With the continuing rise in 'shoppable' social platforms like Instagram, we're now starting to see how 'Social Commerce' is already disrupting the traditional eCommerce buying journey by tech, socially savvy consumers.

The innovative in-app checkout feature allows users to store their payment information and make purchases in the app, while brands and businesses can sell their products directly to their target audience.

This means you can activate your consumers while they scroll, browse and buy with next-level convenience and ease, capturing them at peak interest as soon as they’ve seen your product — a marketer’s dream come true.

I once worked on an early eCommerce project migrating a traditional home shopping catalog shopper from mail order to the online space. This was back in the day when there were few vendors in this space, let alone so called 'experts', and certainly no blueprint that said 'do it this way, not that way'.

It was all very much experimental.

In order to make it easier for us to migrate the 'offline' customers onto our shiny new eCommerce websites (we actually had 64 different companies to migrate) we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them once we got them there, so we enlisted a number of them as our 'go to' focus group where they helped us better understand some of the features they would expect to see, and they also acted as our beta testers to improve the UX.

Some 6 months after the 'go live' period, and once the sites had settled in we started to look at the additional features that were highlighted from our 'focus group', and one of them stood out as a 'must have' feature. 

This was a 'quick checkout function', which basically mirrored what they would do when they had previously rang the call centre to place an order from the catalogues. 

The process went something like this; they would flick through the catalogue, find what they wanted, complete an order form with the items they wanted, and could either send it off by post, or ring the call centre for a customer services agent to place the order for them. The plan was to mirror this on the website some weeks after 'go live', the function allowed them to input their own order as per the paper process, and click 'checkout' which was all linked to the customers existing account - all very innovative?

As our fledgling online business started to grow, every day we added more users and shoppers, and the way we had designed the websites actively encouraged a much higher AOV (average order value) than any other channel, we even included (before Amazon) a function that suggested items that other people had bought, all very innovative, and extremely exciting, until........... 

The implementation of the 'quick order form function' saw our AOV plummet by 34% and this was all down to reduced browsing activity. They would flick through the catalogues as previously, but a catalogue didn't have all those 'encouraging' features to 'buy more' as the websites did.

So when I see the continued rise of 'social commerce' which itself is still in its infancy, with the clickable product feature, I think great innovation, but whats that going to do to an eCommerce website and its AOV?

When these features become standard across numerous social platforms (and they will) just what are you to do?

Social Media is more than a place to simply 'sell' something', its the place to help you and your customers get closer to each other, if used in the right way you can maintain a 'front of mind' position, so when that one click purchase is complete, they're still aware that your company are a whole lot more than just that one product.

Or, you could sit back and let your competitor steal the initiative just like the early eCommerce businesses did to the traditional retail sector.

At DLA Ignite we specialise in helping companies and the internal 'Change Makers' deliver on all these points, and I'm pretty sure we can help you as well. We have a tried and tested methodology, we hold you and your colleagues hand throughout, ensuring we not only 'teach' you what to do, we also make sure its firmly embedded into your firms DNA.

We don't do retainers, we are not an agency that creates and produces copy/content or sells ads for you.

We are active 'practitioners' of what we do, we already know and can evidence the ROI of a robust and internally aligned 'Social' strategy.

Part of that evidence it that you are reading this blog, just like many others - including your competitor!

We also don't do outbound pushy, salesy marketing, so if you would like to explore more, please contact the author of this blog.