Here at Juno Media we believe that ecommerce sites shouldn't have separate work on brand design, web development, marketing and SEO. From the initial concept to the final design, all these aspects of ecommerce need to be considered at the same time and work together in harmony for maximum results.
Social media is now playing a bigger and bigger role in online promotion, there are literally millions of people using social sites such as Twitter and Facebook everyday in the UK alone for example. With social media apps running smoothly on smart-phones and tablets, people can now interact with each other on the move and at any time during the day; social media is definitely here to stay and continue growing for many years.
Usually social media was an after-thought for ecommerce websites, something you would 'bolt-on' to the side so people could connect. Our latest Magento site (launching soon) for the superb interior design brand Graham & Green combines social media with ecommerce from the word "go", here are a few ways you can integrate social media and ecommerce to increase sales and brand awareness:
Did you know that you can now run a full ecommerce website on Facebook? The average visitor on Facebook looks at over 40 pages and spends many minutes on the social network; if you could filter that devoted traffic into your Company page then not only is your brand reaching a new potential customer but that person could also buy something from your store. As Facebook fights to keep users on the sites for longer (with add-ons such as Bing's search bar for example) then social shopping will become more mainstream and trusted we believe.
Make it as easy as possible for people to tweet about the product they want to buy from your ecommerce store with a tweet button. If you sold amazing shoes for example then make it as simple as possible for someone to tweet about a separate product with a message like: "OMG I so want these amazing pair of butterfly shoes: http://bit.ly/eyaUSW". The shortened URL could possibly get clicked on many times and bring many people to your main ecommerce store, if a celebrity tweeted about your product then expect thousands of hits!
This is a very basic function is allowing people to email themselves and perhaps their friends/family too about the product. Again this will link to the actual product page with either a full URL or a shortened one with a URL shortening service. Although used rarely, visitors to the site WILL use an email sharing function like this eventually. If you make the visitor agree to be sent promotional materials then this function could help build up your email marketing campaign.
If you have a brand that people will come back to again and again (for example a trendy 'Male Clothing' brand) then an app for smart-phones and tablet computers may be a good option. Some ecommerce platforms now integrate with mobile sized shopping apps and allow people to purchase on the move, this is great for repeat custom but hard to get new customers on board with. Getting people to download these apps is a PR agencies job; our partners at JPR Marketing have some great viral marketing ideas to get Apps on to people's smart phones including a free competition entry for app downloaders and quick, personalised App access from the end of the normal checkout process using saved payment details.