Social commerce has become a key part of the strategies of many major brands, but the majority of them are failing to prioritise the customer journey, putting their long-term social commerce growth at risk, according to research conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of customer experience (CX) platform Emplifi.
The survey of 228 B2C social commerce decision-makers at brands, with over $500 million in revenue across the US, UK, France, and Germany, found more than 80% of them are investing in two or more social shops, with more than a third using four or more. As a result, 86% of those surveyed expect – or have already achieved – a return on their social commerce investment within one year.
“Consumer demand has forced businesses to pivot online, and we have seen a significant uptick in the number of B2C businesses embracing social commerce,” said Mark Zablan, CEO, Emplifi. “We believe the study confirms much of our internal findings: B2C brands are racing to embrace social media as the means to conduct business from discovery to engagement, and now to shopping, service, and customer care. Social commerce is the new conduit to great CX.”
However, growth could be stunted by the fact that less than 30% are prioritising customer engagement, and failing to connect with consumers throughout the social purchase journey. And this is only made more challenging by the fact that only 26% of respondents feel their teams are aligned on how to reach next-generation consumers across social shops.
On the other hand, over 40% of the brands surveyed believe that customer care, service, and assistance are critical to social commerce and improve overall CX.
“Social commerce leaders are seeing major gains but are also becoming increasingly aware of the need to bridge the gap between building brand presence among a growing audience, and then convert that audience into loyal, engaged long term customers,” said Zablan. “The most effective, and efficient, way to do this, and accelerate social commerce efforts, is to utilise best-in-class CX tools with integrated social capabilities. By sharpening their toolset, especially when it comes to customer care and holistic social commerce reporting, brands will get the competitive edge they need in this rapidly growing social commerce market.”