The State of Social & Mobile Shopping: Success elements for the increase of sales through social shopping and mobile advertising concepts

21.06.2016 Daniel Hoffmann

1. Increase of sales through social networks like Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest 

Here, you can work really efficiently only with advertising products of the networks themselves concerning reach. They offer a big potential through a number of target group and product oriented display formats. 

With Facebook especially:

Retargeting – A user has informed himself about a product on the business site. Then, with his next visit on Facebook, there can be a “Shop Now” coupon displayed for the viewed product.

Local Awareness Ads – Online advertisement is less interesting for your business, because it is a small, local store? With Local Awareness Ads Facebook offers the opportunity to play ads only to people, who are within a small radius of the store! With this, friends, who like the business, or directions directly to the store can be displayed. 

Facebook Beacons – In the USA retailers can already put up Facebook beacons in their shops. These trigger (as long as the Facebook app is installed) a push notification on the smartphone of local visitors. They can, next to opinions and recommendations from friends, also transmit messages. 

For Instagram and Pinterest especially:

Buy-Now-Anzeigen – Instagram and Pinterest are suited very well for many product categories to stage products or to inspire users (with recipes, application situations or even “hacks”). In both networks these images can be equipped with “Buy Now” buttons. So posts not only show likes and comments from the community, but they can be purchased directly with one click. 

2. Specific Social Shopping Apps and Networks 

Shopcade, Nuji or Shopa are, so to speak, “Social Shopping Networks”. Here it’s a lot about fashion styles but also other fields of interest and exciting products in this area. So products don’t mix with private vacation photographs from friends as it is with Facebook or Instagram, but users follow other users who have a similar taste or e. g. always know the newest gadgets. With this, it’s a lot about inspiration - but above all about a concrete buying interest! Brands have to cooperate directly with the senders of the app and/or get in touch with influential users (“Influencers”). This is time-consuming for businesses, but the combination of influencers, a shopping afine population and recommendations from user to user with likes and comments offers a great potential for some product lines. 

3. Beacon Technology and Mobile Advertising with Offline POS

First off, the biggest hurdle of the beacon technology is: A specific app is needed for the smart phone (bluetooth enabled), that can interpret the signal sent by the beacon module. 

Facebook beacons had - as mentioned above - their debut in the USA and have a great potential, since the required app (the Facebook app) is already installed on millions of devices. But also German providers like barcoo or Scondoo offer widely ranged social shopping/cashback apps that offer, next to product reviews and user opinions, also a beacon solution for businesses. Barcoo for example already accomplished a spreading to several million devices in Germany. Other attempts, such as the bonus point/rewards system by Shopkick, builds on the spreading of their app through the collection of bonus points and rewards during every-day shopping. 

Providers in the USA such as inmarket or Swirl take it a few steps further and already offer ad platforms/ networks that allow for the highest marketing possible for mobile ads with the help of in-store beacons and a wide range of app partners. The widely spread beacons and partner apps (shopping lists, news or rewards apps) enable advertising clients to target very granularly on the one hand and to deliver custom-fit ads, coupons or action hints directly in store via push on the other hand - it (almost) doesnt get more relevant and individual nowadays. 

Conclusion: The success elements behind technology and display products

The answer in one sentence: User centralized thinking and acting, to reach the most possible relevance!

The so-called social media and mobile measures put focus on user opinions and interests as well as a hassle-free user journey. Social shopping offers the social framework, which means recommendations and reassurances from friends and other shoppers.

With granular targeting opportunities the addressing and selection of the displayed products can be personalized per user and with that, become more relevant. Finally, beacons, which include the location component, can give an additional push to further increase relevance.