Most people spend almost three hours daily on social media to stay connected with their family and friends and shop. As per the survey by The Influencer Marketing Factory, 82 percent of respondents said they have discovered products on these platforms and completed their purchases using their phones. Moreover, 97 percent of Generation Z users rely on social media as their top source of shopping ideas.
The global social commerce market is estimated to be worth around $475 billion, and China is leading in this trend. The U.S. is just a little behind, and eMarketer expects it to reach $45.74 billion by 2022, a 25% jump compared to the previous year. To stay ahead of this trend, merchants need to know what social commerce is and how to use it. This guide defines social commerce and helpful tips online store owners can use to get started. Included are:
What is social commerce?
- difference between eCommerce and social commerce
- Benefits of social commerce
- Emerging social commerce trends
- Top social commerce platforms
- Tips for building a successful social commerce strategy
What is social commerce?
Social commerce is more than simply advertising products on social media and sending users to an online store. Instead, it’s focused on taking the shopping experience onto a social platform. Brands should strive to make their entire catalog available within their customers’ preferred social channels. This allows customers to view, compare, and purchase products without leaving the platform. By integrating ecommerce into social media, brands can provide their customers with an effortless shopping experience.
Customers log onto their preferred social media application and uncover their product while browsing. They can find more information about the item through visuals, videos, posts, and other engaging content. All without ever exiting the app, they can purchase the product with ease!
While it is possible to gauge the success of your social media campaigns by looking at clicks, shares, and likes, actual social commerce is evaluated based on both engagement metrics and revenue. The more successful you are in monetizing within the app, the greater your potential profit will be.
Difference between eCommerce and social commerce
eCommerce and social commerce are related but not the same. eCommerce encompasses any purchase done through the Internet, whereas social commerce is limited to purchases made within a particular social media platform.
Social commerce offers businesses the opportunity to integrate their products into the content consumers enjoy, such as videos featuring customers using your product or polls for shoppers to vote on different product styles and options. A Harris Poll conducted for Sprout Social found that 73% of companies have already adopted social commerce, with 79% forecasting that they will do so within the next three years.
Benefits of social commerce
Find the right customers
Each social media platform serves as its unique community, offering many potential markets to explore. If your product appeals to individuals of all ages, then it would be wise to consider Facebook, which has a consistent reach among most age groups. On the other hand, if you target customers aged 25-34 in particular, Instagram is your best option as it comprises 33 percent of its user base.
Finally, those wanting to promote products to a younger audience would consider TikTok, as nearly half (48%) of its users are under 30 years old.
Get more competitive vs. the big brands
Social media breaks down the traditional barriers of large budget requirements, allowing businesses of all sizes to communicate their offerings to a broader audience at an affordable price. What matters most in social media is not how much you spend but how well you can create compelling content. Take advantage of the various tools available on social networks to get an edge over your competition.
Create simpler buying experiences
Today’s consumers are looking for convenient and seamless buying experiences with minimal clicks, taps, or swipes. Social commerce provides this streamlined experience by eliminating redundant steps and providing customers access to products within an environment where they already spend time.
Boost your mobile strategy
In 2020, more than four out of ten eCommerce purchases in the U.S. were made on a mobile device. However, mobile devices usually have higher cart abandonment rates than other platforms. Social commerce can reduce this discrepancy for two reasons: most social media users access their accounts through their mobile phones (around eight out of every ten), and in-app shopping provides an easier purchase.
Generate social proof
Consumers often make their opinions known regarding products online, whether it be through positive praise or negative criticism. By utilizing social media as a platform to promote your products, you can invite feedback and make it visible by endorsing it with product development or displaying them on your website as social proof. This type of content generated by customers is an excellent example of the power that social commerce holds.
Emerging social commerce trends
Users can stay ahead of the times by utilizing their favorite social channels. If you desire for your products to dominate the conversation on social media in the coming months, contemplate crafting a forward-thinking strategy based on these two burgeoning trends of social commerce:
Live stream commerce
Influencers and brands have long been at the forefront of creating conversations around popular products through try-on hauls and makeup tutorials. More recently, Livestream shopping has become a trend for influencers and customers, where hosts go live on an app to showcase their favorite products while viewers can comment, ask questions, and buy or save featured items in real-time. This type of shopping originated in China but has since gained traction in the U.S., with Facebook launching Live Shopping Fridays featuring top brands like Bobbi Brown cosmetics and Sephora.
Augmented reality (AR)
Shoppers of the past had to manually measure their living rooms to gauge whether a couch would fit. Today, however, shoppers can use augmented reality (AR) on their phones to “place” an item in their home and get a better sense of how it will look. Snapchat and TikTok have embraced AR filters, and platforms like Pinterest recently introduced AR-based virtual try-on tools to enhance the shopping experience. AR is quickly becoming an integral part of social commerce.
Top social commerce platforms
Facebook is the most popular social platform in the United States. It has been found that nearly 74% of customers use it to find information about brands and products, far more than those who look for such details on brand websites (41%). Setting up a Facebook store, called Facebook Shops, is easy and can be done without cost. All that is required is a Facebook business profile.
A Facebook Shop allows businesses to showcase their products in the mobile app and let customers purchase them via Facebook or directly from their website. Additionally, brands can create collections for their store and run targeted ads for people who may be interested in what they offer. They also allow influencers and companies to link products to their posts in the news feed.
Using Shopiroller, businesses can link their Facebook Shop directly to their account, making it easier to manage all their multichannel selling activities and products from one central point.
Instagram is one of the most widely used social commerce platforms in the U.S., with 32.4 million users engaging in online shopping. Thanks to its link to Facebook (Meta), it is easy for Instagram Shopping profiles to be directly linked to a Facebook Shop.
Instagram provides some distinct social commerce functionalities, such as Instagram Checkout, which facilitates in-app acquisitions, shoppable ads, stories, videos, and reels that display merchandise and prompt customers to buy them. Instagram Drops highlight new products or limited-time offers.
Approximately 89 percent of those who use Pinterest are actively seeking product ideas to buy. This makes it an ideal platform for businesses selling clothes, home decor items, or health and fitness wares. Users can easily save their favorite products with Product pins and organize them using the Pinterest Shopping List. Furthermore, it also offers augmented reality tools and tailored product recommendations, making it even more beneficial for businesses. Get to know more advantages of Pinterest for Business.
The social media platform TikTok is gaining tremendous traction, with over 4.6 billion views for videos tagged with the hashtag “#TikTokMadeMeBuyIt.” Brands such as Halara have significantly benefited from this trend, receiving nine thousand monthly visitors despite being less than a year old due to their strategic focus on TikTok.
This platform offers users in-app purchases, live shopping, and multiple shoppable ad types, including Hashtag Challenge Plus Ads, which allow brands to create a hashtag to promote trending items. All of these features provide lucrative opportunities for businesses to monetize on TikTok.
If you’re trying to reach young people, Snapchat is an excellent choice. About three-quarters of the platform’s users are in the 18-24 age bracket, making them ideal targets for your business. Snapchat offers several features that make it easier to sell products: tagged sponsored posts, shoppable ads, and product catalogs, as well as AR-based virtual try-on through their in-app Lenses tool.
Tips for building a successful social commerce strategy
Whether you have your online store or utilize a third-party retailer like Amazon to sell products, social commerce can boost revenue and increase brand recognition. Here are some tips for constructing an effective social commerce strategy:
Choose the right platforms
Rather than generating a presence on every social media platform, focus your efforts on the channels that are more likely to attract your target customers. Analyze the demographics of each channel carefully and choose which is most suitable for your goals.
Choose the right products
Think about whether your products are well suited for social commerce. Using social interaction could be beneficial if you deal in clothing, accessories, technology, housewares, beauty items, or impulse buys that people usually buy immediately. Even if the items you carry require more research before being accepted, it’s still a good idea to utilize social commerce to keep your products at the forefront of customers’ minds.
Yes, social commerce primarily focuses on generating revenue; however, more than a hard-sell approach is needed. Your shoppable ads and other content should have a friendly tone and appear to be coming from someone you know rather than from corporate marketing. After all, the objective of social media is to build relationships. To successfully advertise your brand, be personable and engaging. Let your brand do the selling.
Q: What types of products are well-suited for social commerce?
A: Products such as clothing, accessories, technology, housewares, beauty items, and impulse buys that people usually buy right away are often best suited for social commerce. Even products requiring more research before being accepted can still benefit from social interaction to keep customers aware of them.
Q: What are the advantages of Pinterest for Business?
A: Pinterest for Business offers businesses several benefits, including increased brand awareness and visibility, improved customer engagement, and easy access to analytics. Additionally, it allows businesses to create ads tailored to their target audience and optimize their content for better results, making it even more beneficial for companies.
Q: What features does Snapchat offer to businesses?
A: Snapchat offers several features that make it easier to sell products, including tagged sponsored posts, shoppable ads, and product catalogs, as well as AR-based virtual try-on through their in-app Lenses tool.
Q: What tips should businesses follow when building a social commerce strategy?
A: When constructing an effective social commerce strategy, businesses should choose the right platforms to focus their efforts on; select products that are well-suited for selling online; be authentic in their messaging and advertising; and monitor customer feedback. Additionally, providing incentives for reviews can also help boost sales.
Q: How can Shopiroller help businesses succeed in social commerce?
A: The Shopiroller provides businesses with simple integrations, pre-made social media posts, and more to help them succeed in social commerce. Streamlining the process allows companies to focus on developing customer relationships while increasing sales.
Monitor your social media feed for reactions and comments. Respond promptly when buyers request assistance or more information. Look for ways to provide customers with incentives for posting reviews. Ensure that the customer experience on social media is as attentive and responsive as on any other platform.
With simple integrations, pre-made social media posts, and more, the Shopiroller is designed to help you succeed in social commerce. Get started now!