Social commerce is truly on the rise, and it’s easy to see why. Its ability to seamlessly merge social media platforms with e-commerce is a powerful combination that more and more businesses are taking advantage of.
Think of it like an in-app shopping experience — consumers can easily browse products from their favorite brands without having to leave their social media platform. This gives them the convenience and ease of shopping that they crave.
But social commerce isn’t just about making it easier for people to buy stuff — it’s also about changing how marketers view the customer journey. As generations evolve, so do their content consumption habits, and marketers need to be aware of this in order to make sure their approach is up-to-date.
At its core, social commerce is all about creating a personalized experience for customers — one that focuses on their unique buying habits, preferences, and tastes. It’s not enough to simply push out generic content anymore; marketers need to pay attention to what kinds of products their customers are attracted to, how long they’re spending on the website, and what kind of content will keep them engaged.
What is Social Commerce?
Social commerce is the use of social media platforms and technology to facilitate online shopping. It can take many forms, from embedding a shop in a social media platform to running campaigns on social media channels that link directly back to products or services.
What Are The Types of Social Commerce?
There are several types of social commerce, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. These include:
- Social media “shops” – These are platforms like Instagram or Pinterest Shops, which allow customers to browse and purchase products without leaving the platform.
- Social media campaigns – This is where brands run campaigns on social media channels, such as Facebook or Twitter, to promote products or services.
- Social referrals – This is when customers are incentivized to refer friends and family to a shop or product via social media.
- Live shopping experiences – This is where brands create an interactive experience for their customers, allowing them to try on clothes, customize products, or ask questions in real-time.
- Influencer marketing – This is when influencers promote brands and products on their social media channels.
Examples of Social Commerce
One example of successful social commerce is Instagram’s Shop Now feature. This allows brands to tag products in their photos, which makes it easy for customers to click and purchase without ever leaving the app.
Another example is Amazon’s use of sponsored posts on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. These are ads that link back directly to products within Amazon, allowing customers to purchase without needing to leave the platform.
One final example is influencer marketing, which has been used by brands for years now. Influencers promote products or services on their social media channels, often offering discounts or exclusive deals to followers in order to encourage them to buy.
5 Top Social Commerce Platforms
There are a plethora of social commerce platforms available, each offering something unique.
Here are some of the top ones:
Instagram has firmly positioned itself as one of the predominant social media channels with an astounding user base surpassing over one third of global users who use it for photo and video sharing, friendship networking, and making purchases. Its US based followers in 2022 are predicted to amount to a staggering 128.3 million individuals!
Instagram enable you to create an Instagram Shop, which offers customers the ability to shop directly from posts and stories as well as a single destination for browsing products.
Facebook is another social media giant with over two billion users worldwide, making it an ideal platform for brands to reach out to potential customers. It allows you to create your own store page – or ‘Facebook Shop’ – within the platform, as well as using ads and sponsored posts.
Pinterest has a unique user base of mainly women, making it ideal for targeting female customers. It allows brands to create product pins that link back directly to their website or store, as well as running targeted campaigns.
Snapchat has a large, young user base that is perfect for targeting millennials. It allows brands to create ads and sponsored content, as well as using influencers. Snapchat has recently made an addition to their app with the introduction of personalized store pages for users. Now, you can easily create and manage your own shop on Snapchat!
TikTok is the hottest social platform of recent years, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. With over 85 million users devoting 45 minutes each day to this app, they’re collectively spending an incredible $50.4 million annually! This ongoing trend demonstrates that TikTok has become a powerful force in the digital world – one with far-reaching implications for businesses large and small alike.
5 Top Social Commerce Trends
2023 is anticipated to be a revolutionary year in the world of social commerce due to its predicted maturity. This milestone will bring along with it an abundance of new trends, tools and technologies such as AI and VR. As more people flock towards these platforms for their interactive benefits, sales are expected to reach unprecedented heights across all industries worldwide!
As the digital creator economy rapidly expands, many will be turning to social commerce as an effective source of revenue. Meanwhile, brands should keep up with this growing trend by launching dedicated social commerce stores if they want to stay ahead in the competition.
Trends to Watch Out For
- Live Shopping: This trend involves the use of livestreaming platforms such as YouTube and Instagram Live, which enable brands to connect with customers in real-time. It is a great way to showcase products and offer exclusive discounts.
- Social Payments: More and more people are now using social media for making payments due to the convenience and ease of use. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are offering social payment services to facilitate digital transactions.
- Immersive Shopping: The introduction of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will provide an entirely different shopping experience for customers. Brands can use these technologies to create 3D visualizations of products and allow customers to virtually ‘try on’ clothes or furniture.
- Conversational Commerce: This is a form of AI-driven chatbots that are used for customer service, providing personalized recommendations and responding to customer inquiries.
- Voice Technology: This will become increasingly popular as smart speakers and voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Home and Siri become more sophisticated.
The Take Away
Social commerce is set to grow bigger and better in the years ahead, and businesses need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and tools if they want to remain competitive. By leveraging these new platforms, brands can unlock the potential for increased sales and long-term success.
All in all, the future of social commerce looks bright – with more opportunities for businesses to engage customers and drive sales. With the right strategies in place, you can use social media channels to reach broader audiences, boost customer loyalty and increase your profits!