Retailers are riding on social media, chatbox to boost sales


March 1, 2018 | 12:58 am
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Riding on the wave of social media innovations, especially in the last two years, retailers have found a niche among bots to grow their businesses, BusinessDay investigations show.

These innovative applications from social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, LinkedIn, Truecaller, and customised caller tone, bots are being employed to drive customer awareness, interaction and marketing campaigns.

Retailers constantly search for that electrifying event that creates a spark, which inspires consumers to part with their money for a product; planned for or not.

With consumers changing and competition ever growing, finding that cutting edge in a market bombarded by billions of messages is becoming more difficult. The competition is even fiercer for e-retailers.

To reach out to their consumers, Konga, Jumia, Jiji, OLX, Supermarket, and Gidimall, and a host of many other online retailers have increased their search for retail software developers.

“Many online shoppers are active users of social media and their purchases are influenced by social media trends, adverts and engagements,” Kunle Adeleye, a digital marketer said.

Adeleye adds that shoppers embrace online shopping for reasons ranging from convenience to options, price and competitiveness. To this end, brands are constantly using social media to capture and retain attention as well as influence sales.

Consequently, given the convenience and wider reach that social media offer and the wider acceptability of buyers, retail business in the country will double in value in the next two years. In Nigeria alone, the value of social media is estimated to surpass $3.3 billion in 2018.

Nigeria is ranked tops in terms of social media usage with over 17 million users and the 2nd most-active Twitter users on the continent.

Nigeria internet penetration increased to 98,391,456 in 2017, meaning 50.2 percent of Nigeria populations is now online, this is a 49,096 percent increased according to internet world statistics.

Besides, other retail outlets such as Spar and Shoprite are also currently availing themselves of the opportunity by making their products known on social media windows.

Prior to the advent of social media, retail sales deployed the traditional form of marketing by word of mouth, and sales were often communal. This trend has changed drastically over the last few years since the advent of social media, giving way to electronic advertising.

Banks, and other financial institutions have also taken their business online and a lot of their promotions are advertised on social media platforms.

A lot of start-ups now have stores online in Nigeria, selling all kinds of wares on Facebook, Instagram, to customers and Adeleye noted that this had dramatically changed the amount they require in starting a business as most of them run these businesses from their homes.

The viral nature of social media makes it possible for them to serve anyone and anywhere. Other companies like banks now serve a number of their retail clients off social media with the introduction of social banking. All these changes in the way sellers have approached the web have largely been driven by a need for convenience.

According to fourth quarter (Q4) 2013 Social Media Intelligence Report, which analysed paid, earned and owned social media trends, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr drove an unprecedented amount of qualified traffic to retail websites in Q4, with Revenue Per View (RPV) increasing across social channels.

The analysis is based on aggregated and anonymous data from retail, media, entertainment and travel sites between Q4 2012 and Q4 2013, including 240 billion Facebook ad impressions, more than 1.5 billion Facebook posts, 500 million unique visitors to social networking sites, and 6.3 billion social engagements on Facebook, including comments, shares and also likes.

According to Adobe, social media continues to shape the digital marketplace with how brands can engage consumers. Whether it is through a sponsored link on Twitter, an online ad with Facebook, or retail placement on Pinterest, an understanding of the current trends will go a long way to producing a successful social media marketing campaign, it added.



March 1, 2018 | 12:58 am
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