Socially Stephanie: The Power of Social Shopping


Dear Socially Stephanie,

I just launched an ecommerce store for my very Hawaiian bathing suit line. I have a shop in town, but online is completely new to me. The traffic has been ok, but I know I can do more. What are some fun and new ways to increase traffic and my online presence?

Open in Oahu

Dear Open in Oahu,
Aloha and congratulations! While it may look like an extension of your current business, opening an online store is actually a new business in itself. The marketing of your online store is going to be different than your physical store, but because you are open to the world, the options to reach thousands millions of people are endless. It’s going to be a ride, so hang on tight and let’s get bathing suit ready.

Now, before we get into the fun part. The ideas. The innovation. The creativity. Let’s get real. Your online store needs to have the foundations of a successful online business if you want to be around for a long time. That means you need to have the proper strategy from the get-go.

I think online stores are best served when they have a high quality content marketing strategy in place and a structurally sound SEO program to work with. SEO and niche ecommerce are best friends. Because you don’t want to be a fly by night company, you’ll want to focus on optimizing your site and preparing for residual traffic overtime by ranking highly for targeted keywords. Yes, I understand that this is a social media column, and I don’t want you to get bogged down by the details. But remember this simple equation. Blogging plus social media can equal SEO.

With that said, let’s move our focus on to content. Visuals are key here. Because nobody wants to buy anything that they haven’t seen first, you need to wow your potential customers with gorgeous styles in a fabulous setting. Luckily you have the ingredients right in front of you. Yes, I’m talking about your backyard of fabulous Hawaii. You want every image you share to transport your customers to the land of luaus. These images should be so compelling that they click the share button right then and there.

Notice how I said share and not buy. Yes, your online sales are clearly important. But sharing is caring when it comes to online stores. You need to embrace the share. You have to encourage the share.

Why is sharing so important? It increases your traffic, sales and the amount someone spends. Plain and simple, right? Buyers who came from a social network spend 8.2% more than those who stumbled upon a store themselves. Each share is worth about $ 2.50 to you. It’s a beautiful thing.

So how do you increase the share-ability of your site? Well, besides the beautiful content you are creating, you’ll also want to encourage sharing of your products on each specific page. The easiest way to do this is to incentivize your visitors. AddShoppers is an on-site app that allows to do just that. You can offer your visitors a discount when they share your products to their social networks. It’s a win for you and a win for your buyer.

Content: check. Social shopping and sharing: check. Now for the fun part. Let’s talk new and exciting ideas to make you the talk of the town. I love the idea of using live video to promote your products. Periscope and Meerkat are two great platforms for that. Why not host a live fashion show that allows people to get a glimpse and first look at your new line for summer? Have a sexy new cut coming out? Tap into Snapchat’s voyeuristic feel by offering a self-destructing glance at your new style. Plus, you can take payment through Snapcash. Or how about allowing one of your best customers to take over your social feed for the day while wearing your swimwear. You know, the power of influencers runs deep.

Well, I hope you are as excited as I am. Now, if you could transport me to Hawaii…


Do you have a question for Socially Stephanie?

Please email [email protected] and let Stephanie help you solve your social quandaries, queries, and boondoggles. (Questions may be edited for length and clarity.)

Socially Stephanie is a column for Social Media Today published every other Friday.

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