Online sales in Canada are expected to be stronger than ever in 2016. eTail Canada predicts that eCommerce sales in this country will top $34.04 billion this year. In their Q1 report, Demac Media suggests the typically slow first quarter is the perfect time for businesses to focus on social sales and segments experiencing growth. Doing so can position your online arm for a year of success.
eTailers are improving their social marketing strategies and it’s showing in their bottom line. Facebook leads the pack in retail discovery, customer engagement and website traffic. A major part of their lead is probably due to brands focusing their social marketing there as a safe bet, but there’s no denying its success. Pinterest has fallen in traffic generation, suggesting the novelty may be wearing off for the network. Pinterest has also been playing with its algorithm, which has had a negative effect on pin exposure according to many marketers.
Consumer traffic generated by social networks:
- Facebook 66%
- Pinterest 17%
- Twitter 3%
- Instagram 3%
- Sina Weibo 2%
- Other 9%
Social network ranking according to order value is an entirely different story. Here, YouTube reigns supreme and even the less-known platforms shine.
- YouTube $361
- Sina Weibo $209
- LinkedIn $197
- Polyvore $104
- Tumblr $98
- Facebook $96
- Yelp $78
- Twitter $76
- Pinterest $64
- Reddit $64
“Retailers are slowly aligning their strategies with the shift towards online engagement and consumption,” the report states. “Platforms that allow for interactive experiences like YouTube are where social performance drives higher sales.”
It’s clear that a diversified social media strategy based on tracked, actionable data will be the most successful. The key to success, however, will be in building a team with expertise in analytics, behavioral analysis, cross-platform marketing and conversion funnels, enhanced by talent for social engagement and customer relationship management.
Finding one person who can do it all well is rare, since it would require someone with what is considered to be conflicting personality types (analytical vs. socially inclined and creative). If you do find one of these unique creatures, treat them well so they stick around. It’s more likely that you’ll require at least two people, but you can try hiring them part-time and/or go with a remote contract if your budget is stretched. Keep in mind, however, that a skilled marketing staff doesn’t cost you money, it makes you money. This is one of those things that you must do in today’s online world, and it has to be done well.
Top Growing eCommerce Industry Segments by Province
Online sales from mass merchants rule the west and north in Canada:
Northern Territories, Nunavut, Yukon 26%
British Columbia 21%
Fashion is a popular online purchase in Canada:
Prince Edward Island 30%
New Brunswick 27%
Sporting goods sales are strong online in several provinces:
Nova Scotia 29%
The only province leading in online electronics sales in Canada was Newfoundland at 18%.
Need some guidance?
Here are a few expert resources to help you learn more about using social media for business success:
- There are lots of free and low-cost courses available to help you learn online business and related subjects, such as online marketing.
- To really dig into Facebook marketing, check out Canadian social media queen, Mari Smith. She’s always on top of the latest social network marketing tactics and her courses can’t be beat.
- The latest social sensation for businesses is Twitter’s Periscope for live streaming. Get ahead of your competition with the Periscope Profit Machine course.
- Pinterest has surpassed search engines for traffic generation for many businesses, but it has to be done right for maximum benefits. You can check out a free video and/or take the Power of Pinning course to get started.
- Free LinkedIn training is available at LinkedU: How to Create a Massive LinkedIn Referral Network with THE Most Influential Players in Your Market.
- The book Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Amazing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and More, was revised and expanded in 2015 and is perfect for social media novices.
- Powerful tools like Wishpond (Canadian company) make it super easy to have social contests and offer coupons via social media. They have both free and paid options.
Do these numbers reflect your experience in online sales and social marketing in Canada? Please share you experience or questions in the comments below.
How did your online sales do in the first quarter? Please share your experience in the comments below.
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