In most purchasing journeys, there are too many needless steps in the conversion funnel. Each one significantly raises the likelihood that your potential consumers will abandon their purchase and depart your store. The better alternative would be to create a social commerce system that engages people where they are and converts their social media participation into sales.
In this article, we will dig deeper into Social Commerce and its benefits.
What is Social Commerce?
Social commerce is selling products directly through social media networks. Social commerce makes use of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote and sell goods and services. It integrates the entire buying experience into interactive elements within the social media sites. Simply put, it brings e-commerce functionality directly into social media platforms.
The degree to which customers participate in a company’s marketing through retweets, likes, and shares determines the effectiveness of a social commerce effort.
It’s different from social media marketing in that you’re not redirecting consumers to an online store; instead, you’re allowing them to check out from within the network they’re on. Some of the marketing techniques used under social commerce are:
- Inviting users to vote on product design or options
- Providing customized buyer options
- Using big and eye-catching visuals to entice viewers to click
- Using videos to demonstrate the product in use and from various angles
- Encouragement of user-submitted images, comments, and feedback
- Making use of celebrity endorsements for the product line
- Direct access to the checkout or shopping cart
- Offering discounts or incentives to people who post the goods on their social media feeds
Social Commerce vs. e-Commerce
While they share some characteristics, social commerce and e-commerce are not the same. For example, in e-commerce, interactions are managed through corporate websites and other digital platforms such as a unique app. Whereas, social commerce exchanges happen solely on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. E-commerce generally includes multiple phases, lengthening the buyer’s buying process. In the case of social commerce, transactions can be completed in just three or so steps.
Benefits of Social Commerce
Consistent Audience Expansion
Thousands of new people join social networking sites across the world every day with millions of people already using it. According to Statista, Facebook has over a billion active users each month, with thousands of new people joining every hour. One of the most essential factors for any company to consider is how to reach and sell to its intended client base. Companies that employ social commerce have an ever-growing and accessible audience.
Simplifies the Buying Process
The purchasing procedure in conventional e-commerce is comprised of many phases. When a consumer clicks on an ad, they are taken to the company’s website, where they may add goods to their shopping cart. They next enter personal information and credit card information to complete the transaction. In comparison, social commerce often consists of only three easy steps: see, click, and buy. CTAs such as “shop now” or “purchase” may already be included in posts or conversations, and payment can be done using in-app credit.
Improved Search Engine Ranking
Social media engagement leads to more than just direct sales. Social commerce boosts visitors to your website, which in turn influences your ranking in search engine results. Sharing links to your website’s content on social media is an effective strategy to get traffic from social media users. It also enables your audience to interact with a comment, like, or share in order to reach a wider audience.
Customer Retention and Loyalty
Social Commerce not only allows your business to sell and advertise your product/services but also lets you build personal connections with your customers. By using this opportunity to engage with prospects, a company can build and maintain relationships that deepen trust and loyalty. Consumers who are happy/satisfied with your service are more likely to become clients who make repeat purchases. Make sure you treat first-time consumers just as well as repeat shoppers — they’re both extremely essential!
Business Metrics from Social Media
With Social Commerce, you can assess your efforts in every aspect of your business marketing to determine if the outcomes produced a favorable ROI. Starting a campaign that cannot be measured or evaluated is a waste of time and money. The goal you choose should be consistent with the company’s key performance metrics (KPIs).
Platforms that Support Social Commerce
In addition to Marketplace, which allows all users to sell local items, Facebook provides Facebook Shops, which companies may utilize to display their products and services. This tool allows businesses to import catalogs from their websites and is entirely customizable. It also allows them to provide their consumers with a variety of alternatives, such as in-app checkouts, direct chat, and website redirection.
Instagram now includes Shops, which allows company owners to create a shop that showcases their items. They can market their products and services through posts, the explore tab and even stories. Users may then purchase goods in-app and make payments using Facebook Pay.
Snapchat just introduced a new feature called Brand Profiles, which allows users to peruse through items and purchase them in-app. It is powered by Shopify and offers a native shopping experience.
While Pinterest is not officially a social commerce platform, it does allow users to sell items through the Pinterest Shop. Product Pins may be created to display pricing, but customers are sent to their website to complete the transaction.
Tiktok too, is moving into e-commerce. The popular social media app has announced its partnership with e-commerce platform Shopify, as well as a pilot test of TikTok Shopping with select Shopify retailers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada. Shopify merchants can now design, execute, and optimize TikTok marketing campaigns straight from the Shopify dashboard, along with access to new integrations within the TikTok for Business Ads Manager.