SociableLabs Team | Nov 27, 2019

"Let's do Social Media."

There is some general consensus around how powerful social media can be as a business asset, most particularly from a user acquisition point of view.

As the Top 20% of the IR500 leads the way, other Internet retailers are shifting gears to determine the social commerce success formula used to perform in an increasingly busy social space.

Thankfully, the fine folks at Edelman recently released an inside look of Digital in 2016, emerging 5 main trends to keep an eye out for as your marketing team embarks to crush its customer acquisition goals.

The Top 5 Digital Trends Of 2016

  1. Video 
  2. Influencers
  3. The Buy Now Revolution
  4. Social Listening As Social Intelligence 
  5. Cross-Device Customer Journey Mapping


  1. Virtual & Augmented Reality
  2. Beacons
  3. ESports 

Online retail marketing executives are of course most concerned with the Buy Now Revolution trend and the nuances it contains.

In thinking about the factors that would influence a consumer to make a purchase on social media, we've discovered a September 2015 report concluding that consumers want limited-time and exclusive shopping incentives above all else when considering purchasing off of social media.

Most interestingly, there are 9 main elements of influence that have contributed to a purchase via social media... and working together, these elements can propose a powerful incentive to give a referral program even more impact.

Online retailers will only be able to keep up by:

  • understanding customer buying behavior
  • creating contextual "buy now" opportunities that actually improve the shopper experience
  • building a seamless omnichannel presence online and offline

Successful internet retailers are using referral programs to keep up with current digital trends and baking buyer influence triggers right into them to amplify social sharing efforts across the board.

Ranked by the magnitude of the effect, here are 9 inspiring referral marketing ideas to come up with the perfect referral incentive:

1. Free Shipping

During the 2014 holiday shopping period, about 70% of US eCommerce shipments included free shipping. Tweet: During the 2014 holiday shopping period, about 70% of US eCommerce shipments included free shipping. 

It is arguably one of the most powerful tools to remove any purchasing barriers, and this rings especially true in a social media context. 

2. Member-Only Exclusive Discount

Member-exclusives comes with the advantage of scoring contact information while creating additional perceived value in your offer (due to its exclusivity).

Offering something and greatly limiting its access causes it to look far more valuable. Tweet: Offering something and greatly limiting its access will cause it to look far more valuable.

3. Daily Deals

It's no secret that daily deals bring invaluable new willing-and-able customers.

In fact, 77% of deal buyers for Groupon, LivingSocial, Travelzoo, and BuyWithMe were new customers, all spent more than the deal's value, and an average of 20% of these new customers became repeat customers. Tweet: 77% of daily deal buyers were new customers, spent more than the deal's value, and ~20% became repeat customers. 

4. Seeing A Unique Product

Do you remember the first time you saw Uber or Dropbox on your Social Feed?

Marketers following the AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) advertising formula will recognize the Attention-grabbing potential of a unique product by its ability to cut right through social noise and straight through to new buyers.

5. Reward & Loyalty Points

We know that 76% of Americans think that loyalty programs are part of their relationships with brands. Tweet: 76% of Americans think that loyalty programs are part of their relationships with brands. 

Pairing loyalty points with referral rewards provides powerful incentives for acquisition purposes but also for retention purposes.

6. Seeing A Previously Viewed Item (Retargeting)

Did you know that retargeted visitors are 70% more likely to convert? Tweet: Retargeted visitors are 70% more likely to convert. 

Effective advertising depends on messaging but also on the frequency of impression of that message - that is to say, how many times does the average customer see your message?

In spite of this, 46% of SEM professionals believe retargeting is the most underused advertising technology.a

7. A Product With Many "Likes"

Many fall in the trap of focusing on what has been referred to as "vanity metrics". It's fantastic that your social media posts are garnering hundreds of likes and shares, but is that engagement following through to the conversion event?

While Likes and Shares (whether organic or artificial) don't necessarily assume conversion, they can produce larger perceived value of your content (as it looks popular) and increase the propensity of a viewer to engage.

8. Voting Mechanisms

While still being proven, this technique of allowing your customers to voice their preferences according to what promotion they would like is proving extremely useful for companies who have trouble generating organic engagement. 

Indeed, 35% of respondents mentioned that simply talking to your customers, involving them in your process and following up on it will greatly increase engagement.

9. A Friend Has "Liked" A Product

Social recommendation is one of the most powerful purchasing triggers, in that it lends itself to our natural stance of accepting friends' recommendations as the truth while taking any information from the outside with a hint of skepticism. 

Leverage the networks of your customers to attract like-minded individuals who are most likely to accept the point of view of your customer that your company is the perfect choice for them.

A successful referral program will be able to leverage all of these ideas, by bundling them up together:

Your referral incentive might offer an exclusive discount to entice participation, a limited-time free shipping offer to create urgency and leverage social sharing mechanisms to increase likes, spread your offer to other friends and create the foundation for a loyal relationship using retargeting advertising and reward points.

But mix-and-matching these influence points represents a serious challenge for marketing executives who are wondering how to get more social sharing out of their existing customers.

Dig deeper into how online retailers will achieve stronger growth in 2016 with the Referral Marketing Best Practices for Successful eCommerce.

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SociableLabs Team

SociableLabs Team

SociableLabs team helps you explore your favorite product with genuine reviews that help you make smart choices. To cater to all your needs, our team curates the products from various niches and brings forward the information backed by extensive research.

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