In the past, a sales representative was responsible for educating a customer on a product, services and initiating a sale, whereas now the salesperson is a virtual customer who left a review.

Digital buyers have turned to social media for a variety of shopping needs like staying current on fashion trends and the latest technology. According to an Invesp survey, 78 percent of respondents said that companies’ social media posts impact their purchases. After discovering an item, 50 percent of those consumers will buy the product within a week while 80 percent will make a purchase within three weeks.

Shop Now buttons have become prominent to help drive sales, but 59 percent of digital retailers admit to not having a direct Shop Now button on their social platforms. What factors influence sales?

Social Influencers

Social influencers can have a large effect on purchasing decisions. Social influencers have a huge following and are often well-versed in social media. This makes it easier for their followers to become familiar with a brand and influence a purchase.

Friends and Family Recommendations

According to Market Force, 81 percent of respondents said posts made by friends influenced their decision to purchase an item. 80 percent stated they tried a new product based on friends’ recommendations. It’s no longer solely about unique content. Your posts need to have value to gain social reach and revenue.

Educating Consumers

Many brands share content featuring how a product works and how it will benefit consumers. This form of marketing creates familiarity, curiosity, and loyalty for brands. It has been instrumental in helping brands debunk rumors and open two-way conversations to build a personal and business relationship on trust.

Exclusive Deals and Promotions

Consumers who are looking for exclusive deals on social media are more likely to follow a brand and purchase from them. 66 percent of consumers use coupon codes from social media. 43 percent of millennials who found a deal shared it through social media.

These facts are a good reminder that businesses need to have a strong social media presence in order to drive sales. Not only do businesses need to understand their target audience, but how to implement a variety of marketing strategies to get consumers to make a purchase.