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The subtle art of social selling for fashion boutique shops

There’s no understating the power of social media for ecommerce sales, especially for boutiques. Since fashion is highly visual, engaging potential customers online through images and videos has proven to be rapidly successful for a host of online boutiques. 

Part of this success is simply in the ease of social selling. Since potential boutique customers are already on social media, getting in front of them is easier than ever.

We’ve now reached an age where a customer is more likely to DM a business than pick up a phone and call them, and where they’re more likely to check out a social media influencer’s product recommendations rather than Google it or head to the store to speak with a representative. 

This is why many boutiques are doubling down on Facebook ads or campaigns across other social media platforms. Targeting these customers is easier than ever due to the social nature of the apps, so the ads will land where they’re supposed to.

This, in tandem with the visual nature of fashion selling, is why boutiques are seeing impactful growth in month-over-month sales by focusing on social media to connect with their target customers.

Create a Path of Least Resistance on Social

It’s all about the funnel – which can be built on social media effortlessly. One main way is through the new Instagram ‘shop’ feature in which a consumer can see something they like, click the tag, see the price, and immediately order it, all from within the app.

For example, fashion brand ORO LA shared with Shopify that they were able to trace 15% of their sales from social media alone – and their revenue increased by just under 30% once they started using the Instagram ‘shop’ feature. 

But it isn’t just Instagram Shop that is sending fashion sales through the roof for boutiques. It’s also the use of a platform called CommentSold. CommentSold is a new technology that streamlines social media interest, so if a potential customer comments, “I love these!” on your latest Instagram picture of the spring sandal you’re launching, you can immediately send them an invoice and prompt them to buy. 

This helps to convert more customers by creating a path of least resistance for their purchase. The concept is to shorten the sales funnel as much as possible, so that the minute a consumer decides they want something, they pay for it and have ordered it successfully.

According to Hootsuite, “Ultimately, every click of the mouse is an opportunity for a potential customer to change their mind. If they have to go from your ad, to your website, to add the product to a cart, to filling in their credit card info, that’s a lot of moments to lose their attention.”

Going Live on Social Media

CommentSold’s other most popular feature is something it shares in common with Facebook – and that’s the ability to go live. Facebook now has ‘Live Shopping,’ in which a store can sell specific products through Facebook Live.

This has proven to be more useful than ever as the world has resorted to online shopping during the pandemic. Rather than attracting in-person customers to see or touch the fashion pieces in a physical store, a live shopping experience is an invaluable way to show off the best pieces in a way that feels accessible to the customer. 

Incorporate Personal Brand in Social Selling

Of course, there are many components that go into a live shopping experience that can successfully drive sales. These mirror the strategies of social selling that are true across any platform, such as personal brand.

We know that building an impressionable personal brand is a strong indicator of selling success on social media, proven by the statistic that sales representatives who focus on building a social media brand outsell 78 percent of their peers, according to Forbes.

There are ways to incorporate these facets of personal branding into live shopping. Ethan Kramer is a sales funnel expert who helps boutique founders harness the power of social selling to soar their boutique sales.

“We sell their personalities and not their clothes, we sell their communities and not their websites,” he shared. “We replace the in-store experience and help their clients get a better idea of the clothes they will buy before they do.”

Ethan Kramer

For example, a client who transitioned to online from brick and mortar during the pandemic began to go on Facebook Lives to talk about herself and her boutique, which had a significant boost in sales. The secret formula? Giving viewers the chance to really get to know the boutique founder. 

“New user audiences average around a 5X while the replays to warm users who know the boutique owner can get as high as a 15X return,” explained Kramer.

This is done through consistent lives featuring “hangout sessions, sneak peeks, behind the scenes at the warehouses, Q&A’s, make-up tutorials, and more,” he noted. This is an approach that creates a sense of personal relationships because it digitally provides an exclusive retail therapy experience. 

Kramer advises his clients to be as personable as possible in their live broadcasts. “The key here is the videos are engaging and they provide personality to the brand,” says Kramer. “People tune in for the new arrivals, spontaneous deals, good vibes, and community. This connection builds excitement within the brand and brings in huge returns when promoting upcoming sales, events, and more.”

This level of transparency will get viewers to comment back with where they are located, saying hi, complimenting the broadcaster, and get them to share their own online personal experiences. It is an absolute win for retailers.

It isn’t just about targeting, after all. The brands that will continue to dominate in social selling are those that can create a familial sense of community with their audience through personal brand and live interactions.

Additionally, making it as easy as possible for a consumer to move forward with a purchase has been a game-changer for online shopping. As e-commerce continues to change, boutiques that emphasize social selling will end up on top.