Conquering Social Commerce for Brands and Consumers
By Dave Henry / September 2016Insights
“We exist to do one thing really, really well… help consumers and brands conquer social commerce.” So says Randi Kleckler CEO/Founder of WantitBuy.it (WiBi), a SaaS social shopping platform solution in the fast-growing social commerce space.
As a concept, social commerce encompasses many different types of interactions from peer-to-peer sales and group buying to user-curated shopping. At its core, social commerce is the confluence of social networks, peer-to-peer interactions, and brands coming together to facilitate buying and selling of products and services online.
As a segment of eCommerce, the social commerce space continues to outpace its parent category. According to a report in Small Business Trends, social commerce sales growth increased 26% from 2013-2014 for the top 500 retailers, compared to the average 16% growth rate of eCommerce as a whole. A recent article published by ConversionXL referencing a study by Statista, reported that social commerce revenue from 2011-2015 worldwide is expected to reach $30 billion. (Table 1)
While most companies are intrigued by the lure and promise of the social commerce space, most companies lack an effective strategy to offer consumers’ opportunities to purchase directly through social channels. Considering 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchases, this presented a problem for both brands and shoppers alike.
Kleckler explains, “We listened to the market, identified an unmet need, and filled it. Brands kept telling us that they imagined a world in which they could “close the last mile” and convert their social media content to direct sales, new customers and actionable data.” At the same time consumers said they imagined a world in which they could fulfill their desires to instantly purchase the products they see and want on social media platforms.”
So Randi and her team built WantitBuy.it and after only a few months of closed beta testing, brands using the platform are seeing tangible results. These include an increase in traffic from their social sites to both online and brick-and-mortar retailers, and an online retailer conversion rate of 38% that is significantly higher than industry averages. Brands using WantitBuy.it are also realizing other benefits:
- WiBi extends the lifecycle of social content and continues to capture unique visitors, retail conversions and new customers long after content was published
- Brands using WiBi are able to show a direct connection and ROI between their social media investments and impact on their business
- By driving greater transactions WiBi allows brands to build more trusted relationships with key retail partners
- By satisfying an unmet consumer need WiBi allows brands to drive greater loyalty with customers
Kleckler’s vision for WantitBuy.it was inspired by her experiences during the decade she spent in shopper marketing and shopper social media. While General Manager/VP at Collective Bias Randi helped brands and retailers develop social media content strategies to impact and influence the consumer’s social path to purchase. As social media evolved, Randi found that brands faced multiple obstacles in driving sales and generating real customers. The ahh-ha moment was when she realized the secret to Wantitbuy.it being a killer solution to help brands conquer social commerce was that it also has to be a killer app to help consumers conquer social shopping.
WantitBuy.it’s Custom Search Engine provides consumers with multiple options to shop either online or in-stores. With various call-to-action integrations consumers can learn more, sign-up for emails, download content, save products or simply share products with their own network. Consumer behavior and shopping trends are tracked for Brand analysis and reporting.
Contributed by Dave Henry, Board Member at Aptaris and Senior Marketing & Advertising Executive. Dave has over 40 years creating successful brands that customers love and companies depend upon. Nationally recognized for building the businesses of several large grocery retail chains, his career includes SVP of Marketing for Winn-Dixie and senior executive at Price Chopper Supermarkets and Star Markets division of Jewel Companies. He has been a leader at organizations such as the Food Marketing Institute and National Grocers Association. Currently Dave also serves on the Boards of the Florida Theatre, SparkShoppe, Origin Marketing and Vioby Media. He also conducts ad agency reviews for companies. You can follow Dave on Twitter at: @d_f_henry or via LinkedIn: Dave Henry.
Randi Kleckler, CEO & Founder KLEKOS, LLC and Creators of Wantitbuy.it | Shop it. Save it. Share it. Randi began her career in Shopper Marketing where she led a nationwide team of Account Managers responsible for developing and executing retail-marketing programs. Subsequently, Randi became a Vice President at a leading Shopper Social Media company where her efforts helped the company achieve “Forbes’ Most Promising Company” and “INC’s 5000 Fastest Growing Company” awards. Over the years, Randi has worked with leading retailers and brands such as Walgreens, Walmart, Amazon, COTY, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, The Cookware Company, and World Kitchen amongst others. Connect with Randi on LinkedIn or on Twitter @RKleckler