The shift towards eCommerce has undeniably accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the cancellation of events and global store closures have caused a major shift towards social media and other online channels where brands can engage with their customers.
Shoppers seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to finding the items they want and purchasing them online. Brands must make sure every interaction on social is meaningful as the customer journey is now mostly digital.
A recent MarTech Virtual Event, led by Michelle Belcic, VP of Brand Strategy at Dash Hudson, aims to answer just that – how brands should create a social-first strategy through a shoppable storytelling journey.
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“If we take a look at offline sales, it’s predicted that it’s going to take five years for offline sales to return to pre-pandemic levels,” Belcic said in the session.
“At the same time, we’ve seen eCommerce sales grow 18% from the previously forecasted 13%.”
She cited Nike as one of the first companies to announce that they want 50% of overall sales to be digital. The sportswear powerhouse is already at a pace to hit 30% by 2021.
Here she also points to Inditex (Zara’s owner among other brands), who announced that it will close between 1000 and 1200 stores globally over the next two years and has plans to invest $1 Billion to grow their eCommerce platform. Inditex also aims for online stores to account for 25% of its overall sales by 2022.
Belcic explains that the line between shopping and social networking has blurred. There are so many new channels, once unheard of, that must be taken into consideration, too.
TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest are just to mention a few of the hotspots a brand must be spot on to reach the right people who want to shop online. YouTube is also joining this wagon.
She mentions that there has been a 61% increase in social media usage during the pandemic, and U.S. adults spend 82 minutes a day on average online using Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook.
Belcic also mentioned a sharp increase of 20% in Gen Z and Millennial demographics who say that they will immediately lose interest in a brand if they don’t have a proper Instagram feed.
Since we used to mostly rely on real-life experiences, Belcic is anticipating that one of the biggest factors to consider as a company has to do with the visual factor when marketing and that brands must understand why storytelling and context are more important than ever.
She emphasized that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual and processed 60K times faster than text. Looking at the future, she says brands must execute a successful social commerce strategy to enhance engagement.
While Belcic does not know how you can always make sure to share the visuals that will convert your target audience, at Dash Hudson, they see the key to social commerce success as taking a social-first shoppable storytelling approach.
The company’s strategy is now focusing on these four factors:
- Define your brand strategy
- Tap into your community
- Optimize with AI
- Make every touchpoint shoppable
Michelle Belcic works with some of the largest corporate accounts, like Amazon, Unilever, and Estee Lauder. She helps brands understand what videos and imagery resonate with audiences before created and shared on social media channels. Her goal is to optimize all digital touchpoints. And we approve this message!
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