Previously, businesses depended solely on social networks to increase brand awareness and connect with customers. In recent years, it has evolved into considerably more than that. These channels have now grown into another platform for online shopping.
Social commerce is here to change the way people make purchases by providing them new ways to participate in the global economy as consumers, innovators, influencers, and sellers. Experts believe that the social commerce trend would have continued to grow even if it had not occurred, but that the pandemic hastened its growth.
Understanding social commerce
The term social commerce refers to the combination of e-commerce and social media. Brands that engage in social commerce employ social media channels to sell goods and services. Sellers can use social media to promote their items, and customers can use their favorite social media sites to look for and interact with brands. Simply put, it integrates e-commerce features into social media sites.
Social commerce symbolizes a significant shift of power from retailers toward people and brands. In contrast to the relative anonymity of retailers, social commerce is available on whichever sites individuals want to spend their time on and are encouraged by the authenticity and confidence that social relationships give. Fundamentally, social commerce is all about engaging with potential customers, allowing them to interact with your business on social media and buy your items in just a few clicks.
Difference between social commerce and e-commerce
While they may seem similar, social commerce and e-commerce are different concepts. It is different from typical e-commerce in that it allows potential customers to buy and sell within the social media experience of their everyday life and fosters a genuine sense of community and connection. It combines social experiences and e-commerce transactions into a single path to purchase, all driven by a single platform.
92% of active users use mobile devices to access the internet, and mobile users have a higher cart abandonment rate than desktop users. However, not all e-commerce sites are mobile-friendly. This is where social commerce enters the picture. It eliminates drop-off points, which might lead to abandoned transactions.
Major social commerce platforms
When users are pleased with your brand, social media makes it simple for them to share and recommend it. As a result, these channels play a critical part in your word-of-mouth marketing.
Brands can construct Shop Now storefronts, and companies use Messenger to connect with customers. Your Facebook shop will be available through your Facebook Page, Instagram profile, Instagram Shopping advertisements, or shoppable stories and posts on Instagram. Ecommerce businesses upload their product and catalogs to a virtual storefront linked to their accounts.
Visitors to a brand’s profile can view available items, including sizes, color variations, and specifications, without leaving the app. Brands can now display relevant material to buyers based on what they have already seen on their website with the introduction of Facebook Dynamic Ads. When it comes to developing their following and improving online sales, brands have a lot to look forward to on Facebook.
Instagram is one of the largest social networks. It is known for its eye-catching photographs, stories, and videos and is an excellent platform for showcasing marketing imagery. Instagram Shops enables viewers to purchase items displayed in your photos and videos from anywhere in the app by tapping on them. Your Instagram Shop will use data from your Facebook catalog.
According to Facebook data, almost 70% of shopping aficionados use Instagram for product discovery. With the new Swipe Up feature of Instagram, buyers can watch brands and influencers promoting the latest products and merely swipe up to be sent right to the product page. Instagram also provides an in-app checkout feature to a limited number of companies, indicating Facebook and Instagram’s continued emphasis on social commerce.
Pinterest allows users to build mood boards, pin destinations for future trips, and, most importantly, discover new items. Over 400 million people access the platform every month to get ideas and explore products. According to Shopify, the average order value of sales from Pinterest is $50. It is greater than the average order value of sales from any social media site. Pinterest is distinct in that just a small part of its content is original. Most of the Pinterest content is repins. Therefore, it can be a significant advantage for you as an original content provider.
Benefits of Social Commerce
Social commerce offers a myriad of benefits for your brand. Here we list three of them:
➡️ The consistent growth of potential customers
The main goal of social commerce is to develop a consistent audience. According to Statista, there were 80 million social purchasers in the United States in 2020, indicating a 30% increase over the previous year. With more of these consumers beginning to purchase on social media, this is a big chance for you to get your products in front of new faces and dramatically increase your customers.
Social commerce has features that simplify the first purchase, resulting in a positive customer experience that people want to repeat. An appropriate social commerce strategy allows you to expand your customer base while continually retaining your current customers.
➡️ Reduces friction associated with online shopping
Social commerce facilitates the elimination of unwanted steps in the purchasing process. Friction-creating barriers to purchase, like lengthy checkout processes, are removed. Most users only need to press a few buttons, as payment and address information are already saved on the social media platform.
You can reduce the chance of customers losing interest and abandoning your page by designing a frictionless buying process that keeps users in the app through their purchase leading to a boost in sales. The time spent on research of the particular product is also shortened because reviews and comments are visible.
➡️ Improved Customer Engagement
One of the most important benefits of social commerce is the increased engagement and reach that companies can get by sharing content. By frequently appearing in a follower’s updates feed, you are taking part in a significant brand awareness campaign.
People that interact with a brand regularly are more likely to recommend it. Users are more likely to read reviews, comments, and opinions from other customers on social media channels. It adds to the authenticity of your brand and helps them make an informed decision.
Importance of social commerce
It is important to incorporate social commerce into your e-commerce marketing strategy for the following reasons.
✅ By using social commerce, a company can build and maintain relationships that deepen trust and loyalty.
✅ Shopping on social media is far more participatory than regular e-commerce shopping.
✅ Not only does social commerce speed up the transaction process, but it also provides an excellent means of gathering feedback.
✅ With such a richness of client data available on social media, you have an opportunity to fine-tune and target your advertising.
✅ Social commerce allows retailers to test new markets quickly, directly, and easily.
✅ Social commerce helps small businesses to increase their sales as they sell their products without including any extra cost.
Successful social commerce examples
Here we look at a few shops and brands that have successfully started social commerce campaigns. These brands could generate sales and provide a smooth online buying experience by embracing social commerce platforms.
#️⃣ Joe’s Jeans on Instagram
Joe’s Jeans was one of the first businesses to show how Instagram’s social commerce functionality, Checkout, can be used with the platform’s drop reminder feature to build anticipation for a new campaign. Users who saw the preview content were urged to sign up for release reminders via Instagram Story stickers and in-feed launch tags. Those who signed up received reminders 15 minutes before the launch, ensuring they were ready to buy before the collection sold out.
#️⃣ Cluse on Instagram
Rather than continually promoting offers and discounts, Cluse’s Instagram is a brilliant example of an effective social commerce strategy. Its feed is user-generated content to show off its items with a personal touch and elegant pictures. Social proof is one of the most important and valuable marketing tools for any business or brand. UGC helps make shopping decisions for 93 percent of shoppers. Hashtags, UGCs, and links direct followers back to the Shop, converting fans into buyers via Instagram.
#️⃣ MVMT Watches on Pinterest
MVMT Watches use the power of pins promoted on Pinterest to double the conversion rate. As a result, this helps to achieve the highest average value of orders received from any traffic source. Carefully selected items will attract more clicks. This allows customers to directly go to the product checkout page, where they can personalize their watch and add it to their shopping cart in seconds.
The new wave of social commerce is altering how companies and brands should approach their social media strategy. Whether it is Facebook or Instagram shopping or a combination of the two, social commerce could be the missing link in your efforts to build long-term consumer relationships. Therefore, e-commerce companies should be able to develop a cost-effective social commerce strategy to boost their sales.Tags: Ecommerce, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Social commerce, social commerce platforms