According to and independent survey “small and mid size online retailers are highly confident in the future of ecommerce”.
More than 750 ecommerce merchants and found that 84 percent of respondents are optimistic about their growth potential while 16 percent of respondents listed brick and mortar stores as a method they currently use to sell their goods. Only 11 percent of respondents are considering brick and mortar locations for future sales compared to 33 percent who are considering opening their own web store, 29 percent who would use email marketing and 26 percent who are considering selling goods on Amazon.com.
Having said that, social shopping platform Pinterest is already and will continue to play a huge role in ecommerce marketing. Pinterest seems to have the tools to make sharing easy, returning for purchase a breeze and is so simple to use that it has clearly set itself ahead of the crowd in the social media world.
Pinterest users are 79 percent more likely to purchase items they see pinned on the site compared to the purchasing behavior of Facebook users viewing items they’ve seen on the news feed or a friend’s wall, according to a new survey released from behavioral commerce company SteelHouse.
In a Steelhouse survey more than half of those surveyed said they regularly share their online purchases. This social behavior has opened many doors for smaller ecommerce merchants, as well as many challenges. In the age of mobile aps, smart phone scanners and information overload. Only 33% of Facebook users said they have purchased a product or service from a Facebook ad, on the news feed or from a friend’s post. This compared to a HUGE 59 percent of Pinterest users who have made purchases based on an items they found on Pinterest. Are you Social Ready?
Getting Social with Zen Cart
There are some very big challenges for Zen Cart owners, but I have some very simple advise and options to help you grab a bigger piece of this social shopping pie. Many of the items in this list will cost you money…. I apologize for that, and please understand I do my best to find free and affordable solutions for all challenges we address here. However, I will also say that most of these are sooo very easy to get you started!
98% of shoppers say that online customer reviews have a major influence on their decision to purchase a product or service. Your Zen Cart review system is adequate, but you have to coax the shoppers to submit them. Follow up with a post delivery email, send them a link and offer them a coupon to submit an honest review. The alternative is a paid program like Shopper Approved, which really has some awesome tools for your shop. Shopper Approved has segmentation, popups, folowups, support, really nice seals and is picked up pretty well by the search engines as well. For just $49.95 a month you can have one of the best review systems on the web that is a snap to install in your Zen Cart shop. No matter which way you plan to go, the trick is to ask for reviews and testimonials…. We are way to busy as a society to just offer them up. If they are fast, easy and you ask, many shoppers are more than happy to oblige.
Expert mobile research pegged the number of smartphone users in the U.S. at 82.2 million people. People make purchases, shop, share and are completely Internet wired while on the go. The opportunity here is the ability to carryout impulse purchases immediately, no forgetting to do it later. For our Zen Cart owners, the solution best suited to grab these sales is a mobile friendly version of your website. While there are many choices available now for Zen Cart, we have seen and tested Zen Cart Superstar Delia’s awesome solution. This mobile Zen Cart module will give you a fully functional and phone/device friendly version of your Zen Cart for a small price (starting at $125.00).
Grant your shoppers the ability to quickly and EASILY share your products on the most popular social media sites. The top 3 performers in the social shopping jungle are going to be Pinterest, Facebook and Kaboodle. This is a number we get from the 26 clients we have on our SEO program at the moment. We aren’t just looking for traffic…. as a matter of fact we don’t even care to much about the traffic part, we are looking for conversions. We are looking for social shares that produce sales…. period. Having said that we developed a module for Zen Cart called Social Bar. Social Bar has the ability to turn off and on (from your Zen Cart admin) Facebook Share, Twitter Tweet, Delicious Add, Digg, StumbleUpon Stumble, Technorati Fave, Reddit, Kaboodle Add, Google +1, Bebo, BlinkList and Pinterest PinIt. Social Bar for Zen Cart can be downloaded and (installed by you easily) for just $18.00, or installed by us for $36.00. Have a look at the module in action here.
Lastly, and certainly not because it is less important, get a Facebook Fan Page and a Google +1 Page! These pages are going to help you rank better, create buzz and authority for your website and most importantly put you in touch with your shoppers. Remember, neither of these is worth a damn if you never use it! Post regularly, create special Fan Offers…. Market your pages in newsletters, emails and on your website. It’s not an easy task to keep these pages up, but at least it’s fun and interactive.
Thanks for reading and we wish you prosperity and success in your ecommerce business. Remember, at PRO-Webs we are here to help. If you have a question, please ask…. we endeavor to answer them all (and NOT with a sales pitch either). We believe in the value and necessity of the small merchant’s success in the US and plan to continue to support these merchants in any way we can!