The Secret to the Future Growth of Your Ecommerce Channel: Social Commerce
On average, a person spends over 6 years on social media throughout their life. These are huge numbers that you can use to grow your business. The rise in popularity of social media has led to the emergence of social commerce. It gives brands additional opportunities to increase sales, improve user experience, and optimize marketing funnel. Let’s take a look at how social commerce can help increase your income.
What Is Social Commerce and What Are Its Benefits
Social commerce is the use of social media to trade online. The active development of media commerce has changed the attitude of brands to company profiles on Facebook and Instagram.
Social commerce is not social media marketing. The difference is that in marketing, potential customers are redirected to buy on another platform such as an online store. In media commerce, purchases occur within the platform.
Users sometimes find it difficult to shop on e-commerce sites. A poorly optimized mobile version, a confusing shopping cart, or complicated registration form can scare off a potential client and they will leave in search of an easier site. This is not a problem with social media. The platform itself is responsible for optimizing for smartphones, registration has already been completed, and the shopping cart can generally turn into a “Buy” button in one click.
Benefits of Social Media Commerce:
- 51% of millennials are positive about social media shopping.
- Simplified customer journey from interest to purchase.
- Good coverage of publications through user comments.
- 84% of potential buyers visit a company’s social media page before making a purchase. This increases the chance to sell within the platform.
- Increase in conversion due to good adaptation of applications for mobile devices.
- Advertising offices within the platform for setting up targeting and collecting statistics about subscribers.
- 23% of users buy from a recommendation on social networks.
- Online retailers with social media accounts sell 32% more often than competitors without such profiles.
Trends in Social Commerce. Guide to Their Application
- Social commerce for low-cost products.
The lower the price of a product, the higher the likelihood of an impulse purchase. Why do people come to social platforms? They want to relax and be distracted by vivid content, not waste time studying the pricing of high-value items. These products will not catch attention. Consider this and focus on good, inexpensive products. This will generate additional sales.
Present the product so that the potential customer is resting with you, and does not feel like they are being forced to buy it. Social media is a combination of a low price and a beautiful image. Stick to this rule, and the media store will start to generate a steady and stable income.
- People are ready to share their email address.
To avoid losing potential customers, attract them with an inexpensive product, and save their email address. Make sure they don’t forget about the brand. The user’s address to the e-mail list and periodically remind them what a wonderful inexpensive item they bought. Build confidence in your company and guide from a media commerce customer to a serious high-order buyer.
- Chatbots are at their peak.
Users are impatient and want answers instantly. It doesn’t matter what time it is or what day of the week. The seller should always be in touch. It is difficult to respond to every message and provide 24/7 support. There is a robot that can work for you – a chatbot.
It is quite quick and easy to understand and configure a chatbot. The response from such a small effort will exceed expectations.
There are many sites that can help you set up a chatbot such as MobileMonkey, OmniChat, IBM Watson Assistant, Microsoft Bot Framework, or ManyChat. ManyChat will help you save your time. Create automatic answers to frequently asked questions, collect information about users, and keep statistics on new conversations.
- Users trust the opinion of influencers.
It is popular to advertise on media platforms with celebrities and bloggers with a million audiences. This will not always be good for the brand.
Users are tired of blatant advertising and are increasingly beginning to trust the advice of influencers with an audience of fewer than 35 thousand subscribers. Such bloggers have not yet moved away from the life most people are used to and are experiencing the same problems. Therefore, their word means more than a wealthy celebrity.
Advertising on micro-influencer accounts gets a high engagement rate of 5,3%.
- Videos are the best content.
- 93% of marketers say they’ve found new customers through social media videos.
- 71% of people in 2020 watch videos more than in 2019.
These are numbers after which there should be no doubt about including video content in your brand promotion strategy.
- The value of the content is confirmed by likes.
There are so many advertisements in the modern media space that people have already installed internal spam filters and are very skeptical about new attempts to advertise something to them. A huge benefit of social commerce is round-the-clock interaction with users who like, write comments, and repost for free. The more likes and views a post collects, the more subscribers are willing to pay attention. The best promotion a brand can achieve is from the customers.
Social Commerce Channels and Their Features
There are not many really popular social networks in the world. It is sometimes difficult to know which one is the best to represent the brand. Is it worth creating profiles in each, or is it better to focus on one or the other? To understand what will be more effective for the brand, study the features of each of the social platforms, their advertising prices, and opportunities for conducting social commerce. It is also important to analyze which platform the target audience is using.
Facebook is a powerful platform for media stores. The social network monitors user reactions and prioritizes content. Thanks to a complex algorithm, it is easy to keep the attention of users with relevant posts and ads. This is the first thing advertisers need.
Facebook has a monthly audience of over 2.7 billion people. Imagine what audiences you can reach on this social network. The platform is constantly improving the internal sales system:
- 2007: Facebook launched on-net gifts in February and opened a marketplace in May.
- 2009: The first store launches 1-800-Flowers.com. Big brands are starting to follow them.
- 2014: Facebook launches in-social network sales testing the Buy button.
- 2015: From March, you can share payments via Messenger.
- 2018: Launch of Facebook Marketplace, a platform that now competes with Amazon, Etsy, and Google Shopping.
Facebook social commerce is great for brands that have a strong relationship with their audience and have a large number of active followers. The most active audience on Facebook is people aged 25-34. Telecom brands, restaurants, pharmaceutical companies, finance and education businesses, and automotive/sports brands are best promoted.
Instagram is gaining momentum in media commerce at an incredible rate. Beautiful pictures, multi-million audience, convenient and understandable functionality. It is an ideal combination for effective sales. Instagram is a young platform. The platform follows in the footsteps of Facebook, but is doing it at an incredibly fast pace:
- 2015 – the platform introduces the Shop and Buy button.
- In 2016 – product tags.
- 2017 kicked off with Shopify and BigCommerce integrations.
- In 2018 – the launch of posts after clicking on which the checkout page opens.
On the social network, 68% of users maintain communication with brands. On Facebook, only 32% do this.
Most creative brands already have Instagram pages. Beauty salons, photo studios, coffee shops, art studios, showrooms for designer clothes, and shoes are the main businesses that are chosen as the main platform for Instagram.
Pinterest is an underrated social commerce site. Pinterest has a monthly audience of 442 million. 83% of users have made purchases on the platform. 47% of users visit the platform specifically to make purchases. The social network provides an opportunity to show the best aspects of the brand. Pinterest is a visual platform. Pins with high-quality and original images are gaining the greatest popularity on the platform. Considering that 80% of content on Pinterest repins.
In 2015, the network began its journey to social shopping with the launch of Buyable Pins for selected brands. In March 2016, the site expanded the number of selected brands. In June, a basket was introduced on the platform to add products from several stores at once. Pinterest now has a one-click shopping system. Users do not need to go to the website of the online store to close the deal. Everything is available within the social network. This approach reduces the number of steps that separate a potential customer from a customer who has already made a purchase. Thus, reducing the time to think about the need for this purchase.
Pinterest automatically analyzes the relevance of ads to users. The platform matches the interests of platform visitors to existing offers. The fastest way to share products a brand sells is through Pinterest directories. Set up product pins, add a title, description, availability, and prices. After filling in all the points, proceed to their paid promotion. For effective use of media commerce on the site, join Pinterest Shopping. This will give you access to platform updates and the Store tab. Pinterest social shops are popular with designers, photographers, architects, artists, and creative professions. Pinterest promotes coffee shops, photo studios, beauty salons, and clothing brands.
Twitter tried entering the social commerce market several times, but it did not work out as planned:
2010: Launch of sponsored tweets. The idea turned into paid ads.
2014: The site introduces a Buy button, but does not make a profit from it until 2017.
2017: The social network realizes the meaninglessness of the Buy button and turns it off.
Snapchat is currently testing in-app purchases. Brands already have several ways to leverage the social commerce platform. Snapchat Collection is a block for commercial offers. Collections of goods are shown. Interested users can click on the product they like to get extended information. To run Snapchat ads, use the Creative Library section. Images and videos are uploaded for use in advertising. The app has a dynamic ad option. The app shows users a selection of brand products based on the actions of the social platform visitors themselves.
Examples of Successful Social Commerce Campaigns
Still not sure where to start selling on social media? See how successful brands do it.
To increase user engagement on social media and increase ticket sales, Marvel launched a bot.
The cashier bot appeared in the user’s private messages when they left the hashtag #AvengersSG and sold tickets for the movie Avengers: Infinity War.
This campaign had a 58% conversion rate and 18 times more comments than any other seasonal content. This is not surprising because many people want to receive a message from Marvel.
The brand didn’t stop there. They created a new campaign to sell tickets for the Ant-Man and the Wasp movie. By retargeting to the audience that already participated in the campaign, they increased the conversion to 68%.
What marvel did and what you can do:
- Maintain user interest by introducing a bot.
- Simplify the buying process as much as possible by reducing it to one hashtag.
- Concentrate on loyal followers.
23 minutes. It took that long for the new Air Jordan III “Tinker” ad to sell all the shoes.
How they did it:
- The brand has combined offline and online.
- It was not afraid to concentrate on the expensive shoe segment.
- It only used one social commerce channel, Snapchat.
Nike initially targeted basketball fans and launched a live afterparty campaign for the NBA Allstar game. The essence of the campaign was a mini-quest to find special snap codes.
By scanning such a code, a user was taken to a Snapchat social commerce page with an unreleased Air Jordan.
What’s in Store for Social Commerce
Every year, a new button, tab, or feature appears that integrates social shopping into the media network. This suggests that corporations are serious about the development and full implementation of social stores. Given the pace of development of social commerce, it can be assumed that in the next five years, it will consolidate one of the main positions in the marketing strategy of brands.
The more social networks strengthen the position of social stores, the more impulse purchases will be made. Expect TikTok to enter the global market in the near future. The platform has already started tackling social commerce and advertising issues.
Media commerce is the most popular way to simplify the buying process. The brand gets more customers and has a loyal audience that is growing every day. Despite the benefits of social commerce, it has one big drawback – this strategy is not suitable for selling expensive goods. Social media is about impulsive shopping, not hours of researching product characteristics and reviews. People are not prepared to be too serious on social media.
What if a brand is targeting high-order items? Engage in additional sales. You will find something to share with your subscribers. When they are ready to make a purchase, they will come back to you to spend much more. Social commerce isn’t just about increasing sales. It’s also about attracting new customers and building brand awareness. If you still don’t have a social store, it’s time to start one.