The difference between social media selling and ecommerce
Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared some tips for improving your ecommerce website, as well as some of the different ways to sell on social media. This week, I’m going to help you choose whether to focus on selling on an eCommerce store or opt for a social media marketplace.
But first, a quick refresher:
- Selling on an eCommerce store means that you are selling products or services on your own domain. You are responsible for everything from web design to creating engaging content and managing SEO.
- Selling within a social media platform or marketplace involves using the platform’s selling capabilities to actively market your products. Typically, if someone clicks, they return to your website to complete the purchase.
You’ll need to figure out how to process transactions either way and install shopping cart software or drive shoppers to a third-party site like PayPal.
Here are some of the markets you can sell in:
- Facebook Shops: It allows you to add products in different categories, communicate with customers, and get insights into data.
- Facebook Messenger: While still part of Facebook, this involves communicating with customers (either manually or with chatbots) to reach your target audience.
- Shoppable Instagram Posts– You can tag brands and products in organic Instagram posts, then your audience can tap to see more details and buy the product.
- interest (statistics show that almost half of all users log into the site just to shop).
The differences between selling on an eCommerce store and a social media marketplace
Now, if you’re selling on an eCommerce store, you can use a combination of SEO, content marketing, and paid ads to drive traffic to your products or services. Because you can use your brand and content to your advantage, this can offer a more authentic experience for your customers.
If you are using an online marketplace, it is less time consuming. The platform is already there, and you are filling it with your images, texts and products/services. It may be easier for some small business owners to engage with their audience on a site like Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram than on Facebook. increasing visitors to your website organically.
However, the competition is high. You are competing against many other brands, both big and small. Your business could get lost in the noise, so to speak.
Often, you’ll also pay a fee to sell. For example, the selling fee on Facebook Shops is 5% per shipment, or a flat fee of $0.40 for shipments of $8.00 or less.
So what is a small business owner to do?
READ: Your Guide to Ecommerce Social Media Marketing
Your social media accounts are not just platforms for sharing content and engaging with visitors to achieve those goals. From Facebook to Instagram, it can be a powerful way to market your products and services to your followers.
But despite these statistics, many small business owners still don’t understand the value of using these popular platforms to sell. That’s why I created this guide: not only to help you understand how important ecommerce social media marketing is, but also to give you actionable tips to drive traffic, leads, and sales.
Read more on our website.
Sell in e-commerce first and social networks second
I recommend that you start with a website that allows people to buy what you sell on your own site. Then, as part of a larger strategy, if it makes sense for your target audience, you can use a service like Facebook Shops to increase your audience size.
I do not advise you only sell on a third-party platform. This is why:
- You have much less control over technical issues. If something breaks or service fails, it could create a negative experience for your customers, and you may not even know it.
- If you have a technical difficulty or problem with your online store, you will need to connect with the third-party customer support of the site vs. by contacting your web development company.
- There may be limitations in the marketplace as to how your business can brand itself. Your own site allows you full control over images, content, coding, videos, and of course SEO.
4 Tips for Selling on Ecommerce or a Social Media Marketplace
While there are some important differences between selling on a third-party platform or your own eCommerce store, there are some similarities in the way you should approach things.
1. Build, don’t push.
Focus on building relationships, not pushing your products or services to people. You’ll need to spend time building relationships and increasing engagement, either through detailed blog posts on your site or by responding to comments on Facebook.
2. Know your customers.
There are so many questions that can help you understand your buyers. Who is your target audience? What networks are they active on? Do you leave reviews? Do they prefer to consume video content or written content?
3. Understand the weaknesses of your website.
You’re driving potential customers to your site, so make sure it’s at its best. If the traffic isn’t converting into leads or sales, it might not be your paid ads or product images.
Review your CTAs, look for broken links, and take a close look at your navigation. Also, check your Google Analytics data to find out what’s working and what’s not.
4. Listen to your customers.
Whether you’re selling on social media or through your website, your reputation depends on how you treat your customers. Monitor your feedback, respond to questions and complaints promptly, and monitor online reviews on sites like Google My Business and Yelp.
So there you have it: if you can, take both approaches to connect with your target audience! These two tactics can really complement each other and be a key part of your multi-channel marketing strategy.
However, there is more to the process than buying a domain name and uploading your site with products or services or creating a profile on a social media marketplace.
Hiring a professional marketing company can save you time and money. Contact us today to learn how we have helped many small business owners succeed.
For the success of your business,