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Home > Industry Insights > What Is Social Commerce And Why Should Your E-commerce Business Care?
At a glance:
- Social Commerce - What Does It Mean?
- How Is Social Commerce Different Than E-Commerce?
- Why Exactly Should Businesses Care About Social Commerce?
- Which Businesses Should Opt For Social Commerce?
- Which Are The Leading Social Commerce Platforms?
- Guidelines For Crafting An Effective Social Commerce Strategy
Remember the time when E-commerce came into being and accelerated the rise of online markets substantially? The concept of advertising products through a website where clients can purchase and have their orders shipped at home left everyone amazed. Now there is something equally impactive for e-commerce businesses in the online space - social commerce! Read on to learn what social commerce is all about and how to make it work in favour of your business.
Social commerce may seem identical to Ecommerce as both involve the buying and selling of goods online. However, social commerce lets buyers purchase products directly from a business, within the social media platform itself. This eliminates the drop-off points involved in Ecommerce that can lead to abandoned transactions in the process of directing the user from the social media platform to their website. In social commerce, users can simply tap on a paid advertisement or visit the brand's online shop on its social media profile through a 'View Shop' option, complete their desired purchase and continue browsing on their social media platform. In short, social shopping shortens the buyer's journey and boosts sales for online businesses.
It amplifies brand reach: Merging social media and e-commerce through social commerce is a great branding opportunity because it helps create brand awareness and stay top-of-mind of customers through daily content.
It is where the audience loves to shop: Research claims that 75% of consumers say they use social media as part of their purchase decision process and businesses who use social commerce see an average increase of 20% per year in sales.
It helps develop trust in a brand: Social media serves as a wonderful place to share things, express, communicate and build good relationships. By providing product information, solutions, and support through social commerce, you can build a strong community for your brand and cultivate valuable connections with prospects and existing clients alike.
It ensures a convenient, frictionless buying experience: With just a few clicks, consumers can find and buy products on a social platform. They don’t even have to leave the platform to complete the purchase. Offering such a seamless shopping experience holds tremendous value when it comes to optimizing the user journey and maximizing sales.
It optimizes re-marketing endeavours: Moreover, in case a prospective customer doesn't complete a purchase, you have still made an impression that you can nurture and turn into conversion through your other remarketing campaigns.
It helps understand consumer buying behaviour: Last but not the least, it allows you to generate social proof as well as learn about your customer preferences, monitor how they interact with your brand and specific product categories socially and thereby estimate future trends for your business.
Clearly, social shopping has excellent potential & value in terms of online business and e-commerce. It should not come as a surprise that by 2025, sales generated via social networking channels throughout the world have been predicted to become thrice the numbers that they are now. For this reason, nearly 50 percent of businesses intend to expand their social commerce investment this year.
To learn about the top 5 digital marketing tips to foster customer acquisition, read this.
All product-based businesses regardless of their size can benefit from opting for social commerce. In essence, it is about helping customers make quicker and easier purchases, thereby boosting sales. However, social commerce can prove to be highly profitable especially to small businesses with limited budgets as it is more affordable than traditional forms of advertising and holds the potential to provide exceptional reach. Lastly, remember that regardless of which type of business you run and what your product offerings are, marketing efforts on social media work best when integrated into an overall eCommerce strategy.
1. Facebook: Facebook has a community of over 2 billion monthly active users. It has become a powerful social commerce platform that allows brands to reach customers in real-time and drive product discovery, engagement and ultimately sales. Many customers are using Facebook as an alternative to search engines and other online sources to find information about products.
As reported by major retailers, brand pages on Facebook can generate up to 10% or more of total online sales. This is not surprising given that the average Facebook user spends 33 minutes per day on the platform. You can create an eCommerce store using Facebook's "shop" feature. You can also install the Pixel plugin on your website and advertise your products to people who've visited your site.
2. Instagram: Instagram is a wildly popular photo-sharing app. Its users are highly engaged, and the platform's visual format offers exciting potential for advertisers. In fact, a study found that Instagram users are 2.5 times more likely to click on ads in their feed than those on Facebook. No wonder many businesses are eager to use Instagram as part of their social commerce strategy.
For example, fashion businesses can show off new products and encourage shoppers to engage with them by tagging photos they post. Businesses can also encourage engagement by posting exclusive sales or discounts that users can access by clicking a link in the bio section of the profile. This approach is not just limited to fashion brands—food and beverage companies, home furnishing stores, and other types of businesses can also find ways to use Instagram's visual focus to show off their products and drive sales.
3. TikTok: This famous video-sharing social network is anticipated to have 48.8 million users in the US alone by 2025, leaving behind the predicted 48.2 million user count of Instagram. Moreover, TikTok users aren't simply browsing videos for fun and entertainment. As per TikTok, 39% of their users have found an item or brand on the platform they had barely any familiarity with previously. Nearly 50% of TikTok users have bought something that they came across on the platform.
TikTok's journey into the realm of social commerce began when it joined hands with Shopify to facilitate shopping within the app. Merchants can now create a TikTok For Business profile and build a digital store through it using shopping tabs. That way, potential clients can easily browse products without leaving the app.
4. Pinterest: Pinterest is both a search engine and a social networking platform. People use it for creating mood boards, pinning favourite travel destinations, and of course, finding new products. Over 400 million active users currently research products and discover ideas on the platform every month. Besides that, 97% of searches conducted on Pinterest are unbranded and 89% of Pinterest users are effectively looking for buying inspirations. Whenever traders add their inventory listings to Pinterest, they can reach potential clients who don't know about their products yet.
The setup can be a bit complicated technically but Pinterest Product Pins can help you be in the limelight for buyers prepared to make a purchase. Brands utilizing Shopify can check out the Pinterest for Shopify application to upload & organize their product list to their Pinterest profile. In the event that you're utilizing an eCommerce platform, you can still benefit from Pinterest Product Pins by using Schema.org, Facebook Open Graph, or oEmbed to mark up your products page manually.
5. Snapchat: Snapchat has more than 293 million daily active users across the globe out of which 67.58% of its daily active users are based outside of North America. It has gained popularity in the world of social commerce due to its creative features such as filters, lenses, and geofilters that make it easy for users to create engaging content.
Snapchat also features shopping channels that lead users to sites where they can browse and purchase items. The app even allows users to scan barcodes and search for products directly from their pages. Still, the most innovative feature of Snapchat is its "Snapcodes," which are unique QR codes that can be scanned by other users. These codes can be found on billboards, in magazines, and more. The Snapcodes lead users to different websites or content pages within the app itself.
In the process, be sure that your business does not make these social media mistakes!
Survey your existing customer base to determine their preference for social channels, in addition to the sites and kind of content that they want to see most. By figuring out where your audience likes to be active, you can focus your marketing endeavours on those channels. Doing so will ensure that your efforts don’t go in vain and help you reach out to your prospective customers in a cost-effective manner.
2. Engage With Your Followers -
Next, learn which content format works best for your business and capitalize on that to engage with your audience. At the moment, video formats outperform all others for most social media channels. Almost 64% of buyers prefer watching videos first of the product that they want to buy. Get as creative as possible. Think launches, teasers, tutorials, demos, tips, and more.
Behind-the-scenes content and giving the audience a peek into how your products are made, sourced, and packaged is also well-appreciated and helps tremendously in establishing trust in the brand.
Learn about the top video marketing metrics that matter for your business here.
3. Encourage Reviews -
There are many ways to encourage reviews one of which is user-generated content (UGC). UGC gives an opportunity to showcase their loyal customers in action, using the brand's products and it works wonders! Another effective way to encourage reviews is through influencer marketing. Influencers have a large following and they're able to give their thoughts on a product in front of a wide audience, which then entices other users to also review a product.
To read an extensive guide on influencer outreach, click here.
4. Streamline The Overall Experience -
Last but not the least, be sure to streamline the overall experience for your customers. One of the most effective ways to do this is to provide exceptional customer service and this can be done best by investing in an AI chatbot so that customers. Research suggests that more than 45% of businesses today have already implemented bots as a part of their marketing efforts. By doing so, customers can receive instant responses to their queries and advance on their customer journey without any delay, thereby leading to quicker conversions.
Need help with tweaking your existing social media strategy for social commerce effectively? Reach out to us at Parkyd Digital today! We are a B2B digital marketing agency focused on delivering cost-effective, innovative, strategic solutions that align with your sales and marketing goals. You can get in touch with us here.
We are a B2B digital marketing agency focused on delivering innovative, strategic and cost-effective solutions that align with your sales and marketing goals. Through an ROI-driven approach, proven data-driven techniques and over a decade of experience, we help you generate high-quality leads, optimize your conversion rate and build customer loyalty.