02 maj Website vs. Social Media: Best Way to Sell Products
For the past few years, social media has been used to advertise and funnel leads into your website where they can buy your products. But now, social media has also been widely used as a selling platform by many retailers. Though some still wonder if selling on social media is enough or if they still need to have an e-commerce shop to sell their products.
Whether it is necessary or not is not just the question we need to answer to know if you would have to use it to step up your business. Accompanying questions to that one are: Which of the two generates the most potential customers? Which channel provides bigger ROI? Or, which of them helps the company to grow faster?
In this article, we are going to dive into an analysis of both platforms and pitting them against each other. So if you want to know which one is better, then keep on reading!
First, let’s define what is a website and social media.
What is a Website?
A website is a collection of publicly accessible, interlinked Web pages that share a single domain name that is accessible to visitors. Websites can be created and maintained by an individual, group, business, or organization to serve a variety of purposes.
Together, all publicly accessible websites constitute the World Wide Web.
Although it is sometimes called a “web page,” this definition is wrong, since a website consists of several web pages.
Websites come in a seemingly endless variety, including educational, news, e-commerce websites, and more.
The web page content is usually a mix of text with other media. So there are no rules that dictate the structure of a web page on the internet.
A website is undeniably beneficial for your business. Besides serving your business’s image, it helps raise brand awareness and loyalty, consequently sales as well. It collects all your marketing projects into one destination. You can also make use of a virtual worker working for you 24/7.
What is Social Media?
Social networks or social media are mainly used to communicate or interact with each other online. Social media has significantly grown in popularity this past decade, not only among individuals but also in businesses.
Let’s break down the name as an initial attempt to understand social media better.
“Social” – is from the Latin “socius”, which means “friend”. So being social means being friendly.
“Media” – again comes from the Latin “medius” which means middle. So media is a communication mediation tool used to store and share information or data.
Going from the basic definitions, we get this one “Social media are applications or platforms where people or groups of people (businesses) socialize with their audience.”.
By learning the definition of social media, we also get to know the best way to use it and avoid the mistakes that some businesses do which is posting lengthy, yet not friendly content on social media.
Now that we have defined what social media and websites are, let’s try to look at the advantages and disadvantages of both platforms to help us know which one is better for your business.
Website Advantages and Disadvantages
Websites contribute to brand image & credibility
Most consumers typically research brands, products, or services before they make a purchase. The first place they’ll look for this is your website because they understand that they are essentially the hub of every company’s online presence. It’s something they expect. This will make them feel secure to buy from you.
Websites give your business total control over its online presence
Although there are thousands of business pages on Facebook or Instagram, there’s only so much you can customize on it.
On website, It allows you freedom in showing off your brand personality by customizing how your website will look. Your webshop can stand out because it is uniquely yours. You get to own it with your own style and message.
Owning a website also allows you to control all details of your business. Selling through social media sites means you’ll have to compete with a noisy newsfeed, constantly revised terms & services, constantly changing algorithms, and changes in functionality. These are issues that you can bypass by owning your own space on the internet outside of these platforms.
Websites diversify your marketing and revenue channels
Speaking of missing out on sales, those aforementioned algorithm changes will undoubtedly become a problem. You can sell exclusively through comment selling but we do not recommend it because of this very reason. You should always diversify your selling channels so that if one is stunted by outside forces, the others can help make up for or replace it. If social media is restricting your comment selling, you can always lean on other avenues such as your website. You will also want to extend your reach to everyone, not just those on social media. Websites are accessible to all.
There will be times that customers don’t want to check out through comment selling. Maybe they don’t know what it is, they don’t prefer a traditional online checkout, or they don’t have an account on the social media platform you’re selling on. Some will adjust, but others will leave because any confusion or discomfort can become a deterrent in the buying process. Websites provide customers another check-out process so no one misses out and you don’t miss out on any sales.
Websites are an excellent medium to showcase your products in an organized fashion
With a website, there’s no sifting through posts to find certain items. You can control the look and layout. You can create an organized layout for your products to accomplish easy navigation that keeps your customers focused on their shopping experience. It will make it easier for them to look for what they want so that it will be easier for them to make a purchase.
Your Competitor has it
There are millions of websites present on the internet that do businesses similar to your site. The competition can be highly fierce that small businesses may find it difficult to combat with. Without proper search engine optimization and marketing strategies, it can be difficult to survive in this field.
Similar to other types of websites, a business website too has the tendency to experience downtimes. Any business website that crashes has the potential to take business opportunities away from the company. The customer visiting your website might get annoyed by constant crashes and unavailability. This kind of technical problem also negatively impacts the search engine rankings.
Difficultly Reaching The Right People
Because of the nature of the internet and the sheer number of businesses already on the World Wide Web, you may find it difficult to reach the right target audience with your website. Competition within your market may be strong and the battle for the illusive No.1 spot on Google may be a difficult one, against a wealth of other businesses in your sector. This is not always the case and there are ways around it such as taking advantage of our SEO Services for small businesses. While our managed social media solutions can help improve your ranking and put your business on the right footing.
There is a setup and running cost that you must cover. Costs also include expenses for ‘pay for’ applications, hosting fees, SSL, maintenance and domain registration, and renewal fees.
Social Media Advantages and Disadvantages
Social Media is Free to Use
The main advantage of social networks is that you can use most of them for free. Not only can you use social media for free, but you can also share your content with a wide audience for free.
Facebook, one of the most used social media platforms, allows you to set up a shop on your page for free. People who visit your shop can browse your products, make purchases, and get to know your brand.
You can also make use of their free live streaming feature to start live selling.
Social Media is Ready-made
All that’s left for you to do on selling on social media is to upload a “media” about your product. You wouldn’t need to worry about building it because it is all ready-made for you.
Selling on social media gives your brand potential of great reach.
The use of daily social media users is growing year by year. Currently, there are 1.929 billion daily Facebook users and 1.130 billion daily Instagram users. Social media platforms are some of the largest virtual hang-out spots on the net.
It only makes sense for brands to be utilizing social media in any way that they can. It is much like putting a billboard up on a busy highway. Social media is fantastic for both finding new customers and keeping your brand top of mind for already established ones.
Social selling establishes your brand with social proof.
Humans are complex creatures. We judge the value of items based on their popularity and buy products endorsed by other people.
As such, Comment Selling gives retailers a distinct advantage over website sales. With Comment Selling, customers can visually see their friend’s and peers’ buying habits. With every comment “Sold”, the item becomes more appealing to others. In some cases, it catalyzes buying frenzies!
The engagement that comment selling provides further expands your reach by pushing you to the top of newsfeeds where you can meet the next customer or push a purchase with an already loyal fan.
Speaking of which, social settings also allow your customers a voice. Superfans often give lengthy testimonies and show photos with product endorsements. Think of them as your nano-influencers. With social media’s sharing tools, it is easy for customers to spread your content far and wide.
free things has a lot of limitations
Despite the fact that you can use social networks for free, their algorithm needs to push your content into visibility. You can help make this happen through paid campaigns and advertisements. Year after year, this form of paid marketing is getting costlier. You can use social for free, but you need to pay to play!
Social networks are pre-made pages that store content and only allow small changes such as personalization of the cover and profile pictures and content. They provide only a superficial promotion of your brand. Social media doesn’t necessarily do much in raising brand awareness or loyalty, and even if not used properly, it can even cause your business identity damage or loss.
What’s it gonna be?
Websites or social media? What’s best for your business?
The answer is you have to use both. A combination of the two has proven to give the best results for businesses in all areas.
Social media strategies are great for generating leads. It is through the website, however, that you channel those leads down the marketing funnel. This way, you have complete control over your brand and your audience’s experience.
Think of social media as a way to reach out and meet your potential prospects. Whereas, your website, as different events where you provide them with the information they need and where they can also buy your products and services.
If you use both these communication tools properly, you will attract and engage with your audience through social networks and sell using your website.
Social media certainly has its advantages for social sellers. It can propel your brand’s visibility and reach, establish your brand with social proof, and deepen your relationships with customers.
And while social selling is extremely effective, it certainly can’t do it all. Its effectiveness in selling cannot be overlooked, but neither can its downfalls. Use social media in conjunction with other sales channels to increase sales, increase reach, and convert more customers. Social selling will boost your business, but multichannel selling will future proof your business.
Websites provide an excellent addition to your means of selling. They provide brand credibility, give you platform with full control, diversify your marketing and revenue channels, and make for an easy shopping experience in ways that social media cannot.
Live selling isn’t the only way you can reach and sell to your customers on Facebook. With Live Butler, you can sell through all types of content so you can always keep customers’ newsfeeds fresh & interesting. This way you won’t just reach more customers but will also make other people aware of your brand.
Live Butler is an all-in-one social commerce solution designed to automate your live selling. From accepting orders, updating inventory to sending invoices, Live Butler will do it for you.