Social media is a very important marketing tool for e-commerce sites. It is becoming an integral part of business life and an individual’s life too. It is a well-known fact that the more you promote the business on popular social media apps like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, there are more chances for sales. Social media helps the business in increasing brand exposure and broadening customer reach. If we look from the other perspective i.e. from the customer’s perspective social media aids in reviewing a company, telling other prospective consumers about the company, both good and bad experiences. Hence, letting consumers have unbiased opinions about business and their choice. The business at the same time can respond quickly to both negative and positive feedbacks and accordingly attend the customer’s problem at earliest and maintain, adapt, rebuild and regain customer satisfaction and confidence. While this is the general scenario, there are often circumstances where social media becomes a curse instead of a boon for e-commerce sites like eBay or TrueGether. Why and how? Let’s check out 5 such scenarios.
Multiple account management
Facebook, twitter, instagram, snap chat and the list continues. The immense popularity of social media have led to the rise in the number of social media platforms. Customers are spread through all these platforms and for this reason, the e-commerce businesses must have their individual accounts on each of these sites. While opening an account might seem to be an easy task, maintaining all the accounts on regular basis is not that easy. If the accounts are not regularly updated with product images, new launches, discounts and altered prices, there is no point of getting a social media account. A worn out and dull social media account will create a wrong impression of the brand in front of the customers. Another consequence of not updating or checking the social media accounts is that, it might get hacked and the company may be completely ignorant about the fact. So, incorrect or unpleasant information or even indecent images might get uploaded on the website; this will create a permanent negative impression of the brand amidst the buyers. They will no more feel safe to make online transactions at the company’s website. Unappealing or ample amount of self centric content on the site can also bore the readers and they might stop visiting the social media site of the e-commerce site.
This is another grey area of using social media for e-commerce start-ups. As most of the customers are on social media, if any negative feedback gets posted on the page it immediately reaches millions of social media users. So it can be said that the hundreds of initiatives taken by the company to boost it’s image goes in vain in just few minutes. Another big issue with social media complaints is leaving these unattended. If readers do not find companies responding or resolving the problem and informing the same on the social media page, the reputation is hampered. This kind of negligence can lead to permanent loss of customers.
Unable to measure the effectiveness
This is the next critical challenge which the e-commerce startups face on social media. The entrepreneur spends time and money to set up a social media account, takes pain to update the page on regular basis but how does it influence the business? Does it have any positive impact on the business? It is difficult to measure the exact influence social media is having on the business. While there are few analytical tools available in the market which claim to measure the impact of digital marketing, it is tough to estimate the influence of social media on the business. So the investment on social media promotion might become a waste, making it one of the primary challenges for e-commerce startups.
Generating targeted traffic
Now that the business is on social media, it is visible to a large group of online buyers. While this is a good point, it is still a challenge to attract the right audience through social media. While the products might be viewed by loads of online users, they may not be the right customer base for the product. So this is another significant social media challenge for the startups.
Moreover, customers are spoilt for choices. They have lot to choose from and thus online buyers get easily distracted. They look for recommendations on social media, check the product reviews and compare the costs. Also, the social media recommendations will generally highlight the popular brands instead of startups. So until and unless the startup gets popular, it is tough to appear in the social media recommendations. So, convincing the targeted customer base is a challenge on social media.
Ensuring digital safety
Last but not the least; social media is crowded with lot of brands. When it comes to online shopping, customers prefer well known brands as there are less chances of identity theft and hacking of payment details.
Social media is often referred as the transformed version of ‘word of mouth’ promotion. The social media platforms have enabled billions of sales in recent years. Getting the best out of a social media account is lot of work for a startup. It assists the business in various forms namely promotion of brand, marketing of products, staying connected with current and prospective customer and at large fostering new business If the accounts are not looked after properly, having a social media account might become a challenge instead of an opportunity to the business, by exposing the company to statutory legal problems or public harassment which can have a drastic impact on company’s reputation. Externally social media also helps the business to stay in touch with their customers and alter the practices as and when required in order to maintain and improve its operations and performances. For this reason, it is important to sort out the above mentioned social media related issues and get the complete set of benefits of digital marketing.