Social commerce is incredibly important and super straightforward. It’s when brands sell their goods or services on social media instead of relying solely on their stand-alone ecommerce sites. Social commerce also includes when someone clicks a link from social media that brings them to your ecommerce site.
The reason it’s so important to leverage social commerce is because social media is where people spend most of their time online. No matter how many active customers you have on your website, it pales in comparison to the the 1 billion active users on Instagram. Social commerce also entails leveraging artificial intelligence to understand customers’ social behaviours and preferences.
Why It Is So Important To Leverage Social Commerce
As we said, traffic on social media will always exceed the traffic on whichever ecommerce platform you use. Social media sites are also continuing to rapidly evolve in order to sell more products to their users. Think about Facebook 10 years ago when you could only post status updates and pictures. Now compare that to seamless Instagram stories today where you can swipe up to buy a product in just a few clicks.
Social commerce also uses A.I. in a way that ecommerce simply can’t. A popular influencer marketing example of this is when the data shows a potential buyer is influenced by what a certain celebrity says or wears, a company could make an ad for that user with that certain celebrity endorsing the product.
Social commerce also provides customers everything they need to research, compare, and ultimately choose which product they’re going to purchase all on one easy-to-use interface. This allows you as a business owner to follow your customer from channel to channel and discover the most compelling ways to sell to them.
Social commerce is growing. If you’re not using it yet, you’re missing out. The forecasted growth for social commerce sales is a massive 34.8% this year.
The Most Popular Platforms
If you’re going to be taking your business to the next level and leverage social commerce, it’s important to understand which sites are performing the best.
Facebook has the biggest scale based on users and drives a lot of brands to use social commerce on their site. According to a June 2020 survey, 18.3% of US adults bought something on Facebook last year, compared with 11.1% for Instagram.
We see a lot of influencer marketing on Instagram. In fact, Instagram ranked as the top social media marketing platform. Also, in 2019 they launched Instagram Checkout. This is where consumers can checkout directly from the platform when buying a product, which is extremely beneficial for small business owners.
Pinterest performs especially well when products have to do with interior design, fashion, or health and fitness. If you’re in the business of any of those categories we strongly recommend you consider social commerce on Pinterest.
Although new, TikTok has built a robust algorithm that was successful in the Chinese market before it came to the rest of the world. This algorithm can achieve rapid growth of viral content by knowing exactly which of its users to show certain videos too. They also recently added a direct ecommerce feature on the platform, and it has been dominating the influencer market lately alongside Instagram.
Twitter is the least popular social platform when it comes to commerce. Especially after eliminating the buy button back in 2017. However, Twitter is mostly used by brands to engage with their customers rather than sell them stuff directly. It is a great tool to connect directly to your audience and build a community.
How Social Commerce Can Build a Community
Not only does social commerce get you selling on social media sites, but it also helps keep you more active. The more active you are on these sites the larger of a community you can build.
When your items are for sale on these sites it lets your most loyal customers interact directly with them through comments. This is great because their friends will see it as well, and trust them about your product.
2021 Trends To Keep An Eye On
2020 brought lock downs. That meant less person-to-person social interaction and more people looking to social media to find those connections. Although it looks like the end of lockdowns are optimistically in sight, a good chunk of 2021 is going to similar to last year.
As a result of this we can expect to see more competition with other stores focusing on social media sales. We can also expect to see lower prices on social media. The reason for this is because social media isn’t where customers go when they intend to make a purchase. It’s more of an impulsive buy, and lower prices help drive impulsive purchases.
We also believe we’ll see more user-generated content. We’re referring to product reviews, especially by current and inspiring influencers. Working with influencers is also expected to continue. The numbers don’t lie, and as influencers gain more followers companies see that as more and more of a reason to work with them.
Video watch-times have increased dramatically over the last few years. As a result of that we expect to see more targeted ads in short video content. The videos will look more like organic content from the sites as opposed to big productions. In fact, Cisco predicts 82% of created content will be video by next year.
Popular Social Commerce Marketing Strategies
It seems pretty certain that social commerce is going to become a critical part of the future of any brand’s success. However, there are tactics you can start using today that should help you see growth and leverage social commerce.
- Engage with your customers through Facebook Messenger. It’s where people go to chat, so doing it with your business will do wonders in humanizing your brand.
- Invest into in-platform bot checkouts. This allows you to close sales 24/7 through social sites.
- Start your social commerce strategy with low cost products. They do a lot more in impulsive sales than high cost items.
- Choose an integrated platform that lets you manage everything in one spot. This keeps data in one place so your entire team can collaborate in real-time.
Social commerce is the business of the future that you should be starting today. It’s a great way to humanize your brand, build a community, and ultimately make more sales.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. As always, stay tuned for our upcoming blogs on how to better your online business.