Social commerce features are emerging across various platforms, creating new opportunities for small and big brands. The post-pandemic era has put a further strain on brick and mortar businesses. Also, executives are all on digital transformation.
How do you strategically take advantage of this new revenue opportunity? This article will provide you with a detailed breakdown of social commerce – what it is, its importance, working, and most importantly, how it would work for your business.
What is Social Commerce
It is the buying and selling of goods or services directly via social media platforms. The model moves social media beyond the traditional discovery process and encourages users to complete the purchase without leaving the preferred apps.
As per the State of Social Media Investment Report, social commerce drives an increasing portion of the company’s marketing-driven revenue. Eight out of ten expect to sell their products or services via social media within the next three years.
In 2020, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram launched revamp social commerce tools to help retailers streamline online shopping experiences during the pandemic. These features generate new digital storefronts that are found organically or boosted via paid advertising.
Importance of Social Commerce
By 2026, the global social commerce platform will reach $1948.5 bn, rising at a 29.4% CAGR market growth.
eMarketer predicts social commerce to rise by 34.8% to $36.09 bn in 2021 in the U.S. It represents 4.3% of all retail eCommerce sales.
A lot of consumers are discovering new products and purchasing them conveniently on social media. According to recent research:
- 70% of consumers shop during multitasking, and more than four out of five shoppers like to shop on social channels.
- 82% of consumers want the convenience of social shopping.
- 71% of customers would complete transactions on social media rather than the exit to a retail site.
Social commerce gives your customers a convenient buying journey by being where they spend their time online. Social commerce makes things easy for customers to discover your products and complete the purchase, reducing friction leading to the abandonment of the purchase.
There is no switching of the platform to the website – discovering the product to purchase everything happens on one platform.
Best Social Commerce Platforms
Here are some social platforms that you would want to use if you implement a social commerce strategy. But also keep an eye on TikTok and Twitter. They are currently experimenting with new shopping features.
Instagram Shopping feature is an engaging storefront on Instagram that provides you an opportunity to build your brand story and let customers discover the products. Customers can seamlessly browse products and purchase without leaving the app.
Facebook shops are specifically designed digital, curated storefronts. When customers discover your products, they purchase them directly in the app or on your website.
You can communicate with the customers via messenger to answer questions and provide customer support. You may set up a Facebook Shop store for selling on both Facebook and Instagram.
YouTube is a shopping platform that has product reviews and unboxing videos. YouTube is testing a feature that would allow customers to make purchases directly in the app, just like Facebook and Instagram.
Snapchat is rolling out features that would give users the ability to browse accessories and clothing from company catalogs on the Snapchat app.
Pinterest has significantly been emerging as an eCommerce discovery platform. As per the reports by PYMNTS.com, Pinterest Co-Founder Ben Silbermann said, “Pinterest is a positive place to get inspired for ideas for your future life.” The company will start starting on-platform transactions that are seamless.
All of the above social media platforms offer a convenient buying journey for consumers by letting them shop while engaging in activities they enjoy.
Facebook is leading the pack in popularity. As per recent research, 67% of shoppers made purchases via Facebook, followed by Instagram (56%) and YouTube (28%).
Working of Social Commerce
Social platforms are testing and developing commerce features, especially as the pandemic is accelerating online shopping.
Businesses can set up a store on a relatively new Facebook shop that launched last year, selling across Facebook and Instagram. It might be the easiest way to connect to a new audience that already uses such platforms.
You would want to establish an organic presence on social platforms for potential customers to discover the products naturally. Customers always gravitate towards their interests and what excites them.
Paid ads are another excellent way to get potential customers to discover your brand and products and eventually buy the products either on the platforms or on the website. You can target a specific audience by demographics and interests with paid ads.
Retailers shall set up a Facebook Shop with the Commerce Manager. One of the features of Facebook Shops is deciding where you would want customers to complete their purchases. It could be your website, direct message, or checkout feature on Facebook.
For a customer journey on a social platform, let’s say, a consumer is scrolling through his Instagram on the “Recommended for you” page and comes across “decor” photos. As he scrolls, he sees a plant standing in an image resembling what he liked on the West Elm design page the day before.
He would click the photo with the stand to examine it more closely and post it on the @thedudebuilds Instagram page containing a tag with the plant stand details and the price. He would click the tag and then be taken to “Shop,” where he would view this specific product.
He has the option to redirect to a website and purchase the plant immediately. Within two days, the plant stand gets delivered. He tops it with the favorite jade houseplant in the corner of the home office.
The Instagram browser, now turned customer, was not looking for a new plant stand and was scrolling through his social media account. But, based on data from the recent activity, Instagram saw an opportunity for a customized shopping experience and recommended a product from @thedudebuilds.” It is social commerce.
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Social commerce is an essential part of the overall shopping customer experience. It’s one way for consumers to discover products while spending their time on social channels in the effortless economy.
To grow your business, be where the customers are and embrace social commerce as part of the selling strategy.
Want to know more about social commerce? Contact Orderhive now.
Dev Upadhyay enjoys writing on a variety of topics and takes pleasure in immersing himself in learning about new and exciting areas. He loves to binge-watch documentaries about science and society. Being a travel freak, he's very adventurous and fun-loving.
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