The traditional sales prospecting landscape in B2B has undeniably changed, forever!. The need for 'social proof' as part of any due diligence phase for big ticket items has been on the increase for a number of years.
Add to that the continued deployment of ad blocking, ad skipping and GDPR, and now the rise of 'one click social commerce' brands and businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to stay front of mind with prospects and consumers.
I agree you need a presence, but relying on people to find you, and go to your website as the first port of call simply doesn’t work today.
The rise, access, and availability on any device in any location for your prospects to do their own due diligence on a company, brand and it’s employees via social media will either upend you, or can be a catalyst to help grow your business.
Its a combination of providing 'social proof' during the 'social buying' stages - in simple terms, if your competitor understands the social landscape better than you, and has adopted 'social selling' as key strategic initiative I guarantee the traffic will go to your competitor, the phone will stop ringing, and you will continue to miss those targets.
But what's this got to do with B2C and my suppliers, why should I be concerned - I'm already successful with eCommerce?
China’s tech giants have been stealthily extending their interests in content platforms, highlighting the enormous potential for e-commerce retailers to leverage content marketing and global social media opportunities. link here
In a statement issued earlier this year, Alibaba hailed live streaming and content-to-commerce as the number one driver of e-commerce sales and announced its intent to double down on live streaming-to-commerce initiatives.
Most companies I speak to think that 'live streaming' is either a gimmick, or a great way to continue to talk about themselves.
Or worse still, 'just another version of old folks TV shopping'
When I see the unabated rise of 'social commerce', and in particular 'live streaming' (another thing we experimented with back in the day, but difficult to do with a really shit internet connection) I wonder how much of the so called developed online/offline retailers of the world and its companies are looking at this and not only wondering "hows this going to change what we do as a business?"
If I were operating in 'TV Shopping' I would argue that this is about to create an explosion in opportunities, it will definitely take folk away from the lean back couch experience, and it will truly unleash all the Superpowers, infrastructure, and resources from an industry that has led the way for 'experiential' retail - guess what, you are WAY out in front - but only if you can grasp it today.
but also; Online and Offline Retailers are thinking - WTF are we going to do about it?
Traditional retailers that failed to recognise the potential impact the arrival of eCommerce delivered have been seeing casualties for well over a decade, this isn't something new, it isn't a fad, it isn't about cannibalization as some of them told me many years ago, it's about having the 3 wise monkey syndrome in the boardroom, not listening to the consumer, and frontline employees, and not reacting quickly enough to what they can evidence.
Lets take a look at a very simple example;
You're a retailer (offline/online) you have a great business selling all sorts of home-wares (other categories apply) , you and your suppliers have done very well over the years, they find you products to sell from all over the world, your buying team select said products and BINGO you promote and sell them via your physical retail outlets, and of course your online website.
Your average weekly turnover from say 'exotic rugs' is £100k, not bad, happy days for all and this is how it's always been.....then came social media, and with it social commerce!
Now lets consider there are circa 100+ small traders (probably in the thousands) on numerous social networks around the world , they also sell 'exotic rugs', however they're only turning over £1k+ per week - so now what do you and your supplier do and say?
In February this year, Alibaba took on a 10.8 percent stake in Bilibili (Tencent holds a similarly sized stake), whose e-commerce business was growing sluggishly in comparison with the exponential growth of its live-streaming revenue. Content-to-commerce integration between Bilibili and Taobao swiftly followed.