Social Commerce: What is it And Should Your Company Care?
Social commerce is what transpires when savvy marketers take the most beneficial of e-commerce and blend it with social media.
This blog column may be titled “What is the definition of social commerce?,” although, maybe it should actually be called “Do you really want to make some cash?”
Social commerce is an $89.4 billion market for now. It’s predicted to grow to $604.5 billion in the following seven years.
If you’re a company with products to sell, this information probably will make you resemble that dollar-sign-eyes-green-tongue emoji.
Interested in how you can get a lump of that change? We’ve you covered. Continue to read for social commerce 101.
What Actually is social commerce?
Social commerce is the act of marketing products directly on social media.
With social commerce, the whole shopping process— from product discovery and inquiry to the check out process — happens right on a social media stage.
With social media commerce, you might see sweet strawberry-print clogs on your own Instagram feed, you then hit “shop now” and make the purchase right there in the Instagram app.
Or, you could see a well-priced umbrella as you are scrolling via your Facebook feed, then click “Buy.” moment your purchase is concluded, you can proceed to use your Facebook as normal by commenting on pics of your friend’s stepsister’s ex-boyfriend’s new baby, without missing a beat.
These are purchasing opportunities (shopportunities!) directly on the social platforms that your viewers uses most. And you should take advantage of them.
Social commerce versus e-commerce
E-commerce relates to a shopping process via a website or a dedicated branded app. While Social commerce, by definition, lets the customer to make their purchase inside their social media activity. Social commerce is not the same as e-commerce.
Social commerce is not social selling. Social selling relates to developing relationships on social media platform in order to increase your sales prospect list. Read more about social selling here.
Why social commerce?
in case you are Not sure if establishing a social media shop is a good idea? Here are 7 reasons social commerce is worth a try.
Social commerce gives shopping a social experience
Shopping on social platforms makes the experience much more really interactive than a regular e-commerce spree.
Customers can simply discuss with their friends on purchases, show off those brand-new hightops, comment on Aunt Jacky’s brand-new“I Love My Niece” t-shirt, evaluate comments from other savvy shampoo customers, and communicate straight with the kombucha brands they admire.
For people who miss the social perspective of a day out at the mall, social commerce could just be the next biggest thing. (Though sadly without an Orange Julius pit stop.)
Social commerce eliminates friction
you see it, you click it, you buy it. Social platform shops eliminate friction from the customer journey, making it simple to follow through from discovery to buying. They’re there. The product’s there. Nowhere else to go but the checkout.
Eventually, every click of the mouse is an occasion for a potential buyer to change their perception. If buyers have to go from your ad to your website, to add the product to a cart, to fill in their credit card info, that’s a lot of processes to lose their attention.
Take those additional steps away and just bring the shopping right to social.
There’s some real money to be made
just Like Shakira’s hips don’t lie, numbers don’t lie too. Experts are predicting that e-sales will exceed $735 billion in the next three years.
If you desire to be in on this action, it better to bring your products to the online places where your customers are now hanging out.
Social commerce gives an immediate focus group
Not only is social commerce speeding up the buying process, but it also offers an unbelievable way to get feedback.
Your inventory of goods is out there in the world for customers to review and talk about together. No crystal ball needed: your clients can just tell you what they don’t like or like.
Why not get your fans to vote and share in on product development and catalogue decisions while they’re there? (How are we feeling about my glow-in-the-dark wolf backpack design? Anyone? Hello?)
On social, you have vivid data about exactly who your buyers are, and the chance to chat with them after through comments or direct message, to render personalized client service.
It’s where the Millennials and Gen Z prefer to shop
If your target demographic is in the 18-to-34 age category, they are already online and expecting to shop from you while they scroll.
48% of U.S. internet users of this age completed a shopping process on social media in 2019. For people in that demographic who have not bought anything on social media yet, 27% have shown interested in giving it a try.
This is the new generation mall. Time to open up shop!
Super-target your top audience
With an unbelievable wealth of client data available on social, you have got an excellent chance to tweak and target your advertising.
Your horse-print robes can be straightly promoted to the flannel-loving equestrians out there. Charming baby-sized sunglasses can be broadcasted right to the feeds of cool fashionable dads.
Social commerce gives the opportunity to get peculiar, ready-to-buy merchandises in front of the distinct people who would cherish them, in a way that conventional e-commerce and marketing cant.
What are the most suitable platforms for social commerce?
For now, only a few of the topmost social media allow social commerce. But as the interest (and income) grows, it’s possible we will see more of these social platform brands combining “shop now” options.
Here are the immediate social commerce platforms available.
You use your Facebook Business Page to distribute news, connect with followers, and show off your attractive new logo. Why not use it to market a few things while you are there? Set up your Facebook Shop and you can just do that.
Facebook Shops can be customizable. Select which collections or merchandise to show, and customize the fonts, images, and the colors to match your brand. Import an existing catalogue of merchandises from your own website, or build one from scratch.
Your Facebook shop can be accessed from your business Facebook Page, your business Instagram profile, your Instagram Shopping ads, or shoppable stories or post.
When it is conversion time, you have got the opportunity for your buyers to do an in-app checkout, or begin a direct Messenger chat with your business page. You may also decide to send them to your website.
One admirable characteristic of Facebook shops: you can build a test shop to learn more. In this place, you can add items, handle orders, and even test the customer experience.
60% of people find new products on Instagram. Your products should be among.
Instagram Shops lets users buy products featured in your photos and videos from anywhere in the app.
One catch: however, you do require to set up a Facebook Shop first (see above). Your Instagram Shop will be extracting data from your FB catalog.
Business profiles can create a customizable storefront page that acts as a curated collection of products for sale. Each product gets its own detail page, featuring pricing, media, and a detailed description.
Instagram’s Shopping Tags allow businesses to tag their products in their Stories or posts. U.S. brands also have the option to highlight products in post captions and bios.
For eligible U.S. businesses and creators, Checkout on Instagram lets customers complete a transaction using Facebook Pay. (Those without Checkout can use other tools that complete the purchase offsite.)
To get your Instagram Shop set up, you just need to live in an eligible region and have an Instagram Business account that’s connected to a Facebook page. You also need to comply with Instagram’s commerce policies and merchant agreement.
It’s also probably worth noting that Instagram Shops can only sell products not services.
Okay, here’s some news you should pin right now: Pinterest does not strictly offer social commerce.
Yes, for business accounts, Pinterest does offer the option to create “Product Pins” (formerly Buyable Pins), which are displayed in your brand’s Pinterest Shop.
But it’s important to note that these are not available to purchase within the app. Clicking on a beautiful vase, and you’ll be sent off of Pinterest to an ecommerce site to complete the sale.
Is Pinterest still a helpful tool for getting your goods out into the world? Absolutely — especially given that 89% of Pinterest users are there for shopping inspiration.
In July 2020, Snapchat announced a closed beta launch of Brand Profiles. One of the profiles’ features? A “Native Store” experience (powered by Shopify) that enables users to browse and purchase right from the app.
They debuted the feature with the help of five official approved influencer accounts — congrats to Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Shay Mitchell, Spencer Pratt, or Bhad Bhabie on this early access!
A few other brands have been approved in the meantime, and it’s likely that this feature will expand to the rest of the non-Kardashian world eventually.
In the meantime, keep an eye on Kylie Cosmetics in the meantime to see how she’s making the most of the app’s “swipe up to shop” capabilities.
Or brush up on your snap cred with the help of our Snapchat for Business strategy guide.
6 tips and tricks for effective social commerce
Your shop is set up. You’re motivated and ready to sell. Here are key tips and tricks to make the most of this brave new digital shop-o-sphere.
Engage with your followers
To create a great social commerce experience, you’ve got to remember the “social” part.
You can’t just toss up your catalog and forget it. Answer questions, offer value and interesting content, be human and authentic, and so on. Set up a chatbot to help people move forward with their shopping journey.
The same best practices that you usually use for engaging your following all apply here.
You’ve got a front-row seat to your audience. Make the most of it.
Keep a close eye on comments and shares on your Shop, and respond or offer customer service when necessary.
Setting up social monitoring across all platforms can be a great way to catch feedback or industry news outside of your own bubble, too.
93% of online shoppers say a review can make or break their decision. If you’ve got a product people are happy with, get them to help spread the word.
Whether it’s an automated follow-up email asking for a review after a product has been delivered, or incentives like a contest to encourage previous customers to weigh in and share their experience, collecting social proof is vital to building a positive reputation online.
Once you’ve got some positive reviews, share them on your social feeds in creative ways, whether that’s posting user-generated content, hosting a Live video with happy customers, or simply creating a carousel of positive comments. There are tons of ways to do this that won’t make you sound like you’re bragging.
Target your reach
Take advantage of the incredible data available to you on social to get your products or Shop in front of the right people.
Remove those moments of friction
The easier you make the purchase process, the more likely someone will be to follow through. So what moments of friction or hesitation can you remove?
Make sure the product description covers all those lingering details. Integrate autofill options into the purchase process. Maybe even set up a chatbot to answer customer FAQs.
Like a Grammy-winning Santana song: the smoother, the better.
Price your products to move
Social commerce offers a great opportunity for lots of different kinds of products — clothing, dog toys, risqué pottery — but luxury products typically aren’t successful here.
Because of the risk associated with buying something unseen, consumers are less likely to splurge on something with a larger price point.
Shopify’s data show that an under $70 price tag is ideal: right in that “why the heck not” sweet spot for many social users.