Social Commerce must in times of ‘social distancing’?

56% of the consumer spends less time than previously on shopping in physical stores. The question is: where have these consumers gone? The answer: on social media (Salesforce, 2021).

If there’s one industry that has had to adapt during the pandemic, it’s the retail market. Closed or limited open stores shifted the pressure to other parts of the organization. Traditional service and social channels became more and more locations where consumers also wanted to make purchases. While the consumer expects the same good and personal customer experience. This demands a lot from your people, processes and technology. Plus, scalability has proven to be one of the biggest challenges. One of the most upcoming solutions: Social Commerce. How do you optimally organize this as a pure retailer or as a D2C producer in the FMCG, using the Salesforce platform? How do you ensure the required scalability? What steps and tools are needed?

In order to create a clear picture, it is important to clarify what exactly ‘social commerce’ entails, what it means to consumers and how we, VANEIGENS, look at it. For consumers, social commerce means that people can purchase products and services via social media channels, while people are already there frequently. “Selling products and services through social media channels” is therefore the most common definition of Social Commerce. We like to have a slightly broader perspective and add that customer care is also optimized via the social media channels. As a result, by means of one complete integration of social media with customer care, both service and sales can be facilitated from the same system and with a complete customer view.

Integration Social Channels

To set up your social commerce processes optimally, you first need to integrate the desired and most used social media channels of your target group into your CRM system. By selecting a tool that enables inbound and outbound messaging via social media channels, you are able to control all your channels via one single, intelligent application, such as our own AskAmy solution. As a complete platform, AskAmy integrates with the most important (social) communication channels, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct Messenger, Apple Business Chat, Telegram, Intercom.io and SMS.

By integrating with the Salesforce platform as a central data source, you are able to offer the best possible, proactive customer service, as you enable a 360° view of your customers. With the history of all purchases and interactions available, service agents can personalize their approach and proactively provide support and advice on customer demand. For example, by providing the customer with information about stores and their stock related to specific brands and products via chat. Several retail organizations are already successfully using AskAmy and VANEIGENS’ social commerce optimization, including interesting clients like Omoda, Rituals and Picnic.

Social Sales: From service to revenue

In order to take customer care to a next level, AskAmy also offers the possibility to set up social selling. By integrating with the online store, service employees are able to offer relevant products via AskAmy and the respective social channel. The order and payment of the products is then facilitated via the app. And best of all? All customer data is immediately available and updated in real-time. Want to see a nice example in retail? Then have a look at a demo of the integration at one of our proud clients: Rituals.

Scalable & future proof

Of course, for an optimal customer experience, it is not only important to properly set up social commerce, but also the more traditional channels. Think, for example, of telephony, which can be perfectly connected to Salesforce and the Social Commerce setup via CTI (Computer Telephony Integration). CTI ensures that inbound telephony is directly linked to an existing Salesforce customer, which enables that all data is immediately available to offer the customer an optimized experience. By optimally integrating all channels into the Salesforce platform, optimizing customer care through social commerce and operating from one central data source, makes it increasingly simple to add new channels, such as other socials, or new tools such as CTI and clienteling. Establishing the scalable foundation is the essential first step to facilitate a next level customer experience. How is your organization doing in that respect?

In part 2 of ‘Digital Opportunities in Retail’, we will deep-dive into managing traffic to the physical stores and optimizing the in-store experience to enrich a proactive approach and take the customer experience to the next level.

Would you like to know more about the added value of VANEIGENS regarding Salesforce, customer service and the optimization of social commerce in the field of retail and FMCG? Please contact me at jh@vaneigens.com or make an appointment directly via the website.

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