Social commerce is not a buzzword any longer. Brands are trying to make the most of it and if they do not invest in it yet, they soon will. It does not come as a surprise that brands want to invest in social media, since we spend online five years of our lives. And it briefly means five years of being covered with marketing communication. Needless to say that the number is still growing. No matter what we personally think about it, social commerce is a big opportunity for each online store and they see a chance to sparkle, using even more ways of drawing some attention to their offer.
Buying via social media platforms is still something new to customers, but they are getting increasingly more convinced to do so and more often require from brands having an opportunity to buy via socials. During the second quarter of 2019, the average value of online shopping orders via social media platforms was USD 79.01. Of course, this number will continue to grow with the development of social media platforms – and they are fully aware of the money flowing.
What is social commerce and why brands are getting more involved in providing it to their customers? Why, in 2023, you simply can’t ignore this trend? Read on to find out.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce, as the name indicates, is a combination of two terms: social media and e-commerce. As you can guess, it means selling or buying through social media platforms. However, the methods used for social media platforms do vary from each other.
What is the key for all of them – most part or all process of buying can be done through social media. Instagram already knows how to do it. Right now, product stickers are well known, and recently, Instagram has allowed users to buy without closing the app. For now, it is possible for selected brands, but the whole world of e-commerce expects it to be a publicly available option soon. Have you heard about “Shop the Look” on Pinterest? It is also a great example of making the most of social commerce. Is Pinterest a niche platform?
Speaking of… there are a big three of social media platforms: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram. The first one is still in is in the phase of experimenting and adapting shopping methods. Nevertheless, the “Buy now” button works well.
Social commerce on Facebook: examples
When it comes to Facebook, Facebook Store is one of the most effective ways of introducing social commerce and connect your content with sales.
Facebook Store plays a role of a connector between your e-commerce store and your Facebook profile. With such a tab, you can present your products directly on Facebook and redirect your customers to your shop so they can finalize the purchase. While in the past you only had an option to click through link post or on the link in your post, now your audience is a step closer to click “buy now”.
Can shopping be any easier?
Take a look at the Sephora’s example. You can browse their shop directly on Facebook, and Sephora can tag these products in their social media posts.
It is more likely that customers will trust users-generate content than some influencers ones. Do you know that for 90% of consumers authenticity is an important factor in the case of deciding which brands they like and support? Nothing is more authentic than another client or user who is a walking recommendation of a particular product or brand.
Nothing will stop you before combining user-generated content and product tags or links. Make customers feel appreciated and make easier shopping for another. It seems like lots of pros of it. Take a closer look at how Veclaim do it.
Despite the fact that user-generated content is very effective, you can’t avoid working with influencers. It could be very profitable. If your customer sees his favourite celebrity wearing these jeans (your jeans), it’s obvious that he will want to buy the same pair of it. Finding the right influencer is a must, otherwise, it can be a curse. Find the one with clear communication and a great connection with the audience. It will pay off.
How to do it? Some brands come up with dedicated hashtags. It is very popular especially in the fashion and beauty industry, where hashtags reflect not only product, but often an idea of brand ambassadorship or an initiative.
One of the fashion e-commerce giants – Zalando – uses the hashtag #zalandostyle. More examples? Check what is behind #bershkastyle or #mycalvins.
And yes, hashtags work also for Facebook.
Your customers can upload videos or pics of your product with the dedicated hashtag and everybody who follow the hashtag would see how satisfied your customers are with the purchase, what products they use
As you can see, no matter if the brand is high fashion or not hashtags give them some room of manoeuvre. When you create your hashtag you can repost your customers’ posts. Remember about getting permission to do so and getting them to know you repost their post by tagging them. By posting customer’s post you make him feel appreciated and as you know loyal customers will bring more customers. Utilizing Facebook publishing tools can help you get the most out of such routine postings by automating them and reducing your workload. It’s a win-win situation. When other customers see that you upload that kind of content they will shop more actively and create more creative posts, just to get reposted. What is also significant, user-generated content is kind of social proof. Your future customers can see that your products are for “regular people” not only for influencers.
There is nothing more powerful that good picture when it comes to shop. In the case of Instagram Shopping– the biggest power is in the “tap to shop” feature. It is a bit different on Facebook. Of course, you can still put direct links for products in the description. It will work the same way but remember about the quality of pictures.
But there is also one way, very similar to Instagram’s “tap to shop”, to tag your products on Facebook pictures. If you have set up your Facebook store you can tag products from there and then your customer can go straight to checkout. See how Douglas does it?
It makes shopping so easy – nobody has time to look for the product on the website when they have seen it on Instagram. Now it is just one to click to start shopping, few clicks to get it done.
Social commerce: top examples
To take advantage of social commerce you need to know how run it. Here are some examples of social commerce to get some inspiration from.
SEPHORA on INSTAGRAM
Sephora is one of the biggest drugstore store which sells around the world. The main Instagram account of Sephora (which means Sephora in the US) has 19,2 mln followers. It’s a pretty big audience which gives many opportunities. In the picture below you can see a make-up guru NikkieTutorials wearing Snap Shadows by Fenty Beauty. Here is an example of tagging product and also using a celebrity image. Sephora’s follower will think that “If Nikkie could have done such beautiful makeup with Snap Shadows I can do it too. The only thing to do is to buy these shadows.” This is how social commerce works. It is also worth to mention that each country (where Sephora sells) has its Instagram account. They build a community by answering followers comments or giving them a heart/like. It is also a good way to make customers feel appreciated and make some traffic on social media accounts.
DOUGLAS on FACEBOOK
As you can see above, Douglas Polska uses tagging product on Facebook. Customer by one click can go to checkout and finalize the order. Also, take a closer look at the picture. Isn’t look professional and just beautiful? It was uploaded just before New Year’s Eve so products look like straight from the party. Isn’t it encouraging?
SHOPSTYLE on PINTEREST
Except well known “products pins”, there is another functionality on Pinterest that is worth mentioning. ShopStyle is one of the Pinterest users which uses Shop the Look feature. They have created a separate board for the Shop the Look pins. This feature looks different in many regions, but it works exactly the same elsewhere. By clicking on the picture you can go directly to a site where you can see all or a few of the things from the pic and simply finalize your purchase in just a few seconds.
Social commerce: common mistakes
These days everybody knows how to use social media but not everybody knows how to sell there. It is very easy to feel too confident about SM and make mistakes. What are the most common?
- Uninteresting content – of course, you know that social media is all about content. You can’t just create posts with a question as closure and expect that people will be always engaged on the same level. Audience needs some freshness. Providing a content which is valuable means giving your customers a reason to buy products and just be familiar with your brand. Use personal language, interesting and unique pictures, use your own dedicated hashtags. Just be creative to stand out. Some of the best social media management tools have a content discovery feature, so you can discover relevant content and re-post that.
- Not listen to customers feedback – The main rule to follow is to remember that not everything which seems interesting to you will be interesting to others. This is why feedback exists. Use your social media accounts as a part of customer service. Answer comments and tweets, have some interactions with your audience to know what kind of content they want to look at. Create Facebook forms to collect feedback and gain insight into your users.
- Wrong target – it is not that simple to reach your best target. It is a must to define your target audience and also tailor to them your social commerce strategy. Just gather as much information as possible to have a clear picture of your ideal customer. You can use surveys, quizzes analyze your sales figure etc. Do everything to get to know your dreamed target audience.
Chatbots for social commerce
Chatbots are becoming more and more popular. Do you know that 1 in 5 consumers would think of purchasing products or services from a chatbot? Many e-commerce platforms use chatbots right now. It is not a surprise – they make your customer service available 24/7. Hence, it makes social commerce and chatbots a perfect match.
Social commerce is for sure a bright future of selling and buying online. We have hope that after reading the article above you will run the social commerce world with your products. Fingers crossed!