Social Commerce: How to Boost Sales Using Social Media

Social Commerce

Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce, social commerce enables consumers to connect with brands, view products, and make purchases directly through social media platforms.

Customers have the option to complete their purchases directly from social media sites, unlike social media marketing. Or, in other instances, the social media platform may include links that take users directly to the product page of the shop, where they may finish their purchase.

The market for social commerce has grown significantly amid ecommerce sales’ consistent increase since 2003, not to mention an ecommerce surge during the COVID-19 pandemic. The US social ecommerce market, according to eMarketer, grew by about 38% to $26.77 billion in 2020 and is predicted to reach $50 billion yearly by 2023.

Ecommerce vs. Social Commerce.

Social commerce and ecommerce are two completely different ideas, even though they may belong to the same category.

Ecommerce, in its simplest form, is the act of making purchases online using a website or branded app that is frequently created on an ecommerce platform like Big Commerce, Shopify, or Amazon. Customers can browse these websites on desktop or mobile devices, but the ecommerce sales funnel frequently appears the same in both circumstances.

Top-of-the-funnel approaches for driving buyers to the online business include digital advertisements, social media posts, and other marketing strategies. The customer must then go through more steps in the purchasing process after arriving at the business, each of which increases the likelihood that they will lose interest and a possible sale.

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Online Store Sales Funnel :Social commerce

Additionally, 86 percent of mobile users abandon their carts, while 92 percent of active users access the internet through mobile devices. Unfortunately, not all e-commerce sites are mobile-friendly.

Social commerce brings the store to the client, meeting them wherever they are, as opposed to sending customers to an internet store. Social commerce eliminates extra processes and streamlines the purchasing process by allowing customers to pay directly through social media platforms. This makes the customer’s experience more frictionless and increases sales for the retailer.

Additionally, social commerce is a very accessible approach to reach a range of consumers because social media platforms are designed to be mobile-friendly.

Conversions From Chatbots

While Facebook and Instagram are at the forefront of social commerce features, other social media platforms like Pinterest, TikTok, and even Snapchat are also enhancing their portfolios. Every platform has a distinct function and draws a certain audience, therefore each one has comparative advantages that influence how it approaches social commerce.

Here, we’ll examine the main characteristics of the top social commerce platforms so you can choose the one that’s best for your company.

1. Instagram.

With 1 billion active users and a 70% product discovery rate, it’s safe to say that Instagram is one of the most promising social commerce platforms available.

Instagram is the perfect platform for showcasing glossy marketing graphics because of its attention-grabbing photos, stories, and videos. So why not put your product front and center and convert that interaction into revenue if your customers are already interacting with your content?

A Facebook business profile, which connects your Facebook Shop to Instagram, is all you need to set up Instagram Shopping. After that, you may upload a product catalogue and start giving each item a product tag. You’ll be able to do this to make posts that can be easily purchased from the platform.

Additionally, product stickers that are included in your story allow Instagram users to make purchases. Instead of adding a shoppable post to your timeline, you can select a picture for your story and click the sticker symbol next to the item you wish to link in the top right corner. The sticker may then be placed where you want it, its colour and size can be changed, and it can be included to your tale.

2. Facebook : Social commerce

With roughly 3.45 billion monthly active users in 2021, it goes without saying that the 17-year-old platform has enormous potential for expanding globally and harnessing new audiences.

Facebook Shops, which were introduced in 2020 during the pandemic, assisted small and medium-sized companies in making the move online and creating shoppable storefronts. Facebook Shops are not only mobile-friendly and cost-free, but they are also completely customizable and let you upload a current product catalogue or create a new one on the website.

Once they’ve found your page and products, Facebook handles the work of personalising the customer experience by showcasing products based on the shopper’s distinct preferences and search history.

The customer has the option of finishing the transaction on the Facebook platform or returning to your e-commerce website. Additionally, you can get in touch with the client via Facebook Messenger if necessary to respond to inquiries and provide assistance.

Additionally, you can interact with current and potential consumers on your Facebook page while promoting new products.

3. TikTok.

TikTok, a more recent participant in the social commerce field, is becoming into much more than just a platform for sharing brief videos. TikTok is a social commerce platform worth noticing now that it offers shoppable posts, livestream shopping features, and potential for influencer marketing.

The statement “TikTok made me buy that” was all too popular even before the company’s TikTok For Business function debuted in 2020. TikTok has the opportunity to introduce your company to millions of new prospective customers thanks to its special capacity to make less well-known users — and now brands — go viral over night.

Many of TikTok’s social commerce features, according to eMarketer, have so far been concentrated on product advertisements that show up as native videos on users’ For You feeds. Users can click the “Shop Now” button located beneath each advertisement to be taken straight to the retailer’s online store where they can finish their purchase.

Recently, though, marketers have had the option to create a shoppable storefront within TikTok by using the Shopping tab. Users of TikTok may now add the Shopping page to their company profiles, allowing them to sync their static product inventory and enable in-app purchases for their clients.

As a result of Big Commerce’s partnership with TikTok, retailers can now link their online store to their TikTok profile, increasing user engagement and spreading the word about their items.

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4. Pinterest : Social commerce

The best thing about Pinterest is that the majority of users are much more interested in the content than the author. When compared to social media sites like Instagram and Facebook, where a user’s or brand’s influence may be more significant, Pinterest enables business owners to spend more of their attention into creating excellent products and less into establishing their own reputations. In actuality, 77% of weekly Pinterest users have found a new business or product.

When it was first introduced in 2010, Pinterest served as a platform to assist users in finding inspiration for all facets of their lives, including home decor, health and wellness, and fashion. However, starting in 2015, Pinterest started giving shoppable pins to a select group of brands, enabling them to add a “Buy” button to their pins. Shortly after, this capability was made more broadly available to other brands.

Using Pinterest for Business, businesses can make Product Pins that let customers save items straight to their personal boards and display the most recent pricing and stock information. Alternatively, if the customer is prepared to buy, they can touch on the Product Pin, which will take them to the product page on the retailer’s website.

The platform also provides analytics and optimization services, such as an Ads Manager, which helps retailers create and evaluate effective campaigns. The Ads Manager helps businesses track results and grow their reach over time by offering suggestions for finding new audiences and retargeting current clients.

Social Commerce Advantages.

Here are some major advantages that can persuade you that social commerce is essential for your company, in case you aren’t yet persuaded.

1. The quantity of potential clients using social media is enormous.

In 2020, there were more than 3.6 billion social media users worldwide, and by 2025, that figure is projected to rise to 4.4 billion. You have a fantastic opportunity to get your items in front of new people and massively expand your audience now that more of these consumers are starting to shop through social media.

Social shopping has enormous potential for drawing customers and boosting revenue, especially among millennials and Gen Xers because of the high rate of impulse purchase. Making it as easy as possible for customers to make purchases straight through their social media platforms with little to no interruption is the key to capitalising on this purchasing behavior.

2. Increased brand awareness and social media presence.

Social commerce gives retailers the ability to combine their social media and e-commerce sites rather than keeping them separate. This is a significant branding opportunity that gives you the chance to spread brand awareness and maintain client attention through daily content.

Influencer marketing is a crucial strategy for increasing brand recognition.

Of course, having a professional athlete, actor, or other famous person endorse their items is the dream of every e-commerce company. Unfortunately, many smaller firms with limited resources cannot afford this choice.

Fortunately, influencer marketing has evolved recently since consumers are increasingly seeking authenticity from micro-influencers whose lifestyles mirror their own rather than big-name celebrities for advice.

According to a 2021 poll of US social media users, influencer posts had the most impact on purchase decisions for 53% of respondents. This proves that consumers seek out trusted businesses, therefore influencer marketing might be a worthwhile investment if you’re searching for strategies to raise brand awareness.

3. You Have Access To Your Intended Audience.

Meeting your clients where they are is the foundation of social commerce. The majority of your clients are probably already using social media. This presents you with the ideal chance to share your brand voice through original content and communicate with current customers in a fresh, more genuine way.

Numerous social media networks also offer analytics features that let you monitor users’ social and purchasing trends over time. You can immediately tailor your content and products to your target audience using this information.

Of course, in order to reach your target audience, you must first identify it. For instance, TikTok might not be the greatest choice for your company if the majority of your consumers are above the age of 30.

Take the time to learn more about your clients’ demographics, determine what they enjoy and dislike, and possibly even speak with them directly to have a deeper understanding of how you can best serve them. Then, use the items and messaging that best serve your audience to reach them.

4. Easy And Convenient Purchasing.

Social commerce assists in streamlining the purchasing process by removing extra steps with features like the buy button and in-app checkout available on numerous platforms. The likelihood that a buyer may lose interest and leave your page increases with each stage in the sales funnel.

However, you can reduce this risk and boost revenues by designing a seamless purchasing process that keeps consumers inside the app throughout their purchase.

For instance, the platform now provides a “Checkout on Instagram” option rather than rerouting an Instagram user from the app and sending them to your e-commerce site. Making it simple for people to find your brand while still enjoying their time on social media allows you to avoid interfering with their scrolling experience.

5. Social Proof Can Be Produced.

The truth about online shopping is that many customers might not immediately trust your brand. Many people might not be completely persuaded until they read customer reviews, compare items, or consult with other customers who can attest to the quality of your offering.

Fortunately, social proof is already present in social commerce. Brands may build a positive feedback loop that entices customers to return by heavily relying on user-generated content like comments, likes, followers, and shares. Customers are more likely to trust your brand if there are more consumers interacting with and promoting your products.

Giving clients incentives to share your information, like coupon codes, discounts, or a contest, is one practical strategy to develop social proof. Alternately, develop a cute hashtag that users can use to interact with your brand’s community and upload images and videos of your products.

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Successful Social Commerce Campaign Examples.

Let’s look at a few merchants who have started successful social commerce initiatives to see some of the top social commerce trends in action. These retailers have been able to increase sales and provide a seamless online buying experience by utilizing social commerce platforms.

1. Skullcandy.

The 12 Moods ad by lifestyle audio company Skullcandy was introduced in 2019. The marketing strategy’s goal was to show how music affects people’s feelings by changing the brand’s subject each month. The campaign featured monthly artist profiles, articles, performances, and limited-edition product launches with themes ranging from “Bold” to “Empowered” to “Rad.”

Skullcandy mostly promoted the campaign on Instagram and YouTube, despite the fact that it was a multichannel effort.

Skullycandy actually deleted everything from its Instagram page and started over to create a full focus on the campaign, hiring 12 influencers per month to assist bring each theme to life.

YouTube Music created a monthly playlist for Skullcandy that was inspired by each month’s distinct “mood,” as music-streaming partners played a significant role in the campaign. Additionally, Skullcandy used its YouTube page to share exclusive interviews and live performances from highlighted athletes and up-and-coming musicians.

2. LARQ.

In 2018, the self-cleaning water company LARQ was established with the goal of providing consumers with sustainable and nutritious drinking water. In collaboration with 1 percent for the Planet, LARQ also contributes a portion of its earnings to organizations that support the environment and supply clean water to people all over the world.

LARQ devised the hashtag #DrinkBrilliantly, which the company promotes throughout its social media platforms, including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, in an effort to build brand awareness and boost interaction. The brand’s vision and purpose are reinforced by adding the motto to practically every product image and video, and LARQ asks its customers to join in on the adventure.

Indeed, if you search for #DrinkBrilliantly, you’ll come across almost 1,000 postings from devoted customers who have utilized the hashtag, likely boosting the brand’s social proof.

3. Excavate.

Burrow is a company with the goal of making buying furniture simple and economical. Burrow makes modular furniture that can be broken up into pieces and relocated with ease, differentiating it from both expensive, low-quality furniture and high-quality, but large, cumbersome furniture.

Burrow wanted to start a campaign that would appeal to upwardly mobile millennials even though the brand already had a leg up due to its design philosophy.

Burrow used its promotion to promote the idea of doing nothing, and where better to do nothing than on a Burrow sofa given that many millennials are busy on social media and constantly on the go?

Therefore, the company centered their advertising campaign around the idea of leisure and featured Instagram images and videos of individuals taking naps in soft recliners and splayed out on couches. These posts, which were identified by the hashtags #MyBurrow and #StayOnTheSofa, went against the grain of hustle culture by urging viewers to unwind.

Burrow’s Instagram profile includes shoppable posts, which let users make purchases right from the app, in addition to Instagram Live videos and highlights.

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Today, these things are routine, but we forget that they were unheard of just a few short decades ago. Social media has opened doors for people to connect with long-lost acquaintances, remain current on global news, and express themselves through creative content online.

Social commerce is the new frontier right now, but it will undoubtedly catch on quickly. Larger, international brands may have initially been the only ones able to afford expensive campaigns, but today, brands of all sizes can experiment with social commerce and use it to expand their businesses.

Ultimately, many of the most successful businesses are the ones with a strong omnichannel strategy — one that weaves together all business channels, online and offline, to create a consistent, engaging customer experience. And one important method to do it is by utilizing social commerce.

With these tangible examples in your back pocket, you’ll be well on your way to implementing a successful social commerce strategy that meets your audience where they’re at and gives them an unforgettable customer experience.