Setting your e-commerce social media business up for success

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In today's digital age, social media has emerged as a powerful tool for e-commerce businesses in Pakistan. First, there was a growing number of individuals opting to shop online due to the array of benefits that it offers. These include affordability, information accessibility, and freedom of choice, resulting in its increased popularity. 

Moreover, social media is a dominating phenomenon which has spread out very quickly. As a result, businesses are now nudging people to buy from their online storefronts using social media platforms. Beyond that, consumers are also more drawn to shopping in more laidback environments, such as on social media

Given these shifts, leveraging social media platforms has become essential for the success of e-commerce businesses. In addition, as more brands establish their online presence, standing out in the competitive e-commerce landscape requires a strategic approach. By harnessing the benefits of social media, e-commerce businesses can establish effective communication channels with their target audience, boost sales, and drive growth. 

But will setting up shop on any top social media platform suffice?

What is the demand for e-commerce in Pakistan?

The e-commerce landscape in Pakistan has witnessed remarkable growth, accelerated by various factors, including the impact of the pandemic. As businesses adapted to the new normal, many shifted their marketing efforts online to optimise processes, reduce costs, and maintain social distance. 

Consumer behaviour in Pakistan has also embraced the convenience of e-commerce. As of date, the e-commerce sector primarily focuses on consumer products and accessories, but it has since expanded to encompass a wide array of offerings. And Pakistani online shoppers not only actively search for and purchase consumer electronics but also gather information about vehicles and computers, procure food and groceries, and more. 

Moreover, the recent government measures implemented due to the economic crisis will probably further fuel the growth of e-commerce. Early this year, the cash-strapped Pakistani government ordered the early closure of malls and markets at an unprecedented time of 8:30pm. As a result of this, more customers are likely to turn to online platforms as an alternative conduit for their shopping needs.

This shifting landscape underscores the increasing demand for e-commerce in Pakistan. For one, customers can enjoy the convenience of accessing a diverse range of products and services through online shopping. Simultaneously, businesses can benefit from expanding their reach, capturing consumer data, and engaging in targeted marketing efforts. 

As the e-commerce market continues to flourish in Pakistan, it offers immense opportunities for businesses to establish a strong online presence and cater to the evolving needs and preferences of Pakistani consumers.

Why consider social commerce?

As businesses in Pakistan face challenges due to government-imposed lockdowns and restrictions on physical stores, the shift to online sales has become imperative. This situation presents an opportunity for businesses to embrace social media as a means to nurture customer relationships and drive sales.

The availability of affordable smartphones and widespread access to mobile broadband has further accelerated the popularity of social media platforms. This is evident with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok shaking up the e-commerce industry in Pakistan. In addition, with over 43.7 million Facebook users in the country, it only makes sense for businesses to tap into these social media platforms to promote their products and services effectively. But why?

For one, the immense reach and engagement offered by social media platforms make them an ideal channel for businesses to connect with their target audience and influence their purchasing behaviour. The low barriers of entry that allow businesses to establish an online presence via their e-commerce store without significant financial investments also serve as a convenient and accessible option to boost revenue.

Tips for setting up a successful e-commerce social media business

In order to establish a thriving e-commerce business on social media, there are several key tips to keep in mind:

1. Define your target audience

Whether tapping into influencer marketing or approaching with an awareness-funnel marketing plan, defining your target audience is a must when setting up an e-commerce social media business. Since it is important to establish clear goals that make sense for your business and align with your audience's needs, spend some time studying your target audience and gaining insights into their behaviours and preferences. 

Utilise data from your existing social media marketing strategies or existing e-commerce store to gather valuable insights. This will help you create a unique brand voice and plan strategic moves that effectively captivate the attention of your audience.

2. Know which social media is mostly used in Pakistan

Are you planning to sell your products and services on social media, or do you solely plan on leveraging social media sites for marketing? 

Depending on your goals, research and identify the social media platforms that are popular among your target audience in Pakistan. Focus your efforts on these platforms to maximise your reach and engagement. For example, when it comes to selling, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest offer great opportunities to showcase and promote your products. For effective marketing, platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter can help you raise brand awareness and engage with your audience. 

By integrating social media into your e-commerce strategy in such tactical ways, you can increase brand visibility, generate leads, and boost sales in Pakistan and even globally.

3. Set up your accounts and use social media analytics

It is a given that setting up your social media accounts is a crucial step in establishing your e-commerce business presence. For example, to set up an Instagram and Facebook Shop to display and sell products, you will need to start by creating a business account. 

To set up your shop on these social media platforms, simply head to the "Create your shop" page and proceed with the setup. If you're already selling on partner platforms like Shopify or BigCommerce, you can import and sync your products easily. Choose a checkout method and select your Facebook Business Page or Instagram business account. Then, choose or create a business account and select the catalogue for your shop. 

Thereafter, review the shop details, agree to the Seller Agreement, and complete the setup. Afterwards, you can manage your catalogue, create collections of featured products, customise the shop's appearance, and publish it. 

Once your business is up and running, it's always ideal to tap into the abundant data offered by these social media platforms that can be leveraged for effective targeting and reach. By utilising tools like Facebook Creator Studio, you can tap into social listening and analytics to drive your e-commerce sales. 

In addition, by tracking metrics such as website clicks and ad click-throughs, you can also gain valuable insights into the performance of your social media marketing strategy. This data allows you to identify areas that may need adjustments and optimise your approach for better results.

4. Choose a reliable logistics partner

Building a successful e-commerce business in Pakistan goes beyond social media marketing and attracting customers that spend hours on these platforms. To ensure customer satisfaction and retention, it is crucial to provide excellent delivery services. This means that partnering with a reliable logistics provider like DHL Express can significantly enhance the customer experience. 

With our global reach and dedicated local teams, DHL Express offers seamless door-to-door delivery worldwide. Integrating such courier services into your social commerce strategy completes the end-to-end customer journey, allowing your brand to attract and deliver with ease.

Unlocking the potential of social commerce presents new opportunities for optimising the customer experience and driving e-commerce sales. By embracing a robust social media strategy, businesses can thrive in the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape. Take a step towards success by opening a business account with DHL Express to support your social media marketing strategy today.