Social media has come out of nowhere to become the most important marketing tool for online businesses. Could it possibly get any bigger?

It’s already a platform wherein thousands of brands are connecting with a potential audience of over 700 million people (according to official Facebook figures). It allows consumers to publicly recommend a business to their entire network of friends with a click of a button. This is brand awareness on a level previously never thought possible – yet many digital marketing experts are arguing that “we ain’t seen nothing yet…”

Savvy social media users are already likely to be using the hordes of data shared by their followers for market research purposes, but it has been claimed that many could soon use this information to determine their pricing strategy, a practice known as ‘behavioural pricing’.

Behavioural Pricing

Behavioural pricing is where retailers adjust the price of goods depending on who is buying them. It already occurs in certain areas of the high street, where retailers make use of data gained from loyalty card programmes or credit ratings.

Web entrepreneur, Alex Gannett believes that companies will soon be able to work out exactly what individual customers might be willing to pay for an item using information from social media.

In a recent interview for the Mail Online, he explained: “Online marketers have dramatically increased the amount of behavioural data they have on consumers. It comes from a complex network of web histories, demographic records, loyalty programs, and increasingly, social media profiles.

“This year will mark the end of static pricing. The use of your tweets, credit score and web history in e-commerce pricing is frightening – but ultimately unavoidable.”

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The Future of Ecommerce?

Behavioural pricing could potentially revolutionise ecommerce by significantly increasing profits for online firms and the concept is not as far-fetched as some people may think.

Online businesses are already using information harvested in consumers’ computer ‘cookies’, such as previously-visited websites and purchased items, so that they can advertise only to certain demographics. Similarly, Facebook is beginning to introduce personalised advertisements based on what individuals share on their profiles.

Pricing goods based on this information would arguably make perfect business sense, providing marketers with the opportunity to convert already-interested parties into actual sales.

Staying Ahead

Becoming one of the first to use behavioural pricing online could result in firms being one step ahead of the game when it comes to profiting from ecommerce.

Businesses that are keen to keep up with this and the other latest trends in social media marketing may want to consider outsourcing their duties to a social media consultancy in order to do so. Many of these consultancies are staffed by a team of digital marketing experts who have the skills and experience to help businesses make their social media channels as profitable as possible.

Social media IS expanding and those who invest in the services of a social media consultancy may find it far easier to embrace this trend, preventing themselves from being left behind.

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