Using Social Media with your ePages Shop – a merchant’s view
Social media isn´t just the next marketing buzz. Services like Twitter or Facebook can be a valuable addition to the shopping experience of your customers and have a notable impact on your shops conversion rate if used the right way. One ePages shop which widely uses social media is the Spanish based skin4fun. The ePages blog had the opportunity to do a little interview with its manager Mario Izquierdo about his experiences with social media in e-commerce.
ePages blog: Mario, tell us a little bit about yourself and your online business?
Mario Izquierdo: I am one of the managers of "Salesman S.L.", a Spanish company. We have two business lines:
- skin4everything, where we sell customize products with logo and corporate designs (merchandising and marketing services). Our principal customers are big companies and telecom companies.
- skin4fun began operating three months ago. In our online shop by ePages (www.tienda.skin4fun.es), we sell accessories for Apple products (iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc…) such as screen protectors, skins (decorative vinyl stickers), emergency batteries, speakers, etc. We also sell these products to distributors, but don’t use an online store in this case.
ePages blog: In your online shop you are using different social media platforms and services. Tell us a little bit about it.
Mario Izquierdo: At the moment, we mostly use two social media platforms:
- Facebook, where we talk to our followers and customers. We also publish apple news as well as videos and pictures of our products, and of course, links to our online shop
- Youtube. We make two types of videos, tutorials for apple products and demonstrations for our other products – we also introduce the newest ones in our store next to the product.
ePages blog: What customer reactions and feedback do you get?
Mario Izquierdo: People in Spain usually use Facebook; this platform is our principal communication channel where we receive a lot of feedback – quite common questions about our products and information requests about tutorials and Apple products.
The Youtube channel (www.youtube.com/user/skin4everything) is very important, too. We received a lot of positive feedback: especially comments that it is convenient to get a better feeling of how a product really is. In a short time, we had nearly 5,000 views of our videos meaning that people who come in the store to buy a product also watch the video.
ePages blog: Can you tell us a little bit about the marketing effects that you generate?
- We have many visitors in our online store coming from Youtube.
- Facebook has allowed us to create a meeting place where people can see Apple news and tutorials and at the same time learn about our products. For us, this is a great way to publish information at low cost.
- We have a "company image" in line with the products we sell and with new profile of internet users in social media platforms. In this way, we are different than our competitors
- Finally, when we need to show new products to our distribution channel, we only have to provide a web link to ePages or a social platform that contains all necessary information. This implies a very good, modern brand image and last but not least it saves us a lot of money.
ePages blog: Do you have any practical advice for other merchants how to use social media?
Mario Izquierdo: A company and its managers must believe in social media – making it part of the long-term term strategy of the company. But you need to be aware that if you are going to use social media, you will have to be ready to maintain the social media platforms. Basically, you will have to put one person in order to aggregate content and to talk to your customers every single day.
The content must be of value for your followers. For example, in our business it’s very important to publish demonstration videos of the products that we sell so that the customer gets a good impression of it. This makes it much easier for us to sell.
We think that it is enough to you use Youtube and Facebook as social media platforms, but it is very important to integrate the social media platforms into your online store. ePages is a perfect tool to do this because it is open and flexible and it is very easy to include HTML code. Just have a look at these examples:
1) On the main web page: you can insert social media icons and links for social media platforms:
2) On product pages, you can insert social media icons, a link for other pages for more detail products and a "Youtube link" in order to see the product video:
3) You can add a special page for product details where you can insert demonstration videos. This way, it is not necessary to go to Youtube, because you can see the video in the online shop:
We really think you can improve your online store and your business with these three easy examples. Good luck, we hope that these tips are useful!
Volker Schwarz studied German, History and Politics at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. From 2004 to 2009 he worked as a freelancer for several marketing and communications companies in Hamburg, including e-commerce companies. Between August 2009 and December 2011, he worked as an online editor at ePages.
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