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Okay, it's probably disingenuous to pretend that social media is still something nascent and unproven for brands.
Even with a tricky attribution problem to solve, most brand marketers and advertisers agree it just makes sense to target these large, active and known audiences.
Having said that, some brands 'got' social media a lot quicker than others.
Social commerce is, to some, an oxymoron.
Why would I want my social networks sullied with special offers and calls to action?
With the 'buy' buttons implemented by Facebook and Twitter apparently having little to no success (why keep customers away from retailer websites?) there has to be a smarter way to use social dynamics in ecommerce.
There is. Retailers are starting to use social for retention, enabling their most valuable customers to gain prestige by featuring on the brand's own website or social network.
German ecommerce pure play Zalando is learning from the Chinese market, offering stylist consultations by IM or phone call, unique social interactions and three-hour local delivery.
It's part of rethinking the ecommerce model and blending online and offline to create a viable ecosystem, rather than simply an online shop.
Everybody loves a bit of interaction with a website. Although scrolling experiences aren't for everyone, mouseover effects have been established for a long time.
As creative hover states feature in my design trends to watch out for in 2016 (for the creativity they afford an otherwise increasingly restrained front-end developer), I decided to roundup some of my favourite examples.
Of course, these are on desktop, where most ecommerce sales occur (for now).
Sit back and enjoy this collection of recent news and advertising inspiration taken from the wide world of social.
We have everything from the perfect hashtag to Royal Baby newsjacking to Starbucks turning its baristas into DJs.
Net-A-Porter's evocatively named platform The Net Set launched last week.
It promises to be a ‘complete social network’ connecting you with your friends, brands, designers and style icons.
Features include being able to shop any item directly from the app, and if you upload your own style or outfit of the day, image recognition will find similar styles for you to shop.
Product videos are proven to have a positive correlation with online conversion rates, as people who watch videos tend to buy more stuff.
Whether or not these customers are further down the purchase journey and so more likely to buy anyway is open to debate.
Grazia recently launched its own ecommerce store, which came complete with its own social network.
This got me thinking about what brands might gain from running their own social network.
Owning the user data and tailoring the experience to suit your brand are the most obvious examples, alongside the potential for increasing brand affinity and driving up that customer lifetime value.
You will have noticed a steady stream of 2014 roundup posts on the blog recently and it’s now time for another.
This time I’ve asked several mobile experts for their opinions on what have been the most impressive campaigns in the past 12 months.
It follows on from a similar post looking at the biggest mobile trends from 2014.
Mobile seems to have been one of the most important trends in digital marketing and ecommerce for the past five years now.
The technology evolves and improves every year bringing with it new challenges and opportunities for brands.
It's that time of year again, when people struggle to choose presents for relatives they see but once a year and barely know.
The solution to this, beyond just plumping for wine or a selection box, is to use a gift finder tool.
Some of our biggest retailers have kindly provided these tools to assist our present buying this year. So how well do they work?
In the same way that exclusive offers and flash sales cause shoppers to throw rational thought out of the window, dwindling stock levels create a fear of loss and a sense of urgency that nudges consumers ever closer to making a purchase.
Ecommerce retailers are obviously wise to this as a sales tactic and it's common to see stock information displayed prominently on product pages.
With this in mind I’ve been scouring apparel ecommerce sites to see how different retailers present stock levels as part of their product page design.
Here’s a selection of what I found...