You might be bored, sitting at home doing nothing. You are scrolling down social media to see if something exciting is happening when you come across a post showcasing a pair of jeans; it looks like the perfect fit for that sweater you brought last month. Luckily, a ‘view products’ tag redirects to your product page, and within a few minutes, you add it to your cart and complete the purchase. After getting the order confirmation, you resume scrolling your feed right where you left it. This activity is called social commerce.
During the pandemic, an initial survey predicted that the resulting lockdowns would end e-commerce because the shoppers had to come in close contact with delivery executives. However, e-commerce websites found a safer way to deliver products; they decided to take full advantage of the pandemic as physical stores were out of service. Who else could better support this endeavour than social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok?
Social media networks enable eCommerce firms to be accessible, expanding your brand’s awareness and customer base. In the next three years, global eCommerce sales are expected to grow by over 100% compared to 2020, reaching $1.6 trillion. This opportunity to promote your brand and its products on social media is not something you should miss.
What is social commerce?
As a subset of e-commerce, social commerce enables consumers to connect with companies, view items, and make purchases directly through social media platforms.
Compared to social media marketing, social commerce allows users to make purchases directly through social media platforms. Or in other instances, the social media platform may include links that take users straight to the shop’s product page, where they may finalise their purchase.
According to a report, managers strongly believe that social commerce is generating a growing amount of their company’s marketing-driven income. Nine out of ten business owners anticipate selling their products or services on social media in the coming years.
Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest introduced enhanced social commerce features in 2020 to assist retailers with optimising online shopping experiences while the pandemic was ongoing. One of the best examples is the in-app shopping features introduced by Instagram. Brands could launch their store within Instagram instead of redirecting them to a different website and disrupting users’ social media activity. These features create new digital stores, which can be found naturally or promoted through paid advertising.
Best social media platforms to promote your brand
Instagram remains top in our list of social commerce apps due to its visual appeal and user-friendly layout. Users find it easier to shop on Instagram due to the recent ina-app shopping feature providing a smooth experience.
Use Instagram product tags to make your post shoppable and your products more visible. You can use product tags to highlight certain goods from your product catalogue in your videos and posts, allowing viewers to tap on a tag to find additional information quickly. Including tags increases the likelihood that your merchandise will appear in places consumers frequent when they are ready to make a purchase, such as the Instagram Shop tab. Because it is a visual platform, Instagram provides additional opportunities for innovative social commerce promotions.
While setting up an Instagram shop, you can directly link with your Facebook shop. While brands prefer Instagram over other apps, Facebook has a considerable advantage because it allows for long-form content and videos of a longer duration. You can describe your products in detail or post a video where you can pitch your items.
The Facebook Shop tab on the platform’s mobile app displays merchandise depending on user preferences to promote organic brand discovery. Customers can purchase on your website or the app after discovering your stuff. Using Messenger, sellers interact with visitors to answer inquiries, offer assistance, and more.
TikTok for business can be used to advertise and sell products on TikTok. Creators can add a shop tab to their profile using the shopping feature, which displays all product catalogues synchronised with their store website. This tab provides a one-click button that takes users directly to your online store for checkout while allowing users to browse your products immediately without leaving the app. You can tag one or more goods using the TikTok shopping function in an organic post, allowing viewers to click on the tags and be sent straight to the product detail pages from your video. Brands can incorporate goods from their shopping experience into a LIVE session thanks to TikTok’s shopping tools, which also apply to TikTok live.
Benefits of Social Commerce
Social media shopping is far more engaging than a conventional eCommerce frenzy. Customers may easily engage with their favourite restaurants, show off their new sneakers, comment on HRM’s spring collection, read reviews of the latest smartphones on the market, and discuss with friends about purchases. Social commerce may be the ideal substitute for individuals who miss the companionship of a day at the mall.
Enhanced brand awareness
Social commerce allows retailers to combine their social media and e-commerce sites rather than keeping them separate. This is a significant branding opportunity that gives you the chance to enhance brand awareness and maintain customer engagement with relevant content. Influencer marketing is an essential strategy for increasing brand awareness.
Of course, having a professional athlete, actor, or another famous person promote their items is the goal of every e-commerce company. Unfortunately, many smaller firms with limited resources cannot afford this approach. Fortunately, influencer marketing has evolved recently since consumers increasingly seek authenticity from micro-influencers whose lifestyles mirror their own rather than big-name celebrities for guidance.
Social media is where Millenials and Gen Zs socialise
If the 18 to 34 age group is your target market, they are already online and ready to purchase as they scroll. In 2019, 48% of the people this age who use the internet bought social media, and 27% of individuals in that group who haven’t tried shopping on social media yet have said they’re interested in doing so.
Thanks to the enormous abundance of consumer data accessible on social media, you have an excellent opportunity to modify and focus your advertising. In a way that traditional eCommerce and marketing cannot, social commerce gives you the option to put particular, ready-to-buy products in front of specific people who would enjoy them.
Reviews and recommendations
Your social media pages are ideal for creating critical social proof if your brand is new to online sales. Your customers can’t always test or try on your merchandise when they shop online. Reading reviews can help consumers to make an informed buying decision.
An effective feedback loop is produced when you manage the customer journey on social media, and this loop affects your revenue. New followers are drawn into your funnel by your social content, but providing social commerce allows them the opportunity to make purchases and post reviews in one convenient area. Social media algorithms will find your content relevant to more prospective buyers as your interaction increases.
There seems to be very little difference between social commerce and e-commerce because they involve apps to process payments and confirm orders. Social commerce and e-commerce are two completely distinct approaches despite sharing a similar label. In eCommerce, customers are attracted to the online business via top-of-the-funnel techniques such as digital advertisements, social media posts, and other promotional strategies. The customer must then go through more stages in the purchasing process after arriving at the business, increasing the likelihood that they will lose interest and a possible sale.
Here is where Social commerce is different. Social commerce takes the store to the client, meeting them wherever they are instead of forcing customers to visit an online store. Social commerce eliminates extra steps and streamlines the purchasing process by allowing customers to pay directly through social media platforms. This makes the customer’s experience more seamless and increases revenue for the merchant. Additionally, social commerce is a very accessible approach to reaching a range of consumers because social media platforms are designed to be mobile-friendly.