Social commerce has had several false starts in the past. So when United Airlines VP of eCommerce Scott Willson recently said that “social commerce, for the airline industry, is bunk,” we took notice.
— Edward Russell (@e_russell) May 8, 2015
We wanted to clarify that yes, adapting social commerce to some industries can have its regulatory challenges. But with a little imagination, social commerce can fly the friendly skies and be used even for highly regulated industries. I probably don’t need to remind Mr. Wilson that it was some forty years after Orville and Wilbur took their first flight that commercial aviation was a significant and economically viable form of transportation. I think social commerce having a meaningful impact on the airline industry will be an appreciably shorter span.
Securing online purchases
In regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals, travel or financial services, the need of protecting personal identifiable information is one of the key challenges to social commerce. But the beauty of what we’re doing at Shoppost is that by providing a platform that is fully integrated with your back-end, you can sell directly through social media while ensuring that your customer’s data is secure.
Targeting your customers
We’ve talked a lot about using Facebook or Twitter’s built-in advertising and targeting systems. It is quite a straightforward process to use Shoppost to target potential shoppers. For example, if you’re an airline that wants to sell a SEA ✈️ LAS route, simply create a shoppost that is tied to that route on your inventory management system and make it function as a disposable URL. Once you have “sold out” of that fare, the link is no longer valid, which makes it so only a limited number of people can buy the route.
Additionally, because Shoppost is tied directly to your inventory management system, order fulfillment is streamlined and payment processing is tied directly to the purchaser’s identity. A customer can simply click purchase right from Twitter and is taken directly to your checkout page.
Accurately represent your products
With our ability to present full images in Twitter and functioning as an image in Facebook as well as a full detailed description on the embedded version, shopposts are able to provide in-depth information about the product or service being offered for sale. This eliminates the risk of misrepresentation as well as provides a platform for any disclosures that need to be made prior to a sale. Consider financial advisors, for example. They are able to utilize social media to solicit new clients through shopposts while also fulfilling the SEC disclosure requirements.
With the oversight on regulated industries and the emphasis on security, making sure that your ecommerce systems are not only easy to use, but also protecting your customer is crucial. We are certain that with the proper configuration, social commerce can quickly move beyond bunk and into material results. If you’re ready to put social commerce to work, try Shoppost now.
Give us a call, Scott. Let’s see if we can fill up some middle seats for you!