Social ecommerce—also known as social commerce—is the use of social media to sell products online and is part of a trend towards companies using a wider variety of ecommerce platforms in their ecommerce strategies. This ecommerce tactic, along with several other social ecommerce trends, is on the rise for 2021.
In addition to the large number of ecommerce businesses that are already selling directly through social media, there are just as many that stated they were planning on doing so in 2020. This is in addition to the usual channels like Amazon, Shopify, BigCommerce, and others.
With this in mind, there’s no better time than now to review your social ecommerce strategy with the idea of tweaking it for maximum performance. The right adjustments will go a long way in helping you connect with and sell to your target audience on social media. Use these social ecommerce trends as a starting point when considering which adjustments to make.
Don’t Ignore Social Ecommerce Trends
It’s one thing to say that you’re going to sell through social media in 2021, but another thing entirely to implement an effective plan. Even if you had success selling through social media networks in the past, there’s no guarantee that this will continue in the future. That’s why you need to become familiar with the social shopping trends that will drive the industry through the end of the year.
While there’s no shortage of social ecommerce trends to study, here are five that deserve your immediate attention.
1. Importance Of User Generated Content (UGC)
Social media users generate a ton of content that is relevant to brands — questions, comments, reviews, and more. This gives brands and retailers opportunities to interact with and connect with online shoppers and use these interactions to turn customers into advocates.
Tie together user-generated content and the social media world by publicly responding to questions on social media, encouraging customers to write reviews, promoting good reviews, and following up on negative reviews.
While you won’t get every customer to post about your brand and/or their experience on social media, even a small percentage can have a lasting impact.
There are two benefits to user generated content:
It costs you nothing (hooray!)
It carries a high level of trust, as people are more inclined to listen to an impartial party (in this case, an actual customer who has experience with your brand)
Improve the odds of success by giving your audience everything they need to share information on their experience via social media. For example, include a note and discount code with your delivery that asks the recipient to share a review on social media.
2. Increased Use Of Chat Commerce
If you want to reach the top of your industry—and it’s safe to assume that you do—it’s critical to provide high-quality, timely customer service. Without this, customer experience will suffer, which can lead to a decline in business. Live chat, messaging technology, and chatbots can help you reach all (or most) of your customer service-related KPIs.
Here are some of the many benefits to implementing a chat commerce strategy:
Provides the opportunity to speak with potential and new customers while they’re deciding whether or not to place an order
Provides an efficient way to communicate with customers who have questions, such as when their order will arrive or how to return an item
Boosts efficiency and reduces costs within your customer service department
Reaches customers on applications they already use, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat
Chat technology is more than a social ecommerce trend. It’s also a trend that will affect sales teams, marketers, and customer service teams as it continues to grow in popularity for the foreseeable future.
3. Customized Social Media Shopping Experiences
If you go back in time a few years, selling on social media was a challenge. Generally, you’d post information about your brand or new products and hope that people would click through to your website. Those days are gone now that you have the opportunity to build a customized online shopping experience on a variety of social media sites, such as Facebook and Instagram.
For example, a Facebook Shop is not only customizable but it’s simple to build out from scratch. You can get up and running in an hour or less. Adding to this is the compatibility between Facebook and Instagram. This allows you to double your reach without any additional work.
With your website design guiding you, customize your online store to showcase design elements and imagery that match your brand identity. This makes for a memorable shopping and checkout experience, all while helping build your brand.
A customized shopping experience allows you to take your shop directly to social media, as opposed to hoping you can drive traffic through these channels to your ecommerce site. With one less step, your conversion rate may immediately improve.
4. The Continued Rise Of Influencer Marketing
With influencer marketing at the forefront of social media for the last few years, it’s easy to forget that this strategy is still in its infancy.
It’s not a social media marketing strategy that every brand will use, but it has the potential to increase your reach and drive traffic to your ecommerce store. Here’s something to think about: 49 percent of consumers depend on influencer recommendations when shopping online.
There are many benefits to influencer marketing, including:
Aligning your brand with trusted voices and figures in your space
Taking advantage of an influencer’s audience (an audience that trusts them)
Access to specific audience segments and demographics that align with your customer personas based on the reach and niche of the influencers, ranging from micro-influencers to well-known celebrities
Don’t let this marketing strategy intimidate you. Once you connect with the right influencers, you’ll feel better about your ability to take full advantage.
5. Diversifying Social Media Site Usage
When it comes to social media marketing, there’s a fine line between spreading yourself too thin and using just the right number of platforms.
Check out this bar graph:
The monthly active users of a variety of social media networks show the variety in platforms that are available to brands (Source: Statista).
In other words, there are a lot of opportunities out there. You don’t have to pin yourself down.
A growing number of brands are ramping up how many social media sites they use to sell products and connect with their audience. For example, if you’ve already created a Facebook and Instagram Shop, consider the benefits of using TikTok, Snapchat, or Reddit in 2021. These more niche platforms offer more targeted audiences that you can connect with.
Every social media platform has an audience that’s looking for something slightly different. So, if you position yourself accordingly, you’re able to engage with people who are interested in what your brand offers.
Final Thoughts On Social Ecommerce Trends
With so many social networks to choose from—ranging from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter—there’s no reason to ignore social ecommerce or other ecommerce trends any longer.
When it comes to social selling, there’s no shortage of strategies ecommerce brands can use to reach their audience, make more ecommerce sales, and build their brand. Use these five social ecommerce trends to create a detailed social media ecommerce strategy that will put your brand on the path to bigger and better things in 2021!