Social commerce is the strategy of selling products directly through social media platforms. It gives merchants the flexibility to leverage the enormous popularity of these channels to drive growth.
Sales generated through social commerce have been growing rapidly. They accounted for $89.4 billion in 2020, a figure that is expected to rise to $604.5 billion by 2027. Clearly, this is an area where eCommerce merchants need to be paying more attention. If you’re unfamiliar with social commerce, read on to learn more about how the concept works and the best ways your business can take advantage of it.
An extremely simple yet highly effective way of turning social media networks into sales channels is through “Buy” buttons. Most of the major platforms including Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram now support this functionality. Once in place, people can click to quickly buy the products on display on your social media stores.
A similar feature to “buy” buttons is what is referred to as shoppable posts and stories. These allow sellers to tag products within social media content. For instance, you can add a picture or video (“story”) to Instagram that contains an assortment of your goods. They can be tagged, allowing people to click on the tag and get presented with info on the name and price. There is then the option of purchasing the items without ever leaving the app.
Social Commerce Apps
There are also a number of third-party plugins, which you can add to your online store to facilitate social commerce. They offer customers a range of different ways to buy your goods through social shopping platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
So now you know what social commerce is and how to use it. Next, we’re going to highlight a number of clear advantages that social commerce can bring to your company.
To Make Shopping More Communal
Social shopping networks turn eCommerce shopping into a much more dynamic and interactive experience than normal. It allows consumers to discuss items with friends, proudly display new purchases, and interact directly with their favorite brands. In short, it makes the entire experience more fun.
It Streamlines the Buying Process
Social commerce allows consumers to go from discovering a product to owning it in a few clicks of a button. Every additional step customers must take before making a purchase is another opportunity for them to abandon their cart. So, by shortening the process, social media commerce can simultaneously reduce shopping cart abandonment rates and boost sales figures.
For Rich & Valuable Customer Data
Since a social commerce business is communal in nature, it facilitates discussion and commentary from customers. This presents a fantastic opportunity to gather data on opinions about your company’s goods and/ or services.
You can even proactively leverage public opinion to inform your product development. An example of this would be asking people to vote on the colors or features of your next product line.
Younger Demographics Prefer to Shop on Social Media
Consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 love to purchase products through social media. Research has shown that 48% of this demographic buy goods in this fashion. If this is your target audience, then it’s vital that social commerce is a key part of your business strategy.
You can Develop Highly Targeted Ads
The high volume of rich data that social commerce offers provides an unparalleled opportunity for targeting your ads. For instance, you can market your kitchen directly to avid cooks. This means you can raise awareness about your goods amongst the people most likely to buy them.
It Helps You to Build Customer Loyalty
Social commerce puts you in direct contact with your customers, so you can fully engage with them. This gives you the opportunity to forge long-lasting relationships. For instance, by responding to customer comments on social media, you’ll build loyalty. Similarly, by quickly addressing problems or issues, you’ll foster more trust in your brand. Ultimately, all of the above will encourage customers to keep coming back for long into the future.
Social Commerce: Facebook
As the most popular social media platform in the world, Facebook offers the advantage of connecting with lots of customers. Facebook shops are highly customizable, allowing you to keep yours aligned with your branding. You can also import your catalog directly from your website. When customers make a purchase, they have the option of doing it in-app, chatting with you via messenger, or visiting your website.
Social Commerce: Instagram
Instagram is an increasingly popular channel for consumers, with 70% of shopping enthusiasts using it to find new products. Your Instagram shop allows your customers to buy any of the goods that you feature in your pictures or videos.
That being said, Instagram shops need to be populated with data from corresponding Facebook stores, so you’ll need to establish that side of things first. You’ll then be able to make a storefront and individual product pages thereafter.
Social Commerce: Pinterest
Strictly speaking, Pinterest doesn’t offer social commerce functionality. This is because the “Product Pins” that you can display in your Pinterest Shop actually send customers to your website. However, given that 85% of Pinterest users have bought items after coming across Pins, it’s certainly advisable to make use of this channel.
Social Commerce: Snapchat
Snapchat launched a closed beta of its Brand Profiles feature in 2020, which allows companies to establish a native store. As this is currently an in-development element of Snapchat, it’s not yet open to all. Regardless of this, brands that are interested should sign up for a business account and then request to be included in the beta.
Engage with Your Customers
The “social” element of social commerce is key. Merchants are given an exciting opportunity to connect with customers for the establishment of loyalty and trust. Answer any queries people have, post valuable content, join discussions, and express your company’s personality.
Strategically Monitor Customers Comments
Social commerce gives you direct access to customer discussions and comments about your brand and products. This allows you to promptly offer advice and assistance to those who want or need it. It also presents you with useful data on people’s opinions on your goods, which can be turned into actionable intelligence to drive product development.
Convince Customers to Give Product Reviews
94% of consumers who read a good review about a company are more likely to pay for their products or services. So, if people are impressed with your brand, encourage them to share their opinion.
There are many ways you can approach this. For instance, you might send an automated email a few days after a product has been delivered or you could offer incentives such as a small discount for people who leave a review.
However, you accomplish it, be sure to display your reviews prominently and creatively since it can do wonders for your conversion rates.
Jenny Boston Boutique on Facebook
Jenny Boston Boutique is a clothes retailer in the US. Every Wednesday evening, the company holds a promotion on Facebook with price reductions exclusive to that channel. Thanks to this strategy, they have experienced massive spikes in sales.
Allbirds on Instagram
As part of its 30th birthday celebrations, Allbirds developed a special edition birthday collection of goods. The catch was that the products were only available through the company’s Instagram store. This generated a feeling of exclusivity and created a huge buzz around the brand.
Jordan on Snapchat
To celebrate the 2018 NBA All-Star game, Jordan sent a “Snapcode” to people within a specific radius of the venue. The code gave them access to an exclusive launch event for the special edition Air Jordan III ‘Tinker’ shoes. This generated a huge amount of interest, leading to a big boost in sales.
Social commerce is an excellent strategy that continues to move from strength to strength. Use it to engage with customers, build brand loyalty, and improve your company’s sales.
If you’re an eCommerce business, this is an area you can’t afford to ignore. As mobile use continues to soar, social commerce is only going to become even more important.
To make sure you don’t miss out, hire social commerce experts. Contact the specialists at Vsourz today, to kick start your social selling campaign.
Contact us today to explore how we can help you achieve digital advantage.