Because social platforms allow shoppers to enjoy a more personalized experience, social commerce is taking over the online retail space.
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and WhatsApp have thousands of businesses marketing on their platforms. Many social platforms offer shopping and payment functions, so people can buy products or services without leaving their apps.
What is social commerce, and how can you leverage it for your business success? Let’s dive in.
Social commerce refers to the selling of products directly through social media. In social commerce, the entire buying experience, from initial search to final payment, proceeds on a social media platform.
While somewhat new, social commerce is a rapidly growing portion of eCommerce sales. Experts predict eCommerce sales volume will total $4.2 trillion this year. Though social commerce and eCommerce both denote internet sales; they are actually two separate segments. All social commerce is eCommerce, however, not all eCommerce is social commerce. eCommerce includes transactions made directly from the seller’s website AND transactions made via social media platforms.
Social commerce is an $89.4 billion market today and is expected to grow to over $600 billion in the next seven years. This revenue potential and competitive drive make it a fast-growing industry in its own right.
As a business looking to increase sales, you may find social commerce to be exciting and valuable.
The revenue potential is high, so marketers throughout several industries are looking for ways to leverage its strengths. Moreover, social commerce will offset staff shortages because the network does much of the heavy lifting for you.
Because it streamlines so much of the online shopping experience, social commerce promises a high ROI and conversion rate. Today’s customers enjoy and in fact, expect the fun of interacting with and the ease of purchasing directly from the platform.
In 2022, the most frequently used social platforms are Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. However, only FB, Instagram, and Pinterest allow for social commerce.
Whether you’re looking for information to boost your social media shop or shape your online strategy, social commerce stats allow you to better understand today’s market and develop best practices for drawing in buyers, thus accelerating your sales. Here we share some of the most striking data from Statista, and Insider Intelligence.
The pandemic supercharged social commerce significantly. In 2020, there were nearly 80 million social buyers in the US, a 30% jump from the previous year. Social commerce, in addition to online and mobile commerce, attracted US investment companies at the beginning of the pandemic.
In the US, in 2021, 35.9% of internet users made at least one social commerce purchase. Of that shopping, apparel and accessories are the most likely to be purchased via social media. 8 in 10 ten US businesses anticipate selling on social media within the next three years.
Purchasing your favorite items on social media is a much more interactive experience than typical eCommerce shopping.
Because shoppers can easily chat with their friends about purchases, show off their new items, comment on others’ purchases and images, review comments from savvy shoppers, and interact directly with the brands they love, the experience is more personal and pleasurable.
Social commerce could very well be the next best thing for people who miss the social aspects of in-person shopping and a perfect stand-in for those who can’t go out and about.
Below are the top tips to make the most of your social commerce efforts:
Shoppers expect immediate answers to their questions. When they don’t receive a quick response from you, they will abandon their cart and move on to the competition. Automated customer service provides a constant source of information any day, all day, eliminating the possibility of an abandoned cart.
A chatbot engages with your shoppers right on their preferred channels, converting them to customers, reducing abandoned carts, and providing instant customer service.
AI chatbots integrate your online store with your social media accounts. A chatbot will handle a huge chunk of basic customer support conversations, providing shoppers with quick, straightforward answers. With a chatbot handling those FAQs, you have time to spend with the shoppers who need more involved assistance.
Real-time inventory checks and order tracking are performed by the chatbot while more complex inquiries are passed to your customer support team. Automating the delivery of back-in-stock and price-drop notifications effortlessly keeps the shopper engaged until they are converted into a buyer.
To create a fantastic social commerce experience, your work on the social aspect should be thorough. It’s not about putting up a quick catalog and forgetting about it. You want to engage with your shoppers- answer their questions, provide interesting content that speaks to their desires, offer an authentic look at your brand and its people, etc.
Setting up a chatbot to help your customers with their journey is step one, beyond that, ensure your staff and content connect with them on a more personal level. The same best practices you use to engage your followers on social media are also in play when conducting social commerce.
Moreover, integrate the social platform that aligns with your target audience and their goals. Where are your unique shoppers most likely to engage with you? Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram? Make the decision based on research, then measure and adjust your campaigns, tailoring them in order to maximize results from your chosen platform.
Once you’ve captured your target audience’s interest and attention, make the most of it through strategic planning and listening. By creating a strategy that aligns with your goals, you’ll be able to track your results and ensure your posts, comments, and brand as a whole connect with your ideal customers.
Closely watch your comments and shares, respond as often as possible, and provide customer service when required. Set up social monitoring tools, to alert you to feedback or industry news outside your bubble.
Reviews are crucial. 93% of online shoppers say a review can sway their purchase decision. Ask them to spread the word when they are happy with you or your product.
Whether it’s an automated follow-up email that requests a review or incentives like a contest, discount, or gift to encourage previous customers to provide a good review and share their experience, generating social evidence of your incredible service and offerings is crucial to creating your positive online reputation.
Once you’ve racked up positive reviews, share them on your social feeds in interesting ways. Post user-generated content, host a “Live” with your loyal customers, or make an image carousel showcasing your positive comments. Such tactics will deliver your message straightforwardly and humbly, while avoiding the appearance of bragging.
Take advantage of the valuable data provided by the social media platform itself. Insights from Google or Facebook are essential to putting your products or services in front of the right people. Research the demographics interacting most often and the products, services, or features they’re most excited about. This data enables you to make more strategic, surgical strikes when launching a new ad campaign or promoting your brand.
Social commerce works well for nearly every type of product- dog toys, jewelry, and especially apparel and beauty products. However, luxury products don’t always find the same success.
The inherent risk of purchasing a product online, where the shopper can’t physically hold or interact with the product, proves challenging when selling higher end products.
Shopify’s data show that pricing your products or services at $70 or below is ideal. This price point signals that your products have worth, and start people thinking, “why not?” This price point isn’t too expensive to put people off and is more likely to convert someone new to your brand.
When possible, share products right from your store on your social media accounts. Several apps and tools are made to link up with your online store in order to easily generate sharable content. Enhance your customers’ online shopping experience as you create links to perform effortless tracking and study.
To craft a strong strategy that engages shoppers and intrigues customers across the internet and social platforms, spend the time necessary to build up your brand across all your chosen platforms. This act alone will provide the best chance of success, online or offline.
Once you’ve done the initial leg work, implement the necessary tracking to measure your ROI and gain the insight you need to tailor and refine your campaigns. It’s a good idea to run a test campaign online in concert with your in-store promotions. Track which are successful and why.
The world of retail and ecommerce marketing will continue to evolve with the needs and wants over customers. Check out case studies and tools to help your grow your revenues! Learn more about retail & ecommerce marketing today.