickly as possible.
Conversions are critical, but how can you build referrals and repeat buyers to get the cost of sale down? Enter Social Marketing.
Social Marketing enables you to use your customers to market your products for you. In basic terms, it’s word of mouth with a technological spin. rattlerecords Your customers endorsing your products and both directly and indirectly telling others to come and visit you.
Social Marketing takes many forms – from a website visitor clicking to save your website’s link on their favourite social bookmarking site through to directly writing about you on their “wall” on their favourite social networking website.
Shopping cart software that can harness these social networking tools allows the store owner to engage their customers in the after sales process. If they bookmark your store so they can find it again, then others can search that list and find your store. So can search engines so it’s another link back to your store. If they write about your store on their own page, it’s effectively a direct endorsement of your site, and more information that can help sell your products to others. Social networking and online shops go hand in hand.
As a store owner how can you take advantage of social networking?
Here are a few useful suggestions:
– Add social bookmarking links to your product pages. That way if a customer finds a product they like they can bookmark it and find it later – so can other potential customers who can see those bookmarks.
– Post coupons on your own social networking pages. If your customers “follow you” on those social networking sites it increases your effective popularity on those sites, and exposes your website link to other people to find. It encourages other people to follow you too in order to get the discounts, snowballing your popularity.
– Use the “widgets” from social bookmarking sites. Most of the major social bookmarking sites will allow their users to download code for “widgets”, which usually take the form of inset boxes on your website where the data comes from the social networking site concerned. In the box may be the most recent updates you have posted on your social bookmarking site, or links to the profiles of others who “follow” you. These widgets demonstrate to potential customers that you are connected, and add to your online reputation. Use them if you can.
– Follow up with your customers and ask them for reviews. If you make it easy for people to write a review about your product or website, then they probably will. Give them the link for where to go to write a review and/or provide an incentive to encourage them to do so.
Integrating social marketing into your overall marketing campaign can help your shopping cart website sell even more of your products. Social marketing is cheaper than direct advertising and easier to implement – it will cost you far less in the long run, but it does require both more planning up front and the faith in your products and services that your customers will recommend you.