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BizReport : Social Marketing : November 04, 2016

Expert: How social, cart abandonment will impact 2016 holidays

While the overall holiday shopping season is expected to show about a 4% increase YoY in sales, the digital and mobile sales spaces will likely be much higher than that percentage. However, there are trends in social and in cart abandonment that could threaten ill prepared merchants.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How can digital merchants capitalize on social trends?

Jimmy Duvall, Chief Product Officer, BigCommerce: One of the first rules in retail is location, location, location, and the same holds true for digital properties. Having an active store presence on social media channels like Facebook is a great way to get in front of current and potential customers when they are in an "I-want-to-buy moment." Further sweeten the pot by making it easy for those consumers to actually complete a purchase directly on the site, with tools like native checkout, which select ecommerce platforms including BigCommerce now offer to merchants natively.

Kristina: It may sound counter-intuitive, but can merchants capitalize on shopping cart abandonment, as well?

Jimmy: When it comes to cart abandonment, try to identify the issues that are causing your customers to leave. Is the cost too high? Are there hidden or unexpectedly high shipping fees? Is the checkout process difficult or asking for extraneous information? Solve for those issues. By addressing customer complaints head on, your company is demonstrating its commitment to a positive shopping experience, and during a shopping season riddled with frustrations, you don't want to underestimate the value that customers place on simplicity, convenience and transparency.

Kristina: Looking ahead to December and the heart of the holiday spending frenzy, what can merchants do to ensure they are 'seen' in the space?

Jimmy: For retailers looking to drive increased conversion during the busy holiday season, location (being where your customers are) is key. There's no such thing as a single-channel shopping experience anymore. Consumers, no longer constrained by factors that may restrict them to a particular channel, make purchases in whatever channel makes sense for them at the time. And as a retailer, it's important to build a presence in all of the places your consumers might be in order to "be seen" and help influence that purchase at the point of sale. Our approach to helping retailers with these issues is to simplify the process of listing across multiple channels using a single platform so retailers can manage products, inventory and order processing for multiple sites (think Amazon, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) through one interface, making having an omnichannel online presence easier for the merchant.

Tags: 2016 holiday shopping, BigCommerce, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, social commerce, social marketing

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