Physical stores are playing more and more of a supporting role to online shopping, and as such the future of retail will have two primary channels — e-commerce and social commerce.

So, how do we get them both to work together to drive more sales.

One thing that this will mean is that brands and retailers will lose an engaging emotional touchpoint in the physical stores with their audiences, so in order to fill this void a brand’s social and e-commerce channels will need to work in harmony as the heart of the consumer experience, replacing the physical store experience.

“Social is thought of as an engagement-first channel, and e-commerce as a sales-first channel. We need to balance that out,” says Danijel Bonacic, strategy director of global digital agency Dept.

Therefore measuring the success of an e-commerce platform via ROI needs to evolve towards adopting a wider set of KPIs.

Think about it like this:

Something associated with social media platforms is audience participation, and this can become an e-commerce tool. As e-commerce sites benefit directly from social media traffic it's imperative that the e-commerce experience is aligned with the engaging social media campaigns that potential customers have just seen.

Additionally, creating an engaged community that not only understand the brand's values but actively align themselves with them should be a strategy that any forward thinking e-commerce brand adopts.

Brands that do this well will flourish.