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June 20th, 2024

The Impact of social media on customers’ buying habits!

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By the looks of it, social media and TikTok in particular is here to stay! And with a surge in users, we’ve seen our fair share of speculation that TikTok is the new Google, with the next generation using the platform as a source of information rather than just another recreational social media platform. With news channels now sharing global updates, to new product launches and so much more, there really isn’t anything you can’t find on social media!

But, what is the impact of this on eCommerce businesses?

As we all know, TikTok has transformed from an app which got most of us through lockdowns one, two and three, to primarily a shopping platform in which you can see reviews, product launches, and even purchase straight from your favourite influencers – and this has transformed the way that consumers interact with brands, and specifically purchase from them.

So let’s dive into it!  First of all…

The impact of the influencer!

Prior to the TikTok phenomenon as consumers, we were used to seeing celebrities and other higher-profile people advocate for brands. Brands would use endorsements from actors, musicians and other A-listers to sell a product. As consumers, we were used to this type of sales technique, but we also knew that these celebrities were being paid excessive amounts of money to promote these products, whether they liked them or not. Queue TikTok!

Once TikTok took off in 2020 we began seeing average people giving out brand and product recommendations, and at the time these regular people weren’t being paid to tell you what they liked or disliked about a product, they were simply giving recommendations.  However, with an influx of regular people giving “honest” opinions on brands we began seeing the rise of the influencer marketing phenomenon.

This rise in influencers means that more and more brands are sending out PR packages to those with larger followings to showcase their products. Improving their reach, increasing their sales and creating a consistent flow of orders.

From this we have seen a significant impact on many brands’ online fulfilment! Specifically with the need for PR and Marketing fulfilment. If you’re sending out PR to influencers to try and encourage sales you need to ensure that these arrive quickly, in pristine condition, and in branded packaging to make your products stand out from the thousands they’re sent each week!  And the best way to achieve this? A dedicated 3PL. Third-party fulfilment companies are the perfect solution to levelling up PR fulfilment – with ample industry experience they are able to provide an excellent service which is bound to be subject to positive reviews even from the most honest of influencers.  

The rise of impulse buying.

What is impulse buying? Impulse buying is the act of consumers making quick – less thought-out purchase decisions. And with the ease of use, as well as increased access to different ways to complete a purchase, more online consumers are practising impulse buying over more considered purchases. When it comes to impulse buying – social media isn’t solely to blame. With an increase in alternative and quicker payment methods, buyers are finding it much easier to purchase online, and with a reduction in purchase barriers, online sales are increasing. Which is great! Right? But what does this actually mean for the eCommerce industry?

Breaking down barriers to get to that purchase doesn’t come without its issues. With more consumers making impulsive buying decisions we are seeing an increase in returns. Since the impact of both influencers and impulse buying, online returns have increased to such a point that online retailers are looking to solutions to try and reduce returns. Most of the time their solution is charging customers; which though there is a place for this, it can anger regular consumers and make them less likely to purchase from you again. So what is the alternative?

Though it won’t reduce online returns, having a better more streamlined returns process could be the key to keeping customers on-side and increasing legitimate purchases in the future! This means making the returns process simple and paperless, offering QR code returns labels, keeping all tracking online and updating consumers at every stage of the return, including how and when their refund would be processed. Working with a 3PL like SCEND can help you take your reverse logistics to the next level! Find out more about how we can help by clicking the button below.

Explore our returns solutions.

Access to the global market.

When TikTok came around one of the major changes that we noticed in the eCommerce and social commerce marketplace was increased access to global consumers. The online world truly opened up as the in-person world shut down! With the ability to sell to people through their phones literally in any corner of the globe, it became more and more important that your business could handle international shipping!

With some businesses, international shipping just isn’t something that they can handle in house, and we understand that not everyone is in a position to offer this service. However, with the market opening up as much as it has, not offering international shipping is alienating an entire customer base which your competitors will have access to. So what’s the solution?

Working with an external fulfilment centre will open these international marketplaces. At SCEND we work with both international brands that are setting up a hub in the UK to advance into our market space, as well as UK-based brands that offer international shipping to the likes of America, Australia and so much more. Working with a 3PL takes away the added stress that comes with international shipping.

Get up to speed with internationalisation.

Trend-driven demand.

Products are going viral all the time. From beauty and cosmetics to electronics and even chocolate – no matter what industry you’re in your products have the capability of captivating an entire audience base just through one video. But what happens when a product goes viral?

If a product which you weren’t expecting to, goes viral you can have a somewhat sticky situation on your hands. From stock and inventory issues to an increased demand on the fulfilment team, viral products cause an influx of sales and with such a high demand comes more frustrated customers when it comes to late, missing or incorrect orders. That is why when you decide to promote a product through social platforms, you and your fulfilment team need to be ready for a potential boom in sales!

Is your fulfilment team able to handle a viral product? At SCEND we work with a range of different brands, all of which have a boost in sales around peak periods and sell products which either have, or have the potential to go viral on TikTok! And we can honestly say that even during these peak periods – we keep up our incredible reputation of high accuracy and unmatched attention to detail.

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Social commerce is here to stay!

Social commerce isn’t a new thing. In fact, brands have been selling on YouTube, Instagram and so many other social platforms for years! BUT, never before have we seen the boom which we have experienced since TikTok came on the scenes. TikTok shop has fully re-written the way that customers are buying and brands are selling on social media. Sponsored ads are being disguised as informative product reviews. And brands are gaining a bigger audience by working with influencers that have access to millions of followers worldwide.

With that in mind we need to look at what impact this is having on eCommerce fulfilment!

At SCEND we work with all eCommerce and social commerce platforms to ensure that your customers get the best post-purchase experience possible.

Take a look at our TikTok fulfilment page,

Supercharge your TikTok fulfilment.

Or get in touch with the team for more information.

Let’s talk.

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