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Social commerce next big thing after rise of ‘influencers’

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Influencers in Kenya: Social commerce, a cross- integration of eCommerce within social media functionalities is expected to rise rapidly in the next years, findings by Ogilvy Social lab shows.

This even as social media consumers in Kenya increasingly become unresponsive to paid advertising on both digital and analog channels.

“Social media is already a key part of product discovery with over half of the users finding the product in social media channels. In a country where mobile payments are mainstream and traffic can be daunting at times, buying from these channels is just waiting to be mainstream,” said Riku Vassinen, Managing Partner, Customer Management.

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Speaking to brand and social media managers, he noted that ,”whether it is booking a table, ordering a cab or delivering a flight boarding pass, instant messaging functions of social platforms will be connected to buying of the products.”

Globally, social media is increasingly becoming a sales channel as over half of the product searches start from these platforms.

Addressing digital managers at the event, Christophe Chantraine- Managing director Ogilvy Social Lab Cape Town said with constant connectivity and smartphones, everything is set to turn into a shop.

“From the new checkout feature on Instagram allowing to purchase products tagged in pictures without leaving the platform, to Snapchat’s recent partnership with Amazon enabling augmented reality buying, the world of e-commerce is increasingly natively integrated within major social platform ecosystems,” said Chantraine

According to Waithera Kabiru- Head of Media Futures, Digital & Agency, EABL/Diageo Kenya is not a mobile-first market. It is a mobile-only, therefore, Brands should start their media planning from mobile.

She said a deep involvement with mobile social usage creates opportunities for brands, giving them a chance to use social media both as a channel for brand building and as a sales channel.

Besides eruption of social commerce, the findings further alerted brands to move beyond vanity metrics such as likes and comments to actual business KPIs, even amidst increased pressure to prove ROI.

“This requires putting your customer and her journey at the heart and center of your activities. What is more valuable: Having 1 million followers and only five of them purchasing your product or having only 1,000 followers with at least half of them purchasing your products?” Mr. Vassinen said

He said that brands should assess the quality of the content and the brand fit of influencers in Kenya with the brand before engaging them.  On the other hand, he advised that

Performance metrics be based on the level of engagement received and not on how many likes, or retweets a post got.

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