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Is Pinterest the Future of Shopping and E-Commerce?

If this article were to list everything that has changed in our day-to-day lives between January 2020 and now, it would be an unending article. (And you probably don’t have time to read that!) So, let’s start by getting right to the heart of the matter at hand: the retail industry during and after COVID. It is undisputed that 2020 brought many changes to the retail industry and consumer behavior. What role will Pinterest play in the future of shopping and e-commerce, and how can you harness its power?

First, let’s review what Pinterest is and how it works. Although arguably less popular than other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Pinterest boasted an impressive 459 million monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 2020. Pinterest works differently from other social media platforms. While you can still add friends and follow their posts, you are not sharing details of your life, recent activities, videos of yourself dancing (as is popular on TikTok), or “throwback” photos from your pre-COVID travels.

Instead, Pinterest allows you to share links from things you like around the internet. Pinterest calls itself a “visual discovery engine,” focusing on helping you find inspiration in images and links. Some of the most popular types of “pins” (or posts) on Pinterest include recipes, home decor, fashion, and more.

How does all of this play into the changes in the retail industry and consumer behavior in 2020 and beyond? Pinterest also facilitates online shopping. When you see a pin of something you like (whether it’s a sweater, a bookshelf, a hairstyling tool, or a lawnmower), you can click on that pin and be taken to the website where you can purchase. Brands can also purchase ad space on Pinterest, with the type of ads shown being tailored to each user’s preferences and behaviors.

Although Pinterest included this e-commerce functionality pre-COVID, the platform saw a huge increase in its use in 2020. In the first half of the year, Pinterest saw a 50 percent increase in users who visited places to shop on the platform. Pinterest knew they couldn’t rest on their laurels there—to continue to grow and provide the services their users need, the platform needed to continually adapt to new user behaviors. As explained by Milka Kramer, country manager UK and Ireland at Pinterest, “It is crucial for brands and marketers to align their efforts with this customer behavior and adapt their messaging. Many industries will see permanent changes in consumer behaviour after this period so the critical nature of insights will remain into 2021 and long after this is behind us.”

So, what is the future of shopping as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and eventually move past it? Kramer believes the key will be to merge the best of in-store and online shopping experiences. E-commerce will continue to grow, and consumers will look for a shopping experience that is more than scrolling through products. Consumers are looking for inspiration and connection, and it is up to your company to give them that experience. To learn more about the future of e-commerce and how social media platforms like Pinterest can play a role in your company’s marketing, we welcome you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, we are ready to help you grow your business.

ecommerce is a must for audiologists

E-Commerce Is a MUST for Hearing Health Professionals

What do you think of when you consider e-commerce? Your first thought is probably of e-commerce giants like Amazon. However, e-commerce is an important business opportunity not only for sites like Amazon, Walmart.com, and Target.com, but also for hearing health professionals like you. In fact, e-commerce should not be regarded as simply a good opportunity for hearing health professionals—it should be seen as a MUST.

E-commerce provides endless opportunities to your hearing health practice that you cannot afford to miss out on. Here are only a few of the reasons you should invest in e-commerce:

  • No need to refer elsewhere, which increases patient satisfaction.

Referrals are a normal part of healthcare. Dentists, medical doctors, and of course, hearing health professionals—all of them use referrals. But what if you could reduce the volume of referrals you give?

First, you would be keeping more business for yourself. By offering e-commerce products at your practice, you can increase your revenue by selling products you previously did not offer. Second, your patients will appreciate being able to meet more of their needs in one place, without the need to go elsewhere. Not only will this boost patient satisfaction, but it can also increase patient loyalty to your practice. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that customer loyalty is increasingly associated with online purchases—if you can make the experience personalized and streamlined.

  • Your patients already trust you, so allow them to trust you for their purchases, too.

Your patients come to see you for their audiology needs because they trust you as a healthcare provider. You likely know from your own experiences that finding a healthcare provider you trust is not always easy. So, since your patients already trust you, they would prefer to be able to feel that same sense of trust when they make their hearing health-related purchases.

Because you, as their hearing health professional, already know their specific hearing health needs and preferences, you can also personalize the e-commerce experience to them. Enabling your patients to buy directly from you will increase their sense of trust and satisfaction.

  • Prepare for over-the-counter hearing aids.

You are already aware that over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids will soon be available. This means that patients will not need to see a hearing health professional, like you, in order to purchase hearing aids. Do not wait until OTC hearing aids are available to begin reacting to this change—start preparing now!

Establishing yourself as a leader in your area in both hearing healthcare and e-commerce can set your practice apart when it comes to consumers’ options for purchasing hearing aids. To do this, you need to offer the products your patients need and demonstrate the value of your professional care. Show your patients that not only will you provide the products they want via e-commerce, but you will ensure the proper fitting and adjustment, which they will not receive with OTC devices.

To learn more about the importance of e-commerce in hearing healthcare and how you can get ahead in this essential field, we welcome you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. We are eager to help your practice succeed.

eCommerce tactics

5 eCommerce Strategies That Will Help Your Practice Grow

eCommerce is booming. By mid-April 2020, there had already been a 129 percent year-over-year growth in eCommerce orders in the United States and Canada. Many sales and finance experts believe this growth is due at least partially to the COVID-19 pandemic. While more traditional sales avenues might have suffered during widespread lockdowns, eCommerce grew.

eCommerce works not only in retail; it has been introduced to the field of audiology as well. For those in the profession who are more traditionally minded, the increasing shift to eCommerce may be more difficult. There is good reason, however, to embrace eCommerce. When done right, it can help your business thrive in a new way.

Here are five eCommerce tactics you can use to increase your conversion rate and help your hearing practice grow:

  1. Add a countdown timer.

Once a customer adds an item to their cart, the countdown begins. Adding a sense of urgency to their purchase can speed up the process. For example, you may alert the customer that their options for express or next-day delivery will expire within a certain number of hours. This will encourage them to complete their purchase more quickly and can help avoid cart abandonment.

  1. Capture your user’s data.

Learning more about your customer can help you provide a more personalized experience, which can lead to more sales. One simple and effective way to learn more about your customer is to use a behavior-based popover.

This popover appears after a customer has spent a certain amount of time browsing your eCommerce store. A typical popover of this type will offer a discount in exchange for the customer’s email address. You can also personalize these offers based on the customer’s behavior on the site up to that point.

  1. Use social proof.

When your customer is viewing a product page, your ultimate goal is for them to add it to their cart and complete the purchase. One way to encourage this is to use social proof. For example, you can add user-generated content to the page to show the customer how real people use this product in their everyday lives.

You can also showcase real-time customer reviews and ratings. Highlighting good reviews will help your potential customer make the decision to purchase as well. Another tactic is to display a counter with the number of people who are looking at or have added this same product to their shopping cart.

  1. Offer product recommendations.

Did you know that product recommendations can generate sales uplifts of up to 11 percent? You can recommend products to your eCommerce customers by showing them products that are new, most popular, or currently trending. As the customer continues to browse, personalize the recommendations based on the products they search for or look at.

  1. Display a dynamic banner.

This banner will be one of the first things a potential customer sees when they visit your eCommerce page. It should grab their attention, spark interest, and encourage them to stay on your site.

Try personalizing this dynamic banner using data from the customer. For example, you could display delivery details based on the customer’s location.

With these five strategies, you are well on your way to winning at eCommerce. To learn more about how to succeed in eCommerce and grow your hearing practice, we invite you to contact us at AudiologyPlus today.