Social media retailing is the new trend now. Everyone is officially or unofficially selling a product online using social media accounts since it’s the easiest way to present goods to a wide range of consumers. The products range from cosmetics to electronics. You can actually get everything you want to buy by just visiting Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Snapchat, Weibo, etc. It presents the consumer with a wide range of retailers to choose from using filters like location, price and quality.
Truth is, consumers love the idea of buying online and are now accustomed to it but because social media retailers usually have no or less knowledge about retailing, they tend to make no profits online. These are some of the setbacks of social media retailers.
No price on goods
Social media retailers have a problem of not attaching prices of their goods to pictures they post online. They usually direct customers to their private messages to tell them the price of the product. Reasons they do this are not clear, but customers claim they price their items based on your account profile; meaning they have different prices for different people for the same product. Customers are usually put off when they ask via private messages for the prices of products. It is just professional for social media retailers to attach prices of their goods to pictures to enable customers make decisions on purchase. A chunk of online customers will jump onto the next retailer who attaches prices to the pictures posted if you don’t attach prices to products.
Different pictures, different products
If you are an online buyer, you would have experienced this situation whereby, you see a picture of a product online, you order and pay for it but on delivery, it’s a totally different product. This can be very frustrating for the buyer because they would be very disappointed and may end up leaving a bad review for the retailer. Situations like these occur when the retailer picks their pictures online rather than taking the pictures of the original product they have. I call those retailers “ fake retailers” because they provide fake products to their customers. As a social media retailer, one way to avoid being a fake retailer is to take pictures of the original products with a good camera to avoid unintentionally scamming customers.
Delay in replying messages
Social media retailing means being available to answer all questions asked by your potential customers. Leaving your messages unattended may come across as unserious and unprofessional. Remember, social media buying is mostly impulse and so if there is delay in replying to customers, they may lose their interest in your product. You may sign on to an automated answering template to prevent your customers from waiting for you for a long time.
The internet never forgets, thus it is not a place to hold arguments with customers because it might be used against you one day in the line of business. Customers in general can be very interesting and because they are entitled to the privilege of being right all the time, they deserve some patience and care when transacting with them especially online. Some social media retailers lost huge following because they engaged in fights and arguments with customers which ended in low sales for them.