Creating an ecommerce channel by utilizing social media. Building a store on Facebook, Google Shopping and other sites.
Last Published: 10/20/2016

Social Media Stores

Another emerging e-commerce channel is social media. For example, you can now create stores on Facebook, Google Shopping, and other sites. These channels are in their infancy and their market share is low. But Facebook claims to have 50 million business pages. No data are available on their effectiveness for reaching cross-border buyers. Social media is hugely popular abroad, especially in Asia, which has some of the highest concentrations of social media use (255 million Facebook users). Consumers regularly discuss and evaluate products. Friends’ recommendations can lead to purchases. If you’re interested in a social media strategy in your target markets, contact your local U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist.
 
In Korea, for example, social media users share information about company and product websites discovered in the United States. Friends of friends then go to sites mentioned, make purchases, and direct that the deliveries go to a fulfillment center in the United States, from which they are shipped to Korea. The intermediary is needed because many U.S. businesses that have websites will not ship internationally because of perceived headaches and risks. Word-of-mouth will bring buyers to your site. According to a study  by Forrester, 33 percent of buyers surveyed worldwide learned of a purchase opportunity from someone they knew. However, 58 percent of surveyed buyers still relied on search engines.
 
Influencing purchasing decisions in other countries using social media is not easy. To learn tips and strategies, contact your local U.S. Commercial Service trade  specialist.
 




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