Social Commerce – A Pathway to Success [INFOGRAPHIC]

Electronic commerce is so popular at the moment that people are starting to wonder what the purpose of actual stores is. Considering how much time internet users spend on social media, it comes as no surprise that ecommerce and social media have developed a new way for us to shop online. 

Who doesn't like finding a Walmart shopping discount and saving some money on a great product?

A social media user can tell you how many times he has bought something purely because it seemed enticing on Instagram stories. Brands that advertise on social media can influence us to the extent that we buy something we have no real need for.

If you are looking for a simple, yet effective way to boost sales, consider social media marketing.

Social media marketing involves posting related photos for the sake of promoting products and creating a buzz of conversation, as well as live stream videos, links and short status updates.

The fundamental importance of social commerce is the ability to provide social media users with a faster way to shop. Long checkout lines and faulty websites are not what shoppers are looking for. They need a provider that'll deliver high-quality goods at low shipping prices.

Most social shoppers are aged 35-44 and these people know what they want.

If they seek professional services and advice, they frequent LinkedIn. They can find the best pet supplies and jewelry offers on Facebook, and the visual nature of Instagram is the best for selling makeup products and apparel.

Do your research and define your target audience. Aim for the social networks that are mostly frequented by an appropriate audience for your brand.

There are so many ways to utilize a social marketing strategy to grow your conversion rates and globalize your brand. You have to find the right way to please the tastes of existing and potential clients.

Check out the infographic below:

Social commerce

Do You Know Your Margins?


In general terms for business managers, margin refers to the difference between the selling price of a good or service and the cost to the business that good, most commonly expressed as a percentage of the selling price.

Calculating Your Margin

In practice, this means we take the average price per purchase of any item, and divide the cost of that item by that sale price. For example, if you sell widgets for $20, and it costs you $15 per widget, your margin is 25% (20 – 15 = 5 / 20 = .25)

When calculating your margin, you only want to use variable costs. Variable costs are those costs that change as you sell more goods or services. Fixed costs are things like your building and any staff that you would have regardless of how many goods or services you sell.

For most companies, it’s not as easy to simply say, “we sell this one thing for one price, and it costs us this much every time”. So the easiest way to calculate will be to take total revenue from sales and total variable costs over a period of time. For example, if last year you generated $100,000 from widget sales, and it cost you $70,000 to market, produce, and service those widgets, your margin was 30% (100,000 – 70,000 = 30,000 / 100,000 = .3)

Why Margins Matter

Margins matter because you need to know how much money you make for every item you sell, after costs. If you spend more than you make, you will never turn a profit. The bigger your margins, the more room you will have to grow and invest in the future.

Most businesses or industries set margin targets, or benchmarks. If your margins get too small, you have less room for error. Then it might be time to cut costs or raise prices.

Businesses with the biggest margins and the highest sales volume will end up being the most profitable.

Marketing Contribution

For marketers, one metric we want to know is marketing contribution. This is a form of the margin that ignores all costs except for marketing.

Marketing contribution is similar to ROI, just expressed as a percentage of revenue. It tells you and your company what percentage of revenue you are spending on marketing, so you know how much you can afford to spend on other things – like service and development.

In the example above, let’s say that $30,000 of the variable cost was marketing. That means your marketing contribution is 70%, or that marketing costs represent 30% of total revenue.

Again, it is common for businesses to set targets for marketing spend as a percent of total revenue. It will vary by company size and industry – but general targets range from 20-40%.

7 Ways to Make Your Business More Competitive Today


The following is a guest post from Dana Mia Kim. Dana Mia is a former business consultant turned an online marketer. She has worked with several industries such retail, hospitality and fitness companies which helped her to gain knowledge and experience in these fields.

With so many businesses operating in the market, it can be challenging to keep up and stand out from the crowd with your own identity. It seems that the top players in your industry aren’t moving from their spot, while newer and more streamlined businesses are entering the market at alarming rates. The more players there are in your industry, the harder it is for you to get noticed among the noise.

This doesn't mean that stepping out of the shadows and into the spotlight is impossible. Difficult, yes, but not impossible. Here are seven ways you can stay ahead of your competition and keep yourself running in the race:

1. Learn from Your Competitors

Business owners all agree that competition is hard to deal with, mainly because it means that a percentage of their market is not paying attention to them, and that are potential sales lost. That’s why companies try hard to be a step above their rivals – to gather as much of their niche under their wing. But the best business owners know that their competition is not a threat, but an opportunity.

Competition can help you challenge yourself to work harder and smarter with what you have. Innovation stems from understanding what it is that’s standing in the way of further growth and using that knowledge to become better. Co-founder and CTO of HubSpot, Darmesh Shah, mentions that the biggest competition of any business is itself, and that losing the will to fight is what makes most startups fail.

So, observe what your competition is doing, and learn from it. Their mistakes and their successes can be lessons to you as well if you know how to leverage the situation.

2. Provide High-Quality Customer Service

A significant factor that plays in whether a consumer will further transact with a business is how well the company received them and how expertly were they helped in solving their concerns. Almost 75% of customers state that a company’s competence is best shown through the quality of their customer service.

Your customers value the experience they had with your business as much as they appreciate the product or service they are availing. By making them feel like they are valuable members of your customer base through excellent customer service, you are taking care of their loyalty towards your business and ensuring that they will keep listening to you first.

3. Own Up and Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes

Pride can be one of the strongest factors for you not only losing customers, but also failing in the race that is staying relevant in your market. Negative experiences with businesses that put their pride above the satisfaction of their customers not only turn them away, but also spreads fast from customer to customer, especially now that social media usage is prolific.

When you commit a mistake and it makes your customer base unhappy, own up to it and take steps to correct them. This will not only let you preserve the good name you have within your niche, but also help you see where you can improve regarding processes and quality. For example, if you are an online clothing store that mistakenly sent the wrong item to a buyer, apologize, offer to replace the product, and maybe even throw in an extra product or service to compensate for the trouble.

If the problem was not your fault, you might be required to go out of your way to make sure that the complaint is still resolved regardless.

4. Never Lie to Your Customers

Honesty and transparency are crucial in businesses, as it gives their audience a sense of security on what they are signing up for if they enter into a transaction with you. It also saves you the potential trouble of having to cover up lies with more lies just to keep up the farce you've set up to "keep your customers happy." And when you're caught lying, it will only damage your reputation.

Contrary to popular belief, sharing bad news will not turn away your customers, so long as you're also showing that you're taking measures to fix these incidents. It prevents them hoping for a product or service, only to become disappointed when they find out that you haven't been honest with the actual status of their transactions. Most customers will understand unforeseen circumstances like delays and internal problems if you are open to them about it and are not adding fuel to the fire.

5. Embrace Technology and the Digital Stream

Technological advancements in this age are making it easier and easier for organizations to reach their goals. If you aren’t making the most out of it, you’re seriously losing out on great opportunities to let your business grow. For example, social media platforms have allowed businesses to take advantage of the chance to connect with the majority of their market through advertising tools, such as Facebook Advertising, Twitter for Business, and Instagram Business Tools. AI and bots are also starting to change the game for businesses and marketers around the world.

Some digital marketing tactics can also work strongly in your favor when you've managed to do them right. If you have a website or eCommerce platform, you can help yourself become more visible by using SEO (search engine optimization) to become a more relevant and priority result for people looking for products and services you are offering. You can also use content marketing to further establish yourself as someone with all the right answers by providing helpful guides, insightful tips, and recommendations based on what problems your niche has.

6. Find Your Competitive Edge

One of the most common ways to stand out from the crowd that’s vying for your market’s attention is by showcasing that you’re something different, something new, to them. Find a unique idea that has never been done before by your competitors and make that your competitive edge. Whether it’s the kind of atmosphere that you are offering your customers, ease of access, advocacy, or any other ways to differentiate yourself from the competition, you’ll want to have something that is uniquely correlated to you. gives three ways on finding your competitive edge: defining your guaranteed home-run customer, describing the problem you fix perfectly for this ideal customer, and declaring your market. These steps are all focused on not being “better” than your competitors, but becoming the only answer that your customers will have for their problems — building a customer-driven statement that will set you apart from the rest.

7. Cultivate a Positive Culture in Your Business

As MarketingDonut puts it: “Skilled, motivated staff underpin vibrant, growing businesses.” You can have the best products in the world that will solve all of your customers’ concerns, but if you aren’t taking care of the people working for you, it will reflect in their working behavior and will trickle down to the quality of their work and the way they treat your customers.

Making sure your staff are cared for in your business doesn’t just mean competitive wages — it means empowering them to contribute to the business, furthering their potential, providing them with a good work environment, highlighting a structured career development, and giving them their due for all their hard work. Better working conditions can lead to success for the business and better employee loyalty, retention, and engagement!

Standing out from the rest and being noticed by your niche is no easy task, and it gets more and more difficult as time passes. But it is doable, especially when you follow the steps we’ve shown.

What is a Click Worth?


As a marketer, you should know how much you spend to get each click on one of your ads. That basic cost per click (CPC) metric is at the core of digital advertising.

The lower the cost per click, the better, because it means that you’re driving more traffic to your website at a lower total advertising cost.

But if you really want to understand how your CPC relates to business success, the other thing you should work to understand is what a click is worth. Once you know what each click is worth, or a “revenue per click”, then you know how effective you are at turning those clicks into customers.

Calculating Click Value

To calculate the value in revenue dollars per click, you need to work backwards from revenue.

Let’s say a particular marketing campaign produced 1,000 sales at $100 per sale, that’s $100,000 in revenue. Then let’s say your conversion rate (defined here as the percentage of visitors that ended up buying from you) is 1.00%. That means you get 1 sale for every 100 people who visit your website. And if each sale was worth $100, then you make $100 in revenue for every 100 people who visit your website.

All that means that each click (which brings a potential customer to your website) is worth $1 to your business. This is your click value, or revenue per click.

What Can You Afford to Pay?

Once you know your click value, you know what you can afford to pay for each click.

Using the example above, where each click on your ad is worth $1, you can better judge your cost per click. If the CPC is $2, you know you’re losing $1 with each click. If this is the case, you are going to go out of business.

If the CPC is $0.50, you’re making $0.50 after marketing costs for each click. This is a more sustainable model.

Knowing what you can afford to pay for each click not only lets you judge current performance, if gives you a roadmap for future optimization of the campaign.

25 Cognitive Biases Marketers Can Use to Their Advantage

Human psychology is one of the most important factors that influence business and marketing yet it is rarely studied in business school or discussed by marketing professionals. It’s likely pushed aside because professors and marketing managers are as guilty of cognitive biases as anyone else.

In the age of digital marketing, you may feel numb to advertisements on the sites you frequently visit or sponsored posts on your social media accounts. It might surprise you how impactful the continued exposure can actually be. These advertisers are exploiting the “Mere Exposure Effect” which is when people express a fondness for things simply because they are familiar with them.

In this visual from GetVoIP you will learn about 25 cognitive biases and how they are leveraged in business and marketing:

Cognitive Biases and how they are leveraged in business