Today’s consumers are becoming increasingly self-directed in their buying habits, leveraging the internet to research products as well as make easy purchases without setting foot in a brick and mortar store. In fact, 96% of Americans have made an online purchase in their life, with 80% having made a purchase in the past month alone, according to Bigcommerce.
As a result, eCommerce has exploded, and countless online-only retailers and marketplaces such as Amazon, Wayfair and eBay have emerged to meet consumer demand—as well as give well-established brands a run for their money.
Of course, as digital entities, most eCommerce brands embrace several digital marketing tactics—especially social media marketing—to build their brand, engage with current and prospective customers, provide personalized customer service, and get the sales. And we can all learn a little something from what online-only brands are doing.
From creating a great user experience to personalization, below I highlight several eCommerce brands—both large and niche—that are rocking social media in a variety of awesome ways.
#1 – Etsy
Etsy considers itself more than a marketplace—but rather as a brand on a mission to reimagine commerce to “build a more fulfilling and lasting world.”
When it comes to social media marketing, Etsy has embraced Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter as its go-to platforms for sharing and engaging. Of course, each post includes an image or video, and the text and call to action are tailored to the audience.
But it was the Etsy Success Facebook page—which is dedicated to supporting shop owners—that really caught my eye. On its main Facebook page and other accounts, Etsy is marketing to the end shoppers. With its success page, Etsy is giving special attention to the makers, providing tips to better market their businesses, Q&As with shop owners, and more.
#2 – Gilt
For those who love high-end fashion, but hate the high-end price tags—Gilt is right up your alley. It’s a members-only shopping destination that gives fashion-lovers first-come-first-serve shopping at up to 70% off retail.
As for its social media marketing strategy, Gilt can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. While I’d say Gilt’s Twitter and Facebook pages are pretty run-of-the-mill, its Instagram is so well done.
Not only is there beautiful imagery and fun fashion tips, anything available for purchase is tagged with #LinkInBio—and that link takes you to a Like2Buy page that allows you to shop by Instagram photo. Not only is this incredibly convenient for their audience—but super smart marketing as I’d wager the investment in this platform is more cost-effective than click-to-shop ads. I’ve seen other marketplaces such as Wayfair use this tactic, too.
#3 – Love Your Melon
If you’re regular reader of my example-heavy social media blogs, you’re likely familiar with Love Your Melon. Love Your Melon was founded to improve the lives of children battling cancer by providing them with a special hat. With each hat purchased by the public, 50% of the net proceeds are donated to the organization’s nonprofit partners in the fight against childhood cancer.
Love Your Melon’s social media mix includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Across their channels, they’re using several best practices, but it really comes down to telling their story through captivating imagery—helping people see and feel the good being done. (Seriously. Tell me this photo doesn’t give you all the feels.)
#4 – Airbnb
If you look at the social media accounts for most travel and accommodations sites, you’ll often find an image of a beautiful scene—along with a caption encouraging you to book now. But that’s not how Airbnb plays it. Their social media marketing strategy is all about showcasing the travel experience, often sharing photos and stories from real people who’ve used their service to travel the world. And each channel has a unique angle.
Twitter leans toward business travelers, aiming to show them what their temporary office could look like in a range of cities and engaging them to share.
Instagram is more about engagement and storytelling, often asking followers to share their own memories or travel stories.
Finally, Facebook encompasses a little bit of everything, as well as some brand-building content.
#5 – Newegg
For gamers, tech-enthusiasts or the average online shopper, Newegg aims to be your go-to tech marketplace, featuring more than 10.5 million products.
Newegg’s social media marketing strategy encompasses all the major platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube. Generally speaking, much of the content you’ll see across the channels as of late is focused at gamers. But the one channel that stands out the most is YouTube.
Newegg has been creating and sharing YouTube video content since 2006, and the company boasts nearly 450,000 subscribers and its content has garnered more than 111.5 million views. The content shared there is a mix of exclusive unboxings, overviews, interviews and live event coverage, aiming to keep their followers in the loop on all things tech.
#6 – HauteLook
Owned by Nordstrom, HauteLook is a free members-only “event” shopping site. Essentially, each day the website curates limited-time, exclusive shopping events that feature prices at up to 75% off retail.
The brand’s social media strategy is pretty straight forward—show their followers the “hottest looks” in fashion right now. As a result, the majority of their posts across their channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & YouTube) aim to show their followers the whole look, from sunglasses to shoes.
In addition, one specific thing that stands out is their Pinterest channel, with nearly every board featuring a custom image that adds class and organization to their boards.
#7 – Redbubble
Redbubble is one of my favorite new-finds on social media. Redbubble is an Australia-based marketplace that features the creative and “uncommon” work of more than 400,000 independent artists from around the globe.
Like many others featured here, Redbubble’s social media mix includes all the big channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, as well as Tumblr. And as a brand that’s all about originality, one of the hallmarks of their social media strategy is showing lots of personality in their posts—often with lots of cute humor. Below are a few of my favorite cheeky posts:
The Secret Agenda of Cats
What eCommerce brands do you look to for social media inspiration? Tell us in the comments section below.