People are no longer buying in-store only. Yes, customers want a complete buying experience online. And no, this purchase is not just on a website or marketplace any longer. Social commerce is taking over the e-commerce world, and the speed is mind-boggling! Accenture shares that social commerce is expected to grow to $1.2 trillion by 2025. This figure clearly indicates the potential reach of social commerce and brings opportunities for large and small businesses. It also establishes a good reason for social media marketing investment. Read Social Media Marketing as an Investment-A Boon or Bane
Social Media Has Rapidly Transformed The E-Commerce World
While the world was already active on social media platforms, the two-year pandemic phase changed customer habits. More people migrated to social media for education, entertainment, information, and shopping! There was a shift from offline to online shopping, payments, and banking. Today, your potential customer is shopping on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and the likes. Acting upon impulses to purchase becomes easier when it is at the hit of a Shop Now button.
Look at these stats:
– Statista shares social commerce generated $475 billion in sales in 2020.
– A shopping report states 84% are influenced by Instagram resulting in shopping via the app. More than 50% used Instagram to shop in India in 2019.
– Instagram’s internal data shows that 70% of shoppers search on the platform for their next purchase and discover new products.
Shopping through social media is only set to grow and is leveraging the consumer’s need to buy instantly – as soon as they see an image or a video. Businesses must prepare with the right social media strategy to effectively target this online shopping potential. Here are the top 5 steps to create a winning social media strategy.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce is the concept of shopping on social media. It is the integration of social media and online shopping, where customers buy products directly through social media platforms. Think in-app purchases!
Businesses showcase their products or services directly on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and such through engaging stories, images, and reels. This catches the attention and interest of the consumer and hinges on the desire to purchase. Multiple content marketing pieces on social media further commit the consumer to take a desired action. Influencers sharing their experience with products, user-generated content, customer reviews, and personalized product recommendations all contribute to conversions on social shopping.
Traditional e-commerce, on the other hand, requires multi-channel engagement to nurture leads like email marketing, SMS, and social media ads. All this is to drive traffic to online stores or marketplaces to make a purchase. With social commerce, businesses can create an interactive shopping experience for consumers, build brand advocates, drive repeat purchases, and create a loyal community that trusts their products and services.
Why is Social Commerce The Future Of Online Selling?
The integration of social media and online shopping has put the power of reaching individual customers on a large scale into the hands of brands. Whether you’re a small or large business, your customer can now buy products directly through social media platforms.
Let’s look at how social commerce is taking over e-commerce.
Social Media only continues to grow! Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Tik Tok, Linkedin, and Twitter are already an integral part of our daily lives. But it does not end just there. Social networks like Clubhouse, Discord, and maybe the all-new Blue Sky app are expanding how consumers interact with each other digitally.
Each platform offers brands and entrepreneurs features to take their businesses to a massive market. It gets even better when the customer realizes their neighbour, friend, or colleague is shopping for the same brand. How do they know it? Social media! This vast user base worldwide that engages constantly is why social commerce is a lucrative platform for businesses.
1. Simple, Easy Shopping!
Customers don’t want to jump through hoops and get redirected multiple times to shop. If everything else is instant, why not shopping?
Social commerce allows consumers to shop for products without leaving their social media platforms. They browse, they like, they buy – it is that simple. And it is also one of the key reasons why social commerce has changed e-commerce.
What does this mean for a business? This means any business can showcase its products directly on social media and acquire customers globally! Consumers never have to know which region or production unit the products come from. They get immediate access to products and would rather purchase these without navigating different websites or apps
2. Social Proof is Real!
You’ve definitely heard of FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out? It is a simple concept that plays on the psychological phenomenon – if he/she is doing it, I need to too, or I’m missing out! If they’re at a Thailand beach, we should be there too. If their skin is glowing using certain products or they’re wearing XYZ clothing brand – we need those too.
This is social proofing, where people are more likely to do something if they see others doing it. Social Media platforms are finally just that. People share their lives on these platforms, from what they eat and where they go, to their hobbies and more. This itself offers businesses insight into their target customers, making it easy to create a product-market fit. With social commerce, there is no need to guess. Brands speak to their target customers, address customer problems, offer the right solutions and build a loyal following of customers.
3. Influencer Marketing boosts social commerce
Influencers are a huge and essential part of social media and social commerce. Both macro and micro-influencers have built a significant following through engaging content, advice, and reviews. As social media personalities, customers often turn to them for product recommendations. It stated that 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, and 40% purchase after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram.
Customers trust influencer recommendations. Collaborating with influencers is one of the best ways to succeed in social commerce. Brands today partner with influencers to drive brand awareness, build more followers, and create leads and conversions on the social media platform.
Quick read: How Can Small E-Commerce Brands Work Effectively with Influencers to Drive Sales?
4. Customers love Personalization
“If it’s not on the gram, it didn’t happen!” has become a common phenomenon. Customers share their lives with the social and digital world. Social media platforms are data mines of vital customer details. Businesses can gather data on consumer preferences, buying behaviour, past purchases and experiences, and competition analysis.
This complete understanding of potential customers on the platform is why social commerce is the future of online selling. Now brands can personalize marketing campaigns, make product additions, and cater to a market receptive to buying. Personalization creates a more engaging shopping experience that leads to increased sales. And all this is possible with social commerce using relatively minimal effort.
5. Customer Engagement for social commerce success
Social media platforms are designed to be engaging and interactive. The purpose has always been to bring global people on a common platform. Thus, also making it the perfect place for businesses to engage with their customers.
Social commerce is personal to a point where the brand can talk to individual customers for customer service, support, and feedback. Engaging content, quick business, and query responses prompt the customer to buy and continue to be a repeat customer.This seamless integration of social media and commerce has made shopping a more social and engaging experience for consumers, leading to increased sales for businesses. We’re not asking your businesses to look at online selling with a traditional e-commerce vs. social commerce mindset. Instead, your business must look at social commerce as one more online channel besides marketplaces and D2C websites. Want to set up social commerce for your brand? Talk to the experts from the leading digital marketing agency in Mumbai. Give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.