Social Commerce: 3 Mistakes Most Retailers Are Making

By on July 22, 2014

Retailers have a unique opportunity to improve consumer engagement through search and social commerce, but the reality is that most are missing the mark. Despite an increasing number of retailers using social media and digital advertising, a new report produced by DataPop and Kenshoo illustrates that retailers simply aren’t capitalizing on the full potential of these channels.

The Search and Social Commerce Index (SSCI) Inaugural Report is the first in a series of reports to be published this year. The goal is to help retailers prepare for the holiday season. In 2013, mobile and social channels had a strong performance with mobile shopping accounting for 14% of all online holiday sales, and peaking at 26% on Black Friday alone. In fact, there was double-digit growth among social media referrals.

But what do retailers need to do this year to take advantage of this level of momentum?

Over 40 retailers and their accompanying 2.9 million published products were analyzed as part of the recently published Search and Social Commerce Index. Based on the findings, there are three major mistakes that retailers are making that could prevent them from taking advantage of the massive potential of mobile and social media, and prevent them from driving deeper consumer engagement in search and social commerce.

Mistake #1: Retailers aren’t posting their products across social commerce channels.

According to the report, only 1.7% of the products analyzed were posted by retailers across social commerce channels. This data highlights a missed opportunity for retailers to brand and merchandise at the moment that potential customers are actively discovering products.

Mistake #2: Retailers aren’t capitalizing on the categories consumers search for most often.

Researchers identified the categories consumers engage with most in search and found that retailers only post 7.2% of the products in these top categories to social commerce sites. What does that mean? There’s a far greater opportunity for product coverage and merchandising in social commerce that retailers are almost completely missing out on.

Mistake #3: Retailers are not tailoring their content to engage target consumers.

Approximately 70% of retailers use product names for social post titles. The problem? Most consumers aren’t searching for product names, rather product attributes. They are searching for things like color, style and material. When retailers don’t tailor their social content for these search behaviors and search parameters they are essentially leaving money on the table.

According to Experian, search and social are the top two traffic sources for retailers, driving 54% of traffic. Therefore, it’s critical that retailers learn how to maximize search and social opportunities, not just during the holiday season, but year-round.

What other social commerce mistakes do you think retailers are making, and what are some ways they can overcome them?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.

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