The idea of shopping has evolved since the Internet started to be the integral part of everyone’s lives. Potential clients are no longer walking the streets or riding cars, they are on mobile devices using the social media. You think I exaggerate?
In July 2012, Nielsen published a report proving that mobile traffic from surfing the web increased by 82%, traffic from mobile apps rose by 85% and PC traffic dropped by 4%. This shows that if you are a business owner, your target audience is on mobile. You can’t just have a website. It has to be a website with proper user journey, great experience and it has to load as fast as Google, otherwise your clients will go to other sites that load in a few seconds instead of minutes. Moreover, the site has to have a mobile version. It can’t be a squeezed version of the online site, it must be a proper mobile version with smaller icons, good menu layout etc.
When you will be going outside of your cosy flat, take a second and look around. On the streets, people walk with their noses glued to smartphones, the same happens in buses or the metro. On top of that they most probably are using social networking apps during that time. According to Nielsen, consumers increased their social app time by 76% over the last year. People pin, like, comment, tweet and now, since social media gives more opportunities for advertisers, they are exposed to recommendations of your products.
In the old times, customers saw an ad displaying the best features and incentives of a product. Now, thanks to social media, consumers see, who amongst their friends trusted the company by liking its products or the website. They can also read an info about friends visiting certain places, eating some special dishes or buying products. The recommendation part is extremely important, because we trust the judgement of our friends and want to belong to the same group as them. This pushes customers to visit the place, buy same dish and try out the product their friends liked.
Recently, I was preparing my presentation for a social media seminar and found a perfect example of how social media influence the sales funnel. In Poland, since about 4 years Orange, a telco company, cooperates with movie theatres to boost ticket sales and text message usage. On every Wednesday you can send a text to a certain number and get a 50% discount for your movie tickets. Over time the model evolved so you could use a mobile app to generate such codes increasing the data traffic.
The idea became so popular that this cinema chain decided to remake the promotion, but for Tuesdays. However, they didn’t use mobile apps to generate discounts – they used social media instead. The result was amazing! There were 6x more customers using Facebook app than customers downloading the mobile app. The amount of active users generating coupons via the Facebook app was 30,000 per month:
At the same time, there were 1,000-5,000 installations of the mobile app:
These numbers convinced me even more about the importance of social media. Thus, when you are designing your sales strategy – think social, otherwise your success could be six times smaller.