On one hot sunny day, you open the Google search console, search for “white shirt for summers”, and look at the images and websites that sell this product. A few moments later, you are scrolling through your Instagram feed, to catch up with the day’s activities and news. Somewhere in the middle, you also see ads by brands, featuring a model wearing a white shirt that is ideal for the summer.
You look at these images offering a good deal on the product quality and listing out benefits. You click on the view product tag that takes you swiftly to their webpage, with multiple category listings. Each product discusses the details of the white shirt with pricing, and add to cart option. Since you have navigated from Instagram, your account is created instantly with a simple “sign in with Instagram option. On the next screen with the “buy now” option, and just like that in a few clicks, you will have purchased the white shirt. With that, you again go back to consuming content through Instagram feeds.
Most social media users might have experienced this and have used the omnichannel buying approach for making well-researched and instant decisions. It is most often the place to look for newer and more popular brands. In this blog, you will read about what social commerce is, how is it making brands more visible to users, and how brands are tapping into consumer sentiment for improving their products—creating a 360-degree approach for brands to interact with customers.
So What is a Social Commerce
Social commerce is more than just providing a second stream of revenue, it also helps to improve the brand presence and build a better, stronger connection with users. According to a recent article by Statista, selling through social media has reached about 1 Trillion US dollars in global sales in 2022. The good news is, it is only getting more popular. By 2026, the forecast suggests a 3X increase in social media global sales with respect to today’s market behavior.
Discoverability – A Key Facet
Well, social commerce is growing, there’s no doubt about it. Brands find this place, a perfect fit for reaching a neutral point where consumers and brands can interact with each other, at any given time and from any location. The year 2023 will see a change in trends from social media being used to socialize and as a search engine to discover niche products. Check out how 42Signals can help you with category optimization and analyzing the digital shelf of your products.
So, brands must also strategically implement social search engine techniques by working on the introduction, selecting the niche, tuning hashtags, displaying and creating shoppable content, and collaborating with peers to influencers to get the word out there. These parameters are important, especially with the rise of brands online, you will want to be discovered.
How Different is Social Commerce from eCommerce
Although both these terms can mean the same thing, they are two different concepts used to achieve a common result, sales. In simple terms, eCommerce provides an online shopping experience for checking the products and making the purchase. However, social media commerce implements marketing strategies to reach the direct customer looking to purchase a certain product and redirect them to the website to complete the purchase journey.
In today’s market, with an increase in mobile devices and access to the internet, users are shopping sporadically, with a cart abandonment rate of over 85%. Either, the websites are not mobile-friendly, or the attention span is reduced. Whatever the reason may be, social commerce comes as a handy solution to fix these issues.
Most brands prefer for customers to shop at their comfort and convenience. So instead of redirecting them to the website, users can now shop from the social apps themselves by removing the extra effort and creating a frictionless experience for the customers.
Examples of Social Commerce
It is basically defined as selling and promoting products within the social media space. Here customers can perform product comparisons and directly purchase from the app itself, instead of going to the website. We have a couple of apps dominating the social media space like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Pinterest, which could help you set up your own social commerce strategy.
Sales have doubled on Facebook, ever since the “Shop Now” shopping experience is created in the app. Messenger is used avidly used by brands and bots to interact with customers at each stage of the sales funnel. Here the look and feel of all the brands functioning in this space have a similar layout for uploading products, customizing catalogs, selling from the page directly, managing orders, creating ads for high-rated products, and getting visibility into insights. Here in this space, you can select the top-performing products to easily navigate through the e-shop on Facebook.
More than Facebook, users turn to Instagram to check the brand presence and for product discovery. Maybe the features allow users to tap on images and view the featured product description. Brands can work on creating great aesthetics on the page and provide instant account creations to sell the goods. Brands create a business account and connect them with the Facebook page to provide easy access to the users by participating in brand collaborations and creating ads.
This Chinese-based app brings new skin to the game. This app is the favorite for most users because of the way it is built. It is far more than just a short-form video-sharing app, with features like live streaming, shoppable content, and immense opportunities for influencer marketing by reaching out to millions of new customers.
Benefits of Having a Social Media Presence
A recent study has shown us that there are over 4 billion social media users globally in 2022, and this number will only be growing in the future. Users are starting to get more comfortable with shopping through social media and there is a huge opportunity for brands to thrive in this space and grow their audience exponentially. Customers today show a high level of instant and impulse buying and brands can leverage this purchase behavior, by offering minimal disruption.
Brands also work on creating social proof because shoppers need to trust your brand and get convinced that the purchase will be worth it by going through reviews, product comparisons, and talking to fellow users who can vouch for your services. The proof is usually built by checking out user-generated content like comments, likes, shares, and follower reach. Brands also look at giving away coupons, discounts, and offers to get new customers onboard.