Social media innovations and the ease of online shopping has led to a massive shift in consumer mindsets and modern lead generation . With ecommerce enabling 24/7 transactions and accessibility, consumers have become accustomed to instantly fulfilling their needs. Despite the many opportunities of these innovations, businesses that have not yet mastered the ecommerce landscape risk not meeting new clients’ expectations and, as a result, losing prospective sales. This makes maintaining an active online presence essential for any B2C business.
The Growth of Ecommerce
According to recent data from World Wide Worx, up to 54% of South African consumers now routinely shop online as a result of the pandemic. B2C Businesses that do not offer their clients online convenience are at a severe disadvantage towards competitors who do. Furthermore, and whether ecommerce is fully utilised or not, it has become essential for businesses to embrace social platforms where consumers can easily interact with the business.
Statistics show that around 60% of shoppers reveal that they are more likely to purchase from a business they can contact via social media platforms. This percentage is particularly crucial for businesses interested in gaining and retaining new clients.
Apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp Business and many more serve as a free new avenue for B2C businesses to connect with and build relationships with their consumers. These platforms allow businesses to instantaneously connect with their consumers and can often be necessary for securing sales. Over the last year alone, a global shift was seen for conversions that took place between consumers and businesses on popular social media messaging platforms. When these relationships are not nurtured, businesses risk hurting their brand.
Get into the conversation
According to World Wide Worx, Facebook is the most popular social media platform in South Africa with 93.2% of the 16-64 age group using this platform. WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform by far with 93.2% of survey respondents in the same age group using this platform.
The good news is that WordPress plug-ins exist for both platforms, meaning that you as the business owner (or your sales team) could connect with website visitors on either app to engage the customer on the platform of their preference. Whilst consumers are arguably now spoilt for online choice thanks to the growth in ecommerce since the pandemic entered our shores, those businesses that get into the customer conversation are certainly cashing in on the shift to virtual.
The Importance of Online Interactions
Creating and preserving an online community for your business to easily interact with clients can make or break a sale and largely influence customer satisfaction. With consumer interactions at the forefront of B2C businesses, it is not hard to see how it is crucial to create a positive experience for potential clients. Enhanced consumer experiences shape an individual’s brand perception and are the foundation for lifelong relationships.
The converse is equally true: a negative interaction, or complete lack thereof, can be damaging for your brand. This can be seen in the high correlation between fast response times and positive ratings. To encapsulate this idea, businesses that are not able to quickly interact with potential clients leave that consumer with a poor connotation of their brand. This consumer is then more likely to recommend your competitors or view your brand as having a ‘bad reputation’ which will harm the potential of landing future clients.