When you hear “social commerce,” you probably think that it’s referring to social media marketing. Actually, these two concepts are very different. While they both drive users on social media to make a purchase, social media marketing directs your buyers from social media to your ecommerce store to make the purchase. This creates an extra step in the process which can potentially cause shoppers to leave the purchase without completing it. Alternatively, social commerce, allows you to sell your products directly on social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Did you know that by implementing a social commerce solution for your products, you could create a streamlined purchase journey?
As consumers continue to involve social media more and more into their buying habits, the big social media networks are continuing to shift their platforms as well to be more prepared for selling. As an effort to align user experience on their network with consumers’ needs, they are looking for better ways to facilitate sales in creating a great shopping experience directly on the network. This explains why we are beginning to see more “buy now” and “shop now” call to actions throughout our social media feeds.
Social commerce sites owning the space:
Facebook: According to Shopify, close to two-thirds of visits and 85% of the orders come from Facebook. Facebook is giving companies the ability to create an entire “Shop Now” store on the social media platform. With Facebook Messenger integrated, companies could interact more with consumers and improve customer service. Here are some of the options for a Facebook store:
- Upload product images and write product descriptions
- Customizable product catalog
- Sell directly from your Facebook page
- Run Facebook advertisements to promote your store and products
- Get insights to see how you can improve your store and customer experience
Twitter: Twitter has also incorporated the “Buy Now” button. Essentially, you can share and of your products onto Twitter and the post will include the button. You can also use this feature for retargeting campaigns, which would consist of delivering ads to visitors who have been to your website before and didn’t make a purchase. With Twitter, you have the opportunity to link your product with an event-based keyword or a hashtag to make it more trending.
Pinterest: Pinterest has started offering “buyable pins.” According to Shopify, the average value from sales made through their social commerce posts is $50, which is more than any other social media network. Pinterest gives you the chance to be more creative and stand out from the competition by being an original creator. Most pins on Pinterest are reposts, so to be the curator of the piece of content which will be shared is great for brand visibility. If you use Pinterest, you are going to give your product a longer life on social media. This is because Pinterest will show content for about 3.5 months, while Facebook and Twitter are only 90 minutes and 24 minutes respectively.
Instagram: By letting users add their credit card to their profile for a more streamlined checkout process, Instagram has taken big steps to being a leader in social commerce. The app also incorporated a shopping channel within the Explore section so users can go to check out brands that they follow and get inspiration or shop directly in app. In addition, Instagram Stories give users the chance to tap into a product and get more information, or allow brands to link back to their ecommerce site. Commerce has become big on Instagram with about 130 million people already clicking on the shopping tags on a monthly basis (themarketinghelpline).
How can social commerce make a big impact for your brand?
Apart from giving users a better experience with less cart abandonment, here are a few things to have in mind:
- Social media allows for a new way of communication. If consumers are happy with your product and their shopping experience then they will likely share on social media, write reviews, and interact with your account.
- Social media networks already capture insights on user behavior and demographics for you. With this information, you can tailor ads to your audience, as well as improve and personalize user experience based on your consumers’ preferences.
- Social media networks increase the market for your products, showing what you have to offer to people who probably would have never found your online store otherwise.
- 84% of users check a brand’s social media site before making the decision to purchase a product. So if your product is buyable on the social network that they check and they have decided that they already like it, there’s a good chance they will make the purchase right there. This goes back to showing shoppers the right thing at the right time.
- 60% of Instagram users say that they always find products they like via the app. This is as good of a reason as any to starting selling your products directly on the app, more than half of users have already expressed they like the feature.
- With the opportunity to offer additional customer service in a more timely manner, like in Facebook’s case, you have more chances to make your shoppers’ experience better, resolve their problems, and answer customer service questions.
Does Social Commerce Work?
According to AdWeek, industry insiders feel like the technology for social commerce is not quite there yet. Social commerce might work for some brands, but doesn’t always work out for others. Also, users are just starting to learn about these new methods of purchasing through social network, so some people still do not trust the platforms entirely. We can confidently say that social media serves as a place to inspire people and push them towards eventually making a purchase. Although social commerce is still developing, it is a strategy that you could begin adding to your ecommerce digital marketing strategy.
By having a social commerce store, you will be participating the the renowned Amazon one-click concept and implementing it on multiple social media networks. You and your customers will be one step closer to the hassle-free shopping era. At the core of ecommerce, it’s about making it as easy as possible for users to complete their purchase and avoid cart abandonment.
Social commerce its native buying experience will shorten the purchasing funnel, and in turn, giving users an easier path to make the purchase.