Shopping on social networks: how manufacturers can exploit these new sales channels

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The world of eCommerce is no longer the only sales channel available for manufacturers who want to be present in the online world.  Social networks are postulated as being the latest opportunity for all those brands who want to sell online without the need to setup third-party retailer channels as intermediaries.  Today, these options continue to be, on the whole, unknown, and require the development of new techniques and strategies to get the most out of them.

Among the options for increasing sales through social networks, the two best known are:

1. Facebook Store. This Facebook application allows companies to sell their products directly through their social network.  To achieve this it is necessary to add the tab 'store' to the main company page.  The biggest advantage of this tool is that it can be integrated when used with other sales software.  Additionally, it is possible to have full compatibility with different online payment platforms, such as Paypal.  On the other hand, it is also possible to use the Facebook Store as a showcase and to finalise transactions on a different website.

2. Instagram Shopping. As with Facebook, it is essential to have a company profile to sell on Instagram.  In this case, Instagram Shopping allows two things: on the one hand, activate the 'buy' tab in each brands profile; on the other, you can label each product in different publications that are programmed and are sharing the brand.  This last option allows the user to reach, in a single click, the product information that is of interest to them, along with the name, product characteristics and price info.

The key to optimizing the potential of both of these sales channels is to provide the user with enough valuable, attractive and necessarily suggestive content, for them to be directly interested in the product on offer.  A very interesting way to present products in these publications is to create high quality still images, or maybe choose images which show real-life, contextualised product use.  This is one of the most used resources in the fashion sector, which is enhanced by enrolling the help of marketing influencers.

In addition, it is possible to promote sales through social networks by adjusting the pricing strategy according to each of the sales channels used.  This way you can make specific offers and reach more relationship milestones with the consumers and to analyse where you are with the brand.

Analytics of the social sale

When selling on social networks it is essential to take into account several key factors that affect all online commerce, including competitor’s selling prices and sales spikes which may occur on specific indicated dates.

Likewise, it is equally important to analyse the effectiveness of your sales actions, which must meet the objectives set by the brand.  The good news is that on social channels the possibilities of connecting directly with the audience grow, therefore, a range of options open up in which to interact with them.

On the other hand, it is possible to make these sales channels compatible with the manufacturers official channels.  For example, by using Users Instagram photos, after purchasing your products, to accompany the product data sheets in the official store.

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