Social commerce is the direct link between social media and eCommerce, by integrating shopable functions into social media apps. This is now a core part of any fully integrated eCommerce strategy, where customers are able to purchase from third parties within the native social media experience.
Technology should be used to create a better customer experience, rather than a more complicated one - leaving cheap tactics like gamification behind, and instead moving to more integrated solutions, focusing on where your customers are, and providing them real value.
23% of shoppers are influenced into purchasing new products by social media, and 84% are likely to check a brands social media pages before committing. Social media is an integral part of any consumer conversion journey, below are some of the main reasons it can be a powerful tool to upscale your eCommerce strategy.
Many people share items with friends and fact check reviews before actually hitting the buy button. Having items integrated into this social experience means sharing with friends, checking against comments and messaging the brand directly becomes even easier. So having the whole customer journey throughout one app, can result in less friction and a faster conversion - as well as an enriched customer experience.
With a plethora of customer data available on social platforms, it's already the prime way to expand your audience, while keeping relevant. Social commerce means you have the chance to put your products in a ready-to-buy format to the specific customer groups that will love them. Which is not something that can be easily achieved with just a simple eCommerce strategy.
The new era of consumers are Millennials and Gen Z. As these generations grow, they will take their habits with them. This includes their social media habits. If you want to stay relevant and appeal to these target demographics then integrating with social is a must. They are used to fast paced experiences and instant gratification - which can all be achieved with social commerce.
So what are the best platforms for social commerce? We’ve broken down the top 6 below.
An obvious one, and one that is mostly likely a part of your marketing suite anyway. Facebook Shops are customizable, which means you can align certain elements with your own brand guidelines. It also can integrate pretty easily with your own eCommerce catalogue making it easy to manage. When customers are ready to convert, they can do so through an in-app checkout option or open a direct chat with your business through messenger.
Related to Facebook, Instagram Shop works in much the same way. It can be managed and accessed through Facebook shop. The added bonus here, as it’s a largely visual medium there are plenty integrations to tag products showcased in your Instagram image posts. Tagging the items with direct, shoppable links makes the customer journey so simple and satisfying, and really enriches the information that you share on each post as well.
Although unlike the above two options, you can’t purchase directly in app. Buyable pins are a growing format and successful tool for businesses. It’s proven that people on Pinterest are primed to buy, so ensuring you have a directly connected presence here to your webshop is a sure fire way to boost conversions, and make it easy for customers to find you. With most pins being “repinned” it also can be a fantastic way to organically grow your audience with minimal effort from your part.
If you’re looking into breaking into the Chinese market, WeChat is the only platform you need to consider. It’s also where social commerce began (and where Facebook copies a lot of their features from). A behemoth of a platform, it’s typically not one that anyone can pick up and run with - but there are plenty of WeChat experts out there who can help you integrate and target the Chinese market directly.
Relatively new to the scene of social media in general, they’ve taken space away from the traditional big runners and proven their worth to brands and users. Now, Tiktok is creating a partnership with Shopify, to better help integrate the platform for Shopify merchants to reach a younger audience. The partnership will include many in-app shopping features, and allow Shopify merchants to create TikTok marketing campaigns directly from the Shopify dashboard. This is not currently available but it’s definitely something worth keeping an eye on if you have a Shopify webshop.
Although not currently available in most regions, if proven successful it will be rolled out. Snapchat is working with brands to create shoppable AI filters that let users try on items like shoes from a far. This is not something that just anyone can dive into and create but for larger campaigns or businesses, it could prove to be a successful tool and an effective marketing strategy with a creative and technologically driven spin.