ECommerce and Social Sales – are Consumers Buying Online?

Once again, the pet industry has proven itself to be recession-resistant throughout a global crisis. While many sectors and industries are struggling, the pet industry has grown by 63% since the start of the pandemic.  The global pet care market is valued at 232 Billion in 2021, with an expected value of 350 Billion by 2027. People love their pets are aren’t willing to compromise on their care, even when products are more difficult to procure.

The Pet Market Online

The online pet market has nearly quadrupled since 2013. (3) Currently, 13% of sales of pet products are done through eCommerce.  Ecommerce delivers what pet owners are looking for:

  • Convenience
  • In-depth product information
  • Easy price comparisons

The growth of online shopping for pet products represents a generational shift in pet ownership. Baby Boomers are no longer the largest pet-owning segment; millennials are. Millennials spend nearly double the amount of time that Boomers do online. Social commerce is simply meeting your customers online, where they already are.

Is Social Commerce worthwhile?

Setting up social commerce and building an online catalogue takes a lot of time and effort; is it worth it? Increasingly, consumers are shopping online. The pandemic accelerated the eCommerce trend, and it shows no signs of slowing even as in-person shopping opens up again. By July 2020, global retail eCommerce sites saw a record 22 billion monthly visits.

More than 50% of consumers surveyed had purchased a product on at least one social platform. 36% of respondents had purchased products through Facebook and 24% on Instagram. Online retailers have a definite competitive advantage with their controlled variable costs and more significant potential profitability.

Where to Sell?

Facebook continues to be the megalith of social media, currently accounting for 64% of overall social revenue. With the most significant reach of any social platform, Facebook seamlessly integrates with Instagram and WhatsApp, allowing you to scale quickly. Facebook also integrates their shop with Messenger, allowing you to communicate with your customers and recommend products seamlessly.

E-Commerce AND Social Selling?

Even brands with an active e-commerce presence can benefit from bolting on social selling. A Facebook shop can help you connect with consumers who primarily use their phones for browsing. Seeing a post or ad on social media and buying a product directly, rather than leaving the site to go to your website, makes the purchase simple and easy and more likely to happen.

Expecting potential customers to leave the social site and go to your website where they need to scroll through all your products, often with a less user-friendly interface than their beloved Facebook feed or Instagram posts, can quash interest. We live in an instant gratification world. Asking customers to go through multiple steps to purchase your product will diminish your sales potential.

Social commerce has dramatically shortened the consumer buying process. Instead of finding a brand, looking at products, asking for recommendations, then making a buying decision, products can find consumers online, with readily displayed reviews. The consumer can click to buy.

Photo-worthy Brand?

Instagram shops can be a perfect fit if your brand already has a strong presence on Insta or if your products naturally lend themselves to beautiful photos and intriguing videos.

The Impact of Social Media on Buying Decisions

Many consumer buying decisions are made where consumers spend the majority of their time: online. More than half of social media users go to their social platforms to research products they consider buying . 71% of consumers are more likely to buy a product based on social recommendations.

There are four primary ways that social media impacts consumer buying decisions:

  1. Social media and online shopping shortened the customer journey.
  2. Social media amplified the impact of social proof or word-of-mouth.
  3. Social media influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your audience.
  4. Stories and ephemeral content are a new way to connect to your audience.

 

Watch Your Online Reputation

62% of consumers say they share bad reviews on their platforms. 81% of purchasing choices are influenced by their friend’s posts on social media.

Be Responsive

Currently, just 9% of brand conversations are answering customer questions. Social media allows brands to have a two-way conversation with owners, build relationships, and become a valued part of how people care for their pets.

Consider an Influencer

80% of brands have found partnering with influencers to be an effective way to increase brand awareness and sales. Check out our blog on influencer marketing here. Influencers can be particularly pivotal if your target audience includes millennials. 84% of millennials report that content from strangers influences how they spend their money.

The Future of the Pet Care Market is Digital

ECommerce represents a significant opportunity for pet care brands. Owners are increasingly seeking a personalized customer experience that also offers convenience. The dramatic jump in online sales is expected to sustain beyond the pandemic. The StreetDog team can help your brand make an impact in the digital landscape.

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