Social Commerce - why social is the future of ecommerce.

Posted by Pat Phelan on January 7, 2014

We've probably all bought something (or tried to buy something) online over the holiday season.

And we've all seen those shopping carts and checkout forms... the ones where you often inevitably stop and think 'Does this company actually want my money or don't they?"

I know I have and they continue to drive me to distraction; I live in Ireland so why is your shopping cart asking me for a zip code? Worse still, what’s a zip code? Why do I have to enter a state when I live in Ireland? Phone number in USA format Ahh forget it! I’m out of here.

This is what’s happening each and everyday on your ecommerce website - badly built online shopping carts are a major problem for online retail with average abandonment rates of 67.89%. Imagine being in your local store when almost 70% of shoppers walk away from the trolleys and leave them in the checkout queue! It just isn't sustainable and eventually the business will collapse.

The "solution"? Let's spend more money on marketing to drive more people in the front door whilst making no improvements to the checkout process. Better still lets implement Verified by Visa to make sure we have no fraud on the few checkouts that do get through and further reduce the conversion rate by 30-50%. It's the online equivalent of putting up a barbed wire fence, moat and minefield around your shop - it won't stop the dedicated fraudster but will scare off the majority of your customers.

And after all that, it still doesn't work, fraud is growing at twice the rate of online commerce.

All this leads to disastrous conversion rates, massive misuse of valuable time, resources and money. Imagine running a retail business where under 1 out of 100 shoppers decide to purchase and you then put them through a checkout process which makes no sense to them, and finally to destroy your business you put them through a third party solution which takes them off your website and asks for another password. Have we lost the plot?

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http://www.smartinsights.com/ecommerce/ecommerce-analytics/ecommerce-conversion-rates/

Now, let's look at the new, frankly way better, way of doing things, Social Sign-in.

Janrain-Engage-Social-Login-Widget

You have a simple process to allow your customers to sign in with their existing social profiles, no retyping of information, no trying to remember an individual site password - overall a dramatically smoother, friendlier experience.

This leads to

  1. Decreased cart abandonment.
  2. Prefilled checkout forms with social profile information for increased conversions
  3. The option of having the social account pre-scanned for your fraud team and verified with Trustev.

Now you have a customer, are connected with them on social media and, if you use the social options on the Trustev platform, have pre-verified that they are not fraudsters. If I was a retailer I know which option would make more sense to me.

Over 1m+ ecommerce websites have already incorporated Facebook's Social Sign-in function into their sites and seen some pretty impressive results. Working with Social Sign In also has numerous other benefits like letting you better profile your customers, to ensure that your marketing and messaging are better targeted to suit their needs and reduce the 'market to everyone' type spam of the past.

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Image from Janrain - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janrain

Topics: fraud, Identity