Want to sell more online? Here’s a tip: Be where your customers are. Social commerce takes the convenience of online shopping to new heights by allowing consumers to purchase straight from social media.
It’s an extremely effective way to improve the online shopping experience for your customers while also increasing brand awareness and building a community with your existing fans.
In this article, I’m going to explain what social commerce is and share which trends and best practices you should keep an eye on this year.
Let’s get started.
What Is Social Commerce?
Social commerce is the promotion of companies as well as their products and services using social networking sites like Snapchat, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Customers can buy directly from their favorite social media channels, allowing businesses to market their product catalog and enhance ecommerce sales via Instagram shopping and Facebook shops.
Social commerce takes advantage of social ecommerce trends and aims to interact with consumers through likes, shares, retweets, and snaps. Social commerce presents brands with the opportunity to engage with online shoppers through advertising, offering expert advice on products, as well as customer support.
How Is Social Commerce Changing the Ecommerce Industry?
In the past, ecommerce was primarily conducted on brand websites, and social media was used primarily for advertising and redirecting customers to the website to purchase.
But, recent changes to social media platforms have made it possible for businesses to extend their storefront and sell new products directly to potential customers via shoppable posts and in-app purchases.
According to Statista, global sales conducted through social media topped $992 billion in 2022. By 2026, that number is estimated to skyrocket to $2.9 trillion. It’s clear that social commerce is an effective way to enhance customer experience and grow online sales.
6 Social Commerce Best Practices
Social media evolves fast, so it’s important to stay up to date on social commerce trends that can help you connect with and sell to the social media users within your target demographic. Below I’ve listed some of the trends and best practices to watch for this year:
1. Simplify impulse buying
The primary benefit of social commerce is convenience. Shoppable posts and in-app purchasing mean that consumers can see an item that interests them, click, and purchase products without ever leaving the app.
Where traditional ecommerce might have several steps before reaching the checkout, social commerce encourages users to make purchasing decisions on the fly.
The specific details of creating a point of purchase will depend on which social media platform you’re selling on. Options generally include things like product pins, a shop tab, a shop now button, or a buy button.
Boosted posts are an excellent addition to your social commerce strategy, as they help to drive more customers to your product catalog. Algorithms show ads that link directly to items the user is interested in. Using appropriate hashtags and having a thorough understanding of your target demographic will be helpful in ensuring that the algorithm knows where to send your content.
2. Speak fluent influencer
Influencer marketing allows brands to borrow an audience from a popular social media figure and market directly to their followers. These partnerships might consist of paid posts, livestreams, and user-generated content (UGC). A social media influencer is considered to be someone with more than 100,000 followers, while a micro-influencer might be someone with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers.
45% of Gen Z consumers are motivated to purchase by a brand’s transparency and trustworthiness. Aligning with influencers is an effective way to enhance your brand’s authenticity (and cool factor) and to provide social proof of why consumers should consider purchasing from you.
In 2021, $4 billion was spent in the U.S. on influencer marketing. Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer marketing (and the best platform for accessing millennials), but TikTok and Facebook are close competitors.
3. Start socializing
People are on social media to interact with others. So, your company needs to be social as well. Brands that are interested in benefiting from social commerce should offer customers 24/7 access to customer service through phone or, preferably, chat.
Messenger options increase a buyer’s level of comfort with a potential purchase as they have a salesperson nearby if they have any questions. Creating a social media customer support strategy for your company is crucial to online sales success. Direct messaging is a great place to begin, but connecting in the comments is important as well.
4. Promote and incentivize
In many cases, the social media team plans its promotions separately from the content, marketing, and sales teams. However, you can get more out of social media if you incorporate it with your marketing activities and leverage social media to satisfy your marketing goals.
Social media shopping has to offer the perks of bricks and mortar stores. Offer buyers promotions, sales, loyalty points, and coupon codes. Influencer campaigns are a great place to offer incentives, and livestream demos via live shopping or elsewhere provide another avenue for promotions.
Given that the purpose of social commerce is to be where your customers are, it’s critical to maintain a presence on all the platforms where your target audience spends time. While this sounds time-consuming, it’s actually relatively easy to repurpose content across social channels.
Within the Meta platforms, there are options to post the same content on both your Facebook page and your Instagram. And there are many third-party ecommerce platforms with social media functionality that allow you to post on a variety of other platforms simultaneously. Not only do these tools help you streamline social commerce operations, but they can also provide you with real-time data on how your posts perform.
Get your team on board with marketing planning software to focus on increasing ecommerce rather than team logistics.
6. Be easy to find
Make sure all your social shopping venues have a location finder that targets your brick-and-mortar store (if you have one) and your website. Not every shopper is comfortable with buying something only seen on social media. They may want to find your shop in person or visit your online store.
Take some time to populate your bio section and provide all the information a potential customer might need should they want to explore your brand further in the real world.
Social Commerce Will Continue To Evolve
The social commerce market will continue to change as emerging social media sites grow and older ones evolve to meet user demand. The growth of social media will only keep expanding at this point. It would be a poor business decision to ignore the sales potential in this area.
The mobile ecommerce trends that intertwine with social media are an area of marketing that needs to be highlighted and used to adapt to the constant technology and platform change. You want to maximize these potential links between sellers and buyers through social media.
Stay On Top Of Social Commerce
What do you think is the most promising social commerce platform? How is your ecommerce company using social commerce to drive sales?
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