Social Commerce: An Introduction
So you’re browsing through your feed as usual, and you happen to see an advertisement on Facebook. The ad features a model wearing a bright yellow puffer coat, and without a second thought, you instantly click on the ad. You arrive at a product page, and after browsing through a couple of photos, you check out the item. You experienced a form of social commerce right there and then, and the interesting part is that you may not even be aware of it!
Many people participate in social commerce because it’s a quick and convenient way to purchase products and services. With how ingrained social media is into our daily lives, why not take advantage of it and secure more sales for your business?
This article will discuss the basics of social commerce to help you decide whether it’s a good strategy to implement for your brand.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce is a branch of e-commerce that focuses on buying/selling products on various social media platforms. Customers can make purchases directly from the app, thus simplifying the buying process and boosting brand interactions. Social commerce has grown incredibly over the past few years, with experts predicting that the total sales in the U.S. alone will reach $79.64 billion by 2025.
Now, why should your brand care about social commerce? As we all know, having a strong social media presence is a must for businesses today as it allows for easier brand discovery and engagement. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok come with social commerce functionalities, allowing businesses to leverage their following and do business with their target audience.
Social commerce works similarly to traditional e-commerce in that it incorporates a sales funnel. This time, the buyer goes through fewer hoops for a more streamlined shopping experience. Considering that social media platforms are some of the most mobile-friendly apps, customers will have an easier time accessing your products/services than your website.
Of course, your main website is your bread and butter when generating sales. But when paired with a solid social commerce strategy, you can build stronger customer relationships and make more money with your brand’s offerings.
What are the benefits of social commerce?
As social commerce skyrockets, many brands quickly adopt it as part of their brand development. If you’re interested in trying out social commerce, here are a couple of benefits that you’ll get to experience:
1. Gain access to a huge audience
Each year, the number of active users in the social media space continues to climb, with . As more and more people join platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, the opportunity to make sales also grows. You’re able to present your brand to a bigger audience, and the best part is that you can target a specific demographic to sell your products/services.
Millennials and Gen-Z are known to be impulsive buyers, and the very nature of social commerce is what makes it an attractive option for these generations of shoppers. To truly capture their interest, you want to create compelling ad copy that leads them to your sales funnel and provides them with a smooth shopping experience.
If you want to grow your business, you have to go where the people are. By taking advantage of social commerce, the potential for sales is massive, and what a waste it’ll be if brands fail to capitalize on the increasing success of social media platforms.
2. Foster customer loyalty
When you use social commerce as part of your brand’s strategy, you’re fostering customer loyalty with your target audience. The authenticity and raw communication on social media can help build trust with your customers and maintain your relationships over the long term. Thanks to the simplified shopping experience, you enhance customer satisfaction rates, thus converting regular customers into brand ambassadors.
To further reinforce customer loyalty, your goal should be to create content that caters to your audience’s needs/interests. Focus on writing relevant content and provide value with each post you create. By demonstrating your expertise, people can turn to your products and trust that they will serve their purpose well.
3. Reach more people with influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is on the rise, and more and more brands are starting to collaborate with big-name celebrities to make a splash on the social commerce scene. It’s one way to enrich your content strategy while increasing brand awareness, two factors that can aid in your social commerce approach.
While every brand dreams of collaborating with a household name, not everyone can afford to pay a macro influencer to step up their social commerce. But don’t worry, as micro-influencers are just as effective as big-name celebrities when building brand credibility and trust. It’s all about choosing an influencer that best matches your core audience’s personality, interests, and lifestyles.
When used correctly, influencer marketing can supercharge your social commerce strategy and create a steady revenue stream for your brand. Do your research and collaborate with influencers you believe are the best fit for your company’s voice.
4. Build social proof using content
The truth about e-commerce is that first-time buyers are wary of your brand. Unless you’re one of the most established companies globally, it’s natural for customers to exercise caution when buying products online. They’ll usually look for customer reviews, check for product ratings, or ask other people for feedback.
How to set up social commerce
Setting up social commerce is a quick and straightforward process as most social media platforms support in-app purchases. Let’s look at how you can implement it for your business.
1. Facebook Shops
Facebook has a built-in social commerce tool called Facebook Shops, where businesses can create an online storefront directly on the platform. It’s free to use, and the setup process is pretty straightforward. Go to your Facebook page and find the Shop Page section. Setup your shop details, add products to your catalog, and configure payments.
You can find the full step-by-step process of setting up Facebook Shops through this link.
2. Instagram Shopping
Instagram Shopping works differently compared to Facebook Shops, thanks to the platform’s visual preference. You can get creative with product promotions through posts and stories that contain links to in-app product pages. Content is key to social commerce on Instagram, so start creating quality photos and videos to drive interest in your brand!
You can find the full step-by-step process of setting up Instagram Shopping by clicking this link.
3. Tiktok Shopping
Tiktok has its social commerce solution in the form of Tiktok Shopping. Creators will have a dedicated Shopping tab on their profile where they can add products to their catalog. Customers can browse the products and make purchases directly from the app itself. Tiktok provides brands with a whole suite of marketplace tools to help drive traffic and generate interest in their products.
Like Instagram, Tiktok is a visual platform that relies on engaging content to generate sales. You want to determine your niche and partner with other influencers to put your business on the map. For the full step-by-step setup of TikTok Shopping, click the link here.
While Pinterest doesn’t have a built-in social commerce tool, it has a neat Product Pins feature that functions as shoppable posts. The pins show real-time pricing and availability of the product. Once a user clicks on the pin, they’ll arrive at a landing page where they can purchase the item.
Brands that have a Shopify website can use the Pinterest for Shopify app to add their product catalog to their business page on Pinterest. Click this link to learn how you can connect your Shopify and Pinterest accounts.
It’s no secret that social media has revolutionized the way businesses interact with their customers. If you want to leverage the power of social media platforms and drive sales to your business, you need to implement social commerce as part of your business strategy. The convenience of shopping directly on social media platforms is a huge deal for many consumers as they want a seamless shopping experience.
Explore the different social commerce tools available to discover which ones best fit your brand’s needs and preferences.
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