Social media is not only a communication tool to connect with people or organizations, it is also influencing the buying behavior of consumers all around the world. It is difficult to pinpoint how and when this change happened because it is a continuous process of evolution. It’s not like that we woke up one morning and everyone started making purchases online through social media platforms.
People have started putting their trust in social media platforms eventually which further defines their willingness to buy a product. We cannot deny the fact how digital trust helps create an environment for consumers to make them feel comfortable to make a purchase.
Social media has added convenience to the lives of both businesses and consumers. People can simply see the ad and click the link to buy the product right away. It saves a lot of their time and energy. However, a prominent demerit of social commerce is that it lacks credibility. A store that exists online might not be as credible as other physical stores.
In some cases, people end up falling prey to scams and as a result, they lose digital trust in social commerce. At the same time, a lot of businesses are putting in efforts to make the purchases and payments of their consumers secure. However, there is still room for improvement to ensure that consumers put their trust in social commerce without any second thought.
According to the key state, Facebook, being the most used social media platform for social commerce, has encouraged a lot of marketers to start investing their money and time in it. Instagram is considered the second-best platform while YouTube comes at third. The marketers need to analyze the key factors that help build digital trust in social commerce to invest in those platforms accordingly.
Here are a few ways or key factors mentioned that can help establish digital trust in social commerce.
- Brand Awareness
The process of buying and selling starts from the awareness that consumers need to have regarding a brand or product. Social media is becoming one of the most influential sources to build brand or product awareness. It distributes the content in a way that a large audience gets to see it. Every business should have a credible brand presence on social media platforms if it doesn’t want to miss out on a golden opportunity of affecting the purchasing behavior of the consumer.
A lot of people search for the solution to their problems on social media nowadays. However, they might not have awareness regarding the product or service that can help provide effective solutions for their problems. But if they come across service as a credible source of shopping multiple times, they will remember the name of the service, and the chances of making the online purchases will increase.
- Deals, Discounts, and Sales
There are multiple groups on social media platforms where people can get updates regarding the deals, discounts, and sales of a product or service. When they sign up for a specific group or forum and see promotions or deals of a particular service or brand, it affects their buying decisions instantly. However, brands should make sure on their part that the target audience gets to see and further share their products in multiple groups or forums. It won’t only help enhance the influence of social media on consumer behavior but would also develop digital trust in social commerce.
- Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers have taken the lead as they are replacing celebrities as well. There is a continuous and rapid increase in their number of followers and fans who look up to them for the recommendation of different products and services. Influencers endorse different products which have a direct impact on consumer behavior because they believe their feedback to be true and unfiltered. So, every business can take advantage of influencer marketing to do wonders.
- Reviews from Friends or Family
It’s human nature to trust the experiences of their friends or family. The words people get to hear from their friends or family members regarding a product or service have a significant influence on them. Since nowadays everyone is active on social media platforms, we see different posts, stories, or reviews our friends or family members share about a new product or service they experience.
The reviews and suggestions of known people are more trusted than those coming from strangers. It helps create a sense of security and safety while being a part of this digital world. So, businesses should encourage their customers to share their experiences on social media. It is also recommended to create a product or brand-related hashtag and promote it on all social media platforms. Some brands also host contests in which customers take part by posting their stories of using their products. They also announce free giveaways to keep their customers hooked.
According to a study, the shortest customer journey after seeing an ad is reported to be on social media. It is a small process that includes awareness, search, research, purchase, and experience. It takes just a few minutes to complete this process. On the other hand, when people saw a product’s ad on TV, they might go to buy the product after watching the ad multiple times. This is a long process that can take a lot of days or even months.
While going through the other content on social media platforms, people get to see multiple display ads relevant to their search history. When they show interest in a particular product, similar types of display ads start popping up on their screens. This way, they end up visiting the site and making the buying decision.
Advertisers use different strategies of using display ads that align with their marketing objectives. For instance, if a business aims to create awareness among the consumers to drive sales after the product launch, it should design the display ads accordingly. However, advertising also has the potential of establishing digital trust in social commerce if it is done right.
The need of the hour is to start including digital trust in the marketing objectives of businesses. In addition to focusing on the designs, format, copy, and creativity of the display ad, the marketers must make sure that their ad is true and unfiltered so that the consumers don’t find any discrepancy between the ad and product after visiting the site.
Another effective solution to add the trust element in a display ad is by using the AdChoices icon. In 2014, Facebook took an initiative and introduced a “Why Am I Seeing This Ad?” feature on its site. As a result, people showed a high interest in the product after seeing ads based on acceptable flow. So, digital trust doesn’t only help satisfy the customer but also improves the chances of buying. Other social platforms must also take similar initiatives of giving transparency and voluntary offers to avoid backlash or digital mistrust of the consumers in social commerce.