As we bid farewell to Black Friday for another year, I can’t help but wonder, where were all of the social ‘buy’ buttons?
There has been a lot of hype about social ‘buy’ buttons, but they haven’t really taken off. I thought all of that could change as we enter one of the busiest shopping periods of the year, but following on from Black Friday 2015 I was disappointed with the lack of opportunities to immediately purchase items from social channels, such as Twitter.
Retailers know they need to embrace various sales tools to ensure they keep ahead of their competitors and maximise sales, and you could argue that being seen using ‘buy’ buttons on their social media could position a brand as a trailblazer by potential customers. Social buy buttons could have worked very effectively in stores that were running a Black Friday sale, linking the need for immediacy by consumers and the ability of retailers to offer location based offers.
Using beacons, and especially virtual beacons that are able to pinpoint a customer with far greater accuracy in a store in conjunction with the retailer’s app, a brand marketer would be able to see that a particular customer has been looking at a display of on-sale TVs for the last 10 minutes. The marketer can send them a tweet with a ‘Buy It Now’ button for a specific sale TV (perhaps with an extra discount and the option of click and collect), giving the customer the option of avoiding the checkout queue and carrying the heavy item home.
Brands can also showcase their best flash sale deals and offers within social posts, that include desirable images, pricing information, reviews and even a countdown timer to add even more urgency to the situation - with more product information being displayed once users click the buy button. This strategy combined with paid promoted tweets could work especially well if audiences are targeted via specific search terms, such as ‘Cyber Monday deals’ ‘electronics deals’ ‘Black Friday offers’, etc.
With the impulsive purchasing nature that comes with both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 'buy' buttons on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook had the potential to perform exceptionally well, but where were they?
Retailers know they need to embrace various sales tools to ensure they keep ahead of their competitors and maximise sales, and you could argue that being seen using ‘buy’ buttons on their social media could position a brand as a trailblazer by potential customers. Social buy buttons work very effectively in stores that are running a Black Friday sale for example, linking the need for immediacy by consumers and the ability of retailers to offer location based offers.
Integrate this with beacons, especially virtual beacons that are able to pinpoint a customer with far greater accuracy in a store in conjunction with the retailer’s app, a brand marketer would be able to see that a particular customer has been looking at a display of on-sale TVs for the last 10 minutes, and tweet with a ‘Buy It Now’ button for a specific sale TV, giving the customer the option of avoiding the checkout queue and carrying the heavy item home.
Mobile shopping season
With Christmas around the corner, many retailers are getting ready for the online shopping onslaught. With many consumers - especially millennials - using their mobile devices more and more, mobile marketing will have to play a greater role this shopping season than ever before.
Where traditionally this has been seen as the responsibility of the digital marketing department, the rise of mobile payment, alongside proximity marketing, brings it squarely into the camp of bricks and mortar retail divisions. It also presents a huge opportunity to combat showrooming. With almost 50% of people admitting to browsing in-store then purchasing online (SmartFocus) anything retailers can do to keep the sale, rather than risk losing to a competitor, becomes hugely worthwhile. Context-aware marketing via the mobile is the best play for this scenario; messaging users when they are in the all-important purchasing mind-set.
So, how can brands navigate this change, and the frontier of the dual-screening, showrooming landscape? With over half of time spent on smartphones viewing apps, the all-important download becomes a valuable way of stealing more screen time. Add to that the benefits of being able to add location-based tracking down to micro-location provided by beacons to achieve incremental value for the business. The app then acts as a new channel, with carefully targeted push notifications able to bring the kind of engagement you might traditionally expect from email.
The most sophisticated campaigns combine mobile push notifications within the overall CRM program, contacting customers more frequently, but with shorter more contextually relevant messages. And don’t forget the tablet, with Google stating that 72% of tablet users make at least one purchase a week from their tablet, making them an extremely valuable segment. Tablets are used in the home, with the sofa-surfers indexing highly. So search campaigns can be day-parted to reflect this at-home usage.
Attribution models become seriously important when considering second screeners. The purchasing decision moment is likely to happen on a different device to the buying moment, so aligning and integrating efforts across channels is the best approach. This sounds complex, but it starts with simply identifying example sessions that might cross from mobile to TV to PC in a way that means you can plan out your marketing efforts against them.
The future of marketing rests on a few incontrovertible facts: social media is here to stay, the average consumer is mobile, increasingly local, using several devices… and probably female. Third screening is just around the corner, with wearables being the anticipated next big trend. CMOs need the technology that perfectly connects them with this developing demographic. An actual mobile strategy does this. With big data capabilities it’s now possible to collect, store, analyse and manipulate an unprecedented volume of information in fractional amounts of time. Match that with a relevant and real-time messaging platform and business can achieve true context aware marketing, wherever the customer may be, and on however many screens.