There are so many different social commerce platforms that making a shortlist of the best can be tricky. You want to to capitalize on the vast user base of social networks and sell products where customers already spend a significant amount of time (social media)—and now need the right tool for your store and team. I've got you covered! In this post, I share from my personal experience managing online stores of all sizes, and share my picks of the best social commerce platforms overall.
What are Social Commerce Platforms?
Social commerce platforms are digital tools that integrate ecommerce with social media, enabling businesses to sell products directly through social networks. These platforms simplify the shopping experience by allowing users to browse, share, and purchase items within the social media environment they frequently use. They offer features like product tagging in posts, in-app checkouts, and social media storefronts.
Taggshop allows ecommerce stores to collect user-generated content and measure the impact of influencer campaigns.
Why I picked Taggshop: Many merchants believe the ROI from influencer marketing is more effective than other methods. Taggshop can help you understand how well your influencer campaign is working by allowing you to benchmark these campaigns against other strategies with a custom link for every influencer. Afterward, Taggshop will automatically monitor the revenue each influencer brings to your ecommerce business.
Taggshop is another user-generated content management platform that will help online merchants drive conversions. When an influencer is finished creating the content, you can tag your products to make the content shoppable. Taggshop allows you to collect content from influencers in over 10 social networks and publish shoppable galleries on various ecommerce website builders, such as Shopify, Magento, and more.
Taggshop Standout Features and Integrations
Features include shoppable Instagram galleries, shoppable user-generated content galleries, visual lookbooks, product page galleries, visual commerce platforms, data analytics, and customer reviews and ratings.
Integrations BigCommerce, Instagram, Magento, PrestaShop, Shopify, Squarespace, TikTok, Weebly, Wix, WooCommerce, and WordPress.
- It can assign multiple tags to products.
- The review portal is user-friendly.
- Excellent customer support.
- The lowest tier limits Instagram feed to 100 products.
- It has limited industry categories.
Bazaarvoice helps ecommerce stores collect various types of user-generated content, such as reviews and ratings, shopper questions and answers, and visual content.
Why I picked Bazaarvoice: The platform works with brands, shoppers, and retailers to help them provide intelligent shopping experiences for customers. Bazaarvoice does this by focusing on user-generated content that can help your online store influence target audiences and develop brand trust. You can also use this content wherever your target audience is - on your website or your social media pages.
Bazaarvoice works for ecommerce stores of any size, searching for a solution to create better connections with target audiences. You can invite relevant customers to try products in exchange for authentic reviews and visual content for you to use and enhance future customer experience. Bazaarvoice uses hundreds of data points to identify your perfect customer and get them to sample your product, and provide the support to enhance your campaign.
Bazaarvoice Standout Features and Integrations
Features include product ratings and reviews, product sampling, questions and answers, data insights, notifications, review translations, worldwide reach, retail syndication, social media management, response management, and social sharing.
Integrations include Annex Cloud, Cerebra, Chatdesk, eStar, iPost, Khoros, Mapp Cloud, PredictSpring, Pure360, Remarkable Commerce, RingCentral Engage, Salesforce, Wonderflow, Yotpo, Zinrelo, and other software options.
- An extensive reviewer community.
- It helps stores understand what customers want.
- It has a user-friendly interface.
- The reporting and insights could be more robust.
- Customer support needs work.
Instagram Shopping is an ideal choice for merchants to visually display products to engage with target audiences.
Why I picked Instagram Shopping: Instagram has always provided visuals to engage with users, and the Instagram Shopping feature allows ecommerce stores to use the platform to visually display products that will engage users who are already using the app. With the introduction of Instagram Shops, you can use the platform to live stream and collaborate with influencers to engage with target audiences and link your products to your website. This social commerce platform is especially useful if customers are already liking, sharing, and engaging with your Instagram content.
Instagram Shopping is an excellent choice for brands that use highly visual assets and want to implement user-generated content strategies. When using Instagram, you can encourage current customers who are using your product to create content and share it with their friends and family. This encourages them to look at your store and products. Your customers can create posts and video reels with a link to your products or website so you can get your online store in front of more people for free.
Instagram Shopping Features and Integrations
Features include shopping tags, custom shops, product collections, guides, product pages, ads with product tags, in-app purchases, influencer post shopping, live shopping, Instagram checkout, and product announcements.
Integrations include Big Cartel, BigCommerce, Ecwid, Later, Shift4Shop, Shopify, Snipcart, Square, Squarespace, Webflow, WebSell, WooCommerce, Zapier, Zoho, and other software options.
- It’s easy to connect with customers.
- Users can easily target audiences.
- The platform has billions of users.
- Setup can be complex.
- Merchants must wait for approval.
WeChat Shop allows users to share ecommerce content to reach international markets.
Why I picked WeChat Shop: If you’re looking to expand into international markets, WeChat can be beneficial, especially when targeting audiences in China. When it comes to live shopping, China dominates the social commerce industry. The country hosts various live shopping days you can capitalize on by sharing content and running ads.
WeChat Shop is also suitable for merchants that want to create custom marketplaces for their products. WeChat provides a mini-program feature to enable online stores to sell products and communicate with buyers through the app. Your customers can also share the products they like with family and friends directly from the platform.
WeChat Shop Standout Features and Integrations
Features include WeChat payments, WeChat login, automatic phone number and address collection, influencer accounts, social sharing, retargeting, offline access, customer service tools, and native coupons.
Integrations include Alliants, Behavox, Blinkfire Analytics, CM.com, Freshdesk, LogiCommerce, Mailbird, Marketo, Rambox, RiverPay, Salesforce, UseResponse, WapiPay, Zendesk, Zoho CRM, and other software options.
- The platform is growing in popularity.
- Users don’t have to register a business in China.
- It’s easy to create a store.
- Stores are difficult to share outside of the platform.
- There are no organic growth capabilities.
Amazon Live enables ecommerce brands to inspire, educate, and entertain customers in real-time, shoppable live streams.
Why I picked Amazon Live: You can use Amazon Live to introduce your products to customers and provide the information they need to make confident purchases. The platform allows you to use live streams to inform potential audiences about product features, benefits, and special offers in an interactive environment via live product demonstrations. While providing product information during a live stream, Amazon Live allows you to place a direct link to your checkout page.
Amazon Live is beneficial for brands that are considering a new approach to social commerce that blends social shopping with influencer marketing. Brands with an influencer network can create live videos showcasing the influencers using their product. You can also give discount coupons to your audiences while they’re viewing your live stream.
Amazon Live Standout Features and Integrations
Features include live chat, product carousels, promo codes, discount codes, notifications, and built-in analytics.
Integrations include Amazon, CastNest, and Degpeg.
- It creates brand engagement.
- Users can sponsor influencer streams.
- Online stores can increase customer relationships.
- There aren’t many integrations available.
CommentSold provides businesses with live selling technology to help provide engaging live video commerce experiences.
Why I picked CommentSold: The platform can help your ecommerce brand engage with your audience in real time with live selling technology. CommentSold allows you to sell products directly to potential customers through Facebook pages, Facebook newsfeeds, shoppable Facebook Watch Parties, Instagram Stories, and other social media platforms. You can use CommentSold to showcase your products, close sales, and enhance business growth.
CommentSold works well for online stores that want to implement a unique method to sell more products. When using CommentSold, you can post images, videos, and live videos, and your audience can comment “sold” to make a purchase. You can also create a branded mobile app to help you engage with customers via push notifications and simplify the shopping and checkout experience.
CommentSold Standout Features and Integrations
Features include inventory optimization, reporting and analytics, retail inventory management, reorder management, multi-channel management, product identification, mobile application development, catalog management, and data synchronization.
Integrations include Avalara, Facebook, Instagram, Klarna, Klaviyo, PayPal, Sezzle, Shopify, Square Card Reader, and Stripe.
- It fully automates processes.
- Excellent customer support.
- It’s easy to use.
- The integration with Shopify needs work.
- It’s only available in the U.S.
Twitter Shopping enables online merchants to provide a space for potential customers to have conversations about a product before buying.
Why I picked Twitter Shopping: Twitter is experimenting with social commerce features to allow brands to turn followers into customers. Twitter Shopping enables you to have live conversations with your audience via the Twitter Spaces feature. This allows you to encourage your target audience to talk about products and buy them.
Twitter Shopping works for merchants that want to put their brand in front of millions of daily users. You can use the platform to share product videos, images, and giveaways, which you can leverage with strategic hashtags and influencer collaborations. Twitter Shopping also allows you to create shoppable videos for live events via the Twitter Live Sopping feature.
Twitter Shopping Standout Features and Integrations
Features include brandable shops, product carousels, live shopping, product drops, and trend discovery.
Integrations include Boss Insights, Brandwatch, Contractbook, Freshdesk, GetResponse, Greenhouse, Improvado, LiveAgent, Mailchimp, Nutshell, Orange Logic, Outgrow, Rambox, Semrush, Zapier, and other software options.
- There are over 200 million daily Twitter users.
- The professional profiles provide enriched data.
- Stores can provide exclusive content to super followers.
- It’s currently in the experimentation phase.
- It doesn’t provide in-app purchasing.
Snapchat Brand Profiles uses augmented reality to allow brands to help customers digitally try on products.
Why I picked Snapchat Brand Profiles: You can use Snapchat Brand Profiles to create catalog-powered augmented reality shopping lenses. This allows you to link your product catalog with an augmented reality lens on the Snapchat platform. The augmented reality lens, or AR Lens, helps your customers virtually try on or view products dynamically. Regardless of the customer, your products will display the same way.
Snapchat Brand Profiles is a better fit for fashion or makeup brands that need a platform that will allow customers to see how the brand’s products will look on them. If the customer is happy with how the product looks on them, they can click the lens, and the platform will send the customer to your product page. You can also run shoppable ads to guarantee a spot in your audience’s feed and show up to 20 products or dynamic ads to re-engage customers who already visited your online store and remind them of the products they were considering but didn’t buy.
Snapchat Brand Profiles Standout Features and Integrations
Features include public stories, AR lenses, saved stories, native stores, subscription carousels, ad accounts, analytics tools, branded filters, story ads, dynamic ads, filters ads, and collection ads.
Integrations include BeProfit, Cerby, Channable, Desktop.com, Driftrock, Fixel, Hyros, Improvado, Loomly, Meltano, OrderMetrics, Skai, wecantrack, Whatagraph, Wicked Reports, and other software options.
- It’s user-friendly.
- Over 170 million daily AR lens users.
- Filters are embedded with store links.
- There’s no in-app checkout.
- Using AR can be complex.
Facebook Shops helps ecommerce merchants get their products in front of relevant audiences.
Why I picked Facebook Shops: The platform is the most popular social media network, with over 2.9 billion monthly active users. The enormous size of Facebook makes it a powerful marketing tool for your online store. When relevant customers see your Facebook Shop page and products, Facebook features products based on people’s unique preferences and search history.
Facebook Shops is suitable for any sized online brand that need a method to increase brand awareness. The platform provides various tools to help your store connect with online shoppers, such as branded storefront tab for selling, tagging, and advertising products. You can also use shoppable Facebook ad campaigns to increase the chances of increasing brand awareness.
Facebook Shops Standout Features and Integrations
Features include messaging tools, customizable storefronts, product catalogs, chatbots, product collections, in-app checkouts, product reviews, and consumer insights.
Integrations include BigCommerce, CedCommerce, Ecwid, Magento, PickyStory, Salesforce, Shopify, Sprout Social, Square, Squarespace, Wix, WooCommerce, Yotpo, Zapier, Zoho, and other software options.
- It’s easy to set up.
- The checkout process is flexible.
- Advertising products is simple.
- Facebook has specific qualification requirements.
- Merchants can’t add features to the app.
YouTube Shopping helps businesses showcase products that they can use to create catalogs using videos.
Why I picked YouTube Shopping: The platform allows ecommerce merchants to create videos and use them to create product catalogs that buyers can use to explore while staying on YouTube. You can use YouTube Shopping to create and upload various video content, such as product demonstrations, how-tos, advice, and user stories, to connect with your target audience. The platform also allows you to promote products on YouTube Shorts, which are short-form videos that audiences find more engaging.
YouTube Shopping is suitable for merchants who want to partner with creators and influencers to help them promote their products. The YouTube platform is the top platform for a new generation of online influencers who build trust and authority with their audience. You can capitalize on this by collaborating with influencers who can provide product recommendations to your target audience and embed direct links to your product page.
YouTube Shopping Standout Features and Integrations
Features include revenue analytics, tagged product pictures, traffic analytics, shoppable advertisements, live shopping, channel stores, pinned products in live chat, products in video’s end screens, and livestream shopping.
Integrations include a connection with Shopify that will enable users to effectively manage and fulfill product orders.
- Simple integration with Shopify.
- Exponential audience growth.
- It increases customer retention.
- No feedback section.
- Users can’t add similar product recommendations.
Other Types of Commerce Software
Social commerce is growing in popularity, as many buyers don’t want to leave Instagram or TikTok just to make a purchase. You shouldn’t neglect other commerce opportunities, though, and here are some examples of tools that can help you. You can start with the overall best Best Ecommerce Platforms, which contain a little bit of everything ranked in an ultimate list.
- Ecommerce Platforms
- Ecommerce Website Builders
- B2B Ecommerce Platforms
- Subscription Ecommerce Platforms
- Hosted Ecommerce Platforms
- SaaS Ecommerce Platforms
- Live Shopping Platforms
- International Ecommerce Platforms
- Ecommerce Platforms In Canada
How I Selected the Best Social Commerce Platforms
Perhaps you're wondering how I selected the best social commerce platforms for this list? To build this top 10 list, I evaluated and compared a wide range of social commerce platforms with positive user ratings.
After determining my long list of top choices, I further honed my list by using the selection criteria below to see how each platform stacked up against the next one. I also drew on my years of ecommerce experience to pinpoint the features that add a lot of value.
Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best social commerce platforms for this article:
No matter your online store’s size, the functionality of social commerce platforms will drive a significant number of sales to your business. Here are some of the core functionality of social commerce tools.
- Ability to directly embed an online store within a social media profile
- Ability to setup shoppable posts for customers to browse and shop directly from a brand’s social media posts across multiple social channels
Ecommerce’s constant evolution continues to change how customers interact with brands and products. Unlike more traditional online shopping, new features on social media networks work to create community-based experiences. Here are some of the key features of social commerce that you should find with many platforms.
- Customer Feedback: With popular social networks, customers should be able to share their experiences with products and leave a star rating and written reviews that everyone can see and allow others who are interested in the product to filter out.
- User-Generated Video Content: Brief videos created by real customers can provide credibility and trust while creating a significant amount of buzz about the product and brand.
- Product Links: Social media posts should allow brands to tag links to their products in their videos or images of the product that will help the customer navigate to the payment details and finalize the purchase.
- Embedded Chat: The largest social commerce platforms should allow brands to incorporate some form of group chat during live shopping streams where customers can speak with other shoppers and share their thoughts about a product.
- Pick Lists: This is a form of user-curated shopping where customers can create and share product lists with an audience, who will then be able to shop from the list.
- Instant Checkout: Connect multiple payment options and simplify the checkout process to allow shoppers to browse and purchase from their preferred social media channel.
The social commerce platform you choose to work with should connect with the systems you’re currently using to manage store operations. For example, if you’re using a website builder platform, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce, the social commerce site you’re using should connect with it to ensure it shows the same products, prices, and details that are on your online store. Connecting your social commerce platform to your current systems and third-party apps will allow you to retrieve, add, delete, update, and synchronize vital store data between all of your tools.
Many of the social commerce platforms in this list are available for free when it comes to setting up your basic storefront. Then, they charge a "commission" per sale made on their platform, ranging from 2-3%/transaction. Some services require a monthly fee on top of that, just for using their platform to sell. You can expect to pay $15-90/month for that. You may choose to pay more so that a single platform manages all your social shops (across Instagram, TikTik, YouTube, and so on) or stick to a cheaper, platform-specific plan if your audience is mainly on one channel.
What is the easiest social commerce platform to use?
Most people find single-platform stores on static-image platforms easiest to use. For example, Instagram Shop and Pinterest Rich Pins. For both, they make desplaying static images easy (no need to create multi-media posts) and let you embed a “Buy” button right into the post, which will take people to your online store to continue shopping. Some will even let users buy directly from the post itself without having to move over to an ecommerce website. This makes it simple for both the store owner and the customer.
What are the benefits of social commerce platforms?
Social commerce can open a significant amount of opportunity for an ecommerce store. As social networks continue to work on capitalizing on in-platform sales, there are several reasons why ecommerce brands should sell products on social commerce platforms.
- It Grows Brand Awareness: 71% of people say social media inspires them to shop even when they’re not looking to buy anything. No matter how great your marketing strategy is, social commerce platforms can help increase brand awareness, tell your story, and make your online store an option when potential customers are looking for products.
- It’s Where Your Customers Are: Almost every audience is on at least one social media network. By taking advantage of social commerce, you’re putting your online store where they are and interacting with them.
- It Removes Friction: Providing access to your products on social media networks removes any friction that you would normally find in the customer journey, which makes it easier for them to follow through from discovery to purchase. Every mouse click or phone tap is an opportunity for potential customers to change their minds – going from an ad to your website, to adding the product to a cart, to providing payment info can cause them to lose attention.
- It Optimizes SEO: Having people interact with your store online via social media networks can increase website traffic, and with more visibility, the higher your site will rank on search engine results. Using social commerce platforms will help you share relevant, consistent content that acts as an accessible purchase channel, which results in maximizing overall ranking and unveiling your brand to new customers.
- It Provides Customer Insight: Selling products on social media can help brands gain valuable customer insight from people who have made purchases or provided some of their information. The social platform can give you a plethora of analytics that can provide insights into who customers are, their interests, and how to get your store in front of them.
Is there a difference between ecommerce and social commerce?
While ecommerce and social commerce might fall under the same umbrella, they’re significantly different concepts. Ecommerce consists of online transactions through an online store, ecommerce site, or mobile application. Typically, ecommerce customers don’t directly choose the products; they select them based on the photos and information the seller provides.
Social commerce encompasses purchases customers make only through social media networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Simply put, social commerce uses social media platforms to complete ecommerce transactions.
Using Social Commerce Platforms to Build an Ecommerce Brand
Investing in the right social commerce platforms will help you grow your ecommerce business. These social networks can connect targeted social users to your online store and build relevant communities. When starting with social commerce, remember to focus on audience demographics, products, and in-house expertise before launching your strategy, and only consider a handful of channels.
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