Why Social Media Analytics is important for the E-commerce Industry
By Bahwan CyberTek, August 9, 2017
E-commerce sites themselves do not own the inventory but act as facilitators between the buyer and seller. They charge a small percentage of ‘commission’ on the successfully sold products, which becomes their revenue. If ‘comfort’ and ‘convenience’ are the two major factors which support an #eCommerce site to carry out business, then there are so many competitor ecommerce sites out there in the market which provide not only these two advantages, but also a little bit extra discount to attract customers. So, what helps an e-commerce site to differentiate itself from competitors? And how can it track its competitors’ strategy to entice and poach customers?
There are so many e-commerce sites that are competing for a small percentage of the customer’s pocket. On an average, a leading e-commerce site lists 10,000+ products; And most of the times, they try to sell the listed products at a discounted price, which the average customer would not get if he tries to purchase the same product from a brick & mortar shop. Additionally, the site provides free top-up offers, add-ons, etc., which influence the customer to buy the product. Assuming the customer does not like the product after buying it, then the customer has the power to just inform the e-commerce site that he wants to return the product and the site picks-up the product from the customer’s doorstep; and the money is refunded. Logistically, most e-commerce businesses, at the moment, are thriving on cash-on-delivery transactions, and doorstep delivery and pick-up services.
Trends & Dynamic Changes
E-commerce businesses need to understand that their customers can be easily lost. The ‘Digital Desh Drive’ report from ‘NowFloats’ supports this statement. If the stakeholders of an e-commerce site believe in the concept of ‘lifetime value of a customer’, then this report declares that this concept does not apply to these sites; e-tailing is only a ‘medium’ and NOT a sector. The report also states that, at the moment, people are flocking to e-commerce sites because of the ‘discount factor’ [which is not an emotionally binding factor]. Nevertheless, the report also states that small and medium businesses [including local mom-and-pop businesses] are adopting technology so vigorously and innovatively to find, engage, sell to, and service customers. Because of which, in the near future, there is a chance that brands might directly come to these small and medium businesses (which are backed by brick & mortar stores[read showrooms]), instead of going to the current e-commerce giants; Forcing these e-commerce giants to pitch against these small and medium businesses, which have more support than the former.
Stakeholders & Social Media
#SentimentAnalysis applications can greatly help e-commerce sites to sustain and expand their businesses. At the peripheral level, any e-commerce site has three main stakeholders: buyers, sellers, & logistics providers.
For example: A buyer sitting in a remote corner of India receives a ‘product mela’ mail sent to his inbox by an e-commerce giant. And it reads there are thousands of products that are getting sold at huge discounts within a limited period. The customer is tempted to check out the offers available there; however, before he goes to this new e-commerce giant, he wants to compare the offerings on his patron e-commerce site for the selected product. If there are no offers, instantaneously, the customer decides to go with the current offer that he is getting from the new e-commerce site [Remember, loyalty is a remote factor in e-commerce]. The new e-commerce site generates an auto-mail with all the transaction details and sends it to the customer’s inbox once the order is placed. The mail states that the selected good will get delivered within 4 days to the customer’s place. Enticed by the offer he has got and satisfied by the response the site has given regarding the delivery, the customer writes a praising post about the experience provided by the new e-commerce site. However, he also complains about the other site which did not provide such offers. After a day, a customer representative from the new e-commerce site calls and thanks him for writing positive comments about their company.
After a couple of days, the customer’s patron site posts on social media about the huge discounts on certain products [which includes the product that the customer was previously looking for] and urges customers to avail the offer before it expires. Meanwhile, the customer receives the selected product at his doorstep, from the new e-commerce site, on the promised date.
Sentiment Analysis & Engagement
Using sentiment analysis applications [which gather information from #SocialMedia channels and analyses mass sentiment], e-commerce sites can find, who commented what across any social media channel, track what competitors are doing to poach customers, compare product prices across e-commerce sites, create mind-boggling marketing campaigns, get feedback from patrons, engage with frustrated and grievant customers on-the-fly, generate new leads, manage and improve brand reputation and awareness, and conduct marketing surveys to know & gather what customers’ needs are.
Maintain & Manage Brand Reputation
The business of e-commerce is tricky; Connecting credible Sellers and loyal Customers is not easy. E-Commerce enables any person with the right credentials and a marketable product to become a seller without any hassle. Using a sentiment analysis application, the site can identify which products of which seller is performing badly and offer a refund on return to the unsatisfied customer. The activity could save the site’s reputation. Also, at any point of time, it can identify if a seller is not selling what he has promised based on the comments on social media. Logistics is another aspect that plays a very important role here; Customers could slander the brand if there are any issues with the delivery of products.
Across the globe, shopping through e-commerce sites has become contemporary. It became an instant hit because of the convenience it offers.
E-commerce sites have upped the Ante for ‘brick and mortar’ businesses. These sites list not only the major brands but also local brands, indirectly providing an even space for all market players. This way, the buyer gets benefitted and the seller is forced to sell more quality products to outshine the competition and to attract more orders.
As an e-commerce giant, if you plan to find a way to handle the dynamics of the e-retail market, then you need a robust sentiment analytics application.