CONSUMERS EXPECT A COMPLETE EXPERIENCE, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE CHANNEL THEY CHOOSE TO ENGAGE WITH
by David Stover, global director, store and mobile at hubris
“The launch of ‘buy buttons’ on popular image-focused social channels Pinterest and Instagram is great news for brands and retailers – the incredibly popular apps are perfectly positioned to function as a shop window for a wide variety of products and services, particularly those in the home and fashion sectors.
“However, despite the obvious advantages of selling via platforms that attract millions of users – particularly young people and those with a disposable income – they will only deliver if brands take the time to fully integrate them with their wider omni-channel commerce environments.
“Too many organisations are still siloed in their approach to social commerce. As a result, there is a risk of loss of brand continuity from the consumer’s perspective and the potential for things to go wrong on the supply side, leading to late fulfilment, incomplete orders, dissatisfied customers, eroded loyalties.
“Consumers today expect a seamless experience regardless of the channel they choose to engage with brands and ‘buy buttons’ deployed by social channels are no different. If anything, consumer expectations will be higher via this channel given that ease-of-use is a fundamental design principle of social networks.
“Success depends on giving the customer a consistent, complete experience as they choose how to interact with your brand; so whether researching on their mobile, browsing in-store, buying online and collecting from a convenient Click and Collect location, etc., they have a ‘single view of your brand’ regardless of time, place, device, or channel.
“This is only possible, and profitable, if brands commit to implementing a truly omni-channel infrastructure. The launch of ‘buy buttons’ on Pinterest and Instagram is another step along the path of complete channel convergence and consumer empowerment.”