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Using Social Media to Actively Sell Products Online

ArticleID 50  
Writer Isaac Thuku
Category Personal Article
Online buying habits have continuously become popular today largely due to the increasing internet penetrations across the globe and the renewed social media popularity especially among the young and middle income generations. Many companies today are using the internet and social media to actively sell products online in an attempt to increase their reach and also to minimize the advertising budgets. This has primarily led to a new way of finding customers through online marketing and selling suing the social media and new business jargon such as online retailers, eCommerce and selling online, basically differentiating the traditional offline selling and online selling.
Using the social media to actively sell products online involves a number of steps. First it is important and easier to build relationships first before you sell anything by creating friendships through social media sites such as face book and twitter; in fact the main reason why you hardly find any company without a social network page. After opening a page, it is very critical to listen carefully to the online feedback from existing and potential customers and responding to it, as such engagement could lead to increased sales or loss of it.

The growth in popularity of eCommerce, simply put as electronic commerce, has led to on increase in the number of online retailers who do selling online. This can be attributed to the fact that selling online has the advantage of have a global reach that is available 24/7 thereby ensuring increased and efficient customer service. Some of the leading global corporations such Yahoo, eBay, Alibaba, Amazon among others offer online store hosting services to online retailers, thereby making selling online to their clientele much easier and convenient.

It is possible to make a product or service sale today without necessary using a physical building. Online retailers use online store interfaces to allow a customer purchase items or services using the internet. However, such customers must first have access to the internet and acceptable payment options before any transaction can be initiated. Some of the most globally accepted eCommerce payment options include the credit card, debit card or online bank accounts such as PayPal among others.

The delivery logistics in selling online will vary depending on the product or service. If it is a service such as an online degree by a college or university institution, it is made easier because lessons and examinations can be conducted online through the various options available such as Skype. However, physical products will require physical delivery, hence leading to the necessity for the online retailers to have a convenient and accessible physical store and transport mechanism. This then means that ecommerce or selling online can only use the internet or social media to conclude a transaction order.

While many people on social media networks like face book and twitter are largely there for entertainment purposes only, its potential is yet to be fully exploited. Considering its wide outreach, social media can be used to significantly drive up business if well exploited. Online retailers can track customer feedback to assess product loyalty levels and develop appropriate marketing campaign strategies to achieve key performance indicators. Online buying habits if properly monitored can help assess customer behavior and such feedback can be easily accessed through monitoring product comments on the social media.

While social media engagement and buying habits online have seen an increase in product sales volumes, it has equally come with its own challenges such as spyware, fraud or faulty products. Customer information privacy may mean that some online clients may be reluctant to fully disclose some critical personal information. This means that online retailers have to use appropriate technology, and institute sufficient controls against fraud and assure the confidentiality of personal customer information to secure customer confidence and drive sales.

If selling online is to grow, then online retailers will need to appropriately use eCommerce to optimally grow their businesses. With the increasing online buying habits being experienced today, use of the social media platform will help harness client experiences with a view to understanding their needs and expectations. Some of the people on social media can either become good advocates or marketers for online retailers or bad adversaries if they spread negative publicity on a company.

online retailers, selling online, eCommerce, social media
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