| 4 min
January 13th, 2022
From the second the government announced that non-essential brick-and-mortars had to close their storefronts to help enforce social distancing at the start of the pandemic, it literally ground businesses to a halt. Due to this, online shopping saw one of the biggest usage increases in its history. As a business owner, you need to make sure to use whatever tools available at hand to their full potential. This leads to some of our biggest social networking platforms like Facebook and Instagram providing tools for businesses to incorporate social commerce.
Social networks have always been key pillars of brand strategies for providing a place to engage in authentic relationships, receive direct feedback from clients and reinforce their brand message. Over the last few years, these networks are now becoming their own self-contained marketplaces for brands to sell, promote and advertise. With this growing ever-popular by the day, social commerce is projected to grow to a $604.5 billion industry in the next seven years. With consumer usage at an increased level, social channels offer a bigger opportunity than ever.
Essentially, social commerce is what happens when savvy marketers and quick-thinking brands come together to take the best aspects of eCommerce and combine it with social media. But how could this impact brands going forward? Read on to find out…
What exactly is social commerce?
Social commerce, also sometimes abbreviated as s-commerce, is an online retail model that incorporates established social networks to drive sales and give users a new avenue to purchase products and services. This new feature in social media platforms allows businesses to provide a more personalised and targeted in-app shopping experience for customers.
When a business provides a quality experience or product and customers are satisfied with your business, social media makes it easy for them to share and recommend your brand. These channels, if marketed and managed properly, therefore play a very important role in your word-of-mouth marketing.
From increasing sales and social engagement to increasing recognition and website traffic, social commerce offers a myriad of business benefits for your brand. Examples of social commerce platforms and social commerce sites include Facebook business retail store pages, Instagram and Pinterest. buy buttons on Twitter and Pinterest.
Though some shops have started to reopen in the real world, many are having to limit the hours and number of people allowed inside at once. These complications have many brands either adding eCommerce as a sales channel for the first time or doubling down on existing digital investments to prepare for an uncertain future.
What are the top social commerce platforms?
Developing a social commerce strategy allows a brand to streamline the online shopping experience and target consumers with products tailored to their specific tastes.
Some social shopping strategies rely specifically on a storefront hosted on a specific social media platform while others can offer a broader shopping experience. This is because social shopping makes for a quick and easy buying process, encouraging urgent purchase decisions in the customer. Making the most out of social commerce can be simple, as long as you’re promoting to the right audiences on the right sites.
With over 70% of shoppers looking to Instagram for product discovery in the last few years and 1 billion active users across the globe, it’s safe to say that this is one of the most promising social commerce platforms on the market. Instagram Shops allows users to buy products featured in your photos and videos from anywhere in the app.
Instagram first released “Shoppable Posts,” which allowed retailers to sell their products through the social platform. Known for its eye-catching photos, stories and videos, Instagram is the ideal space for sharing high-gloss brand imagery. With shoppable posts, brands can tag their products in high-quality photos to drive customers directly to the product page on their website in just one click.
There is one little catch, to get started you will need to set up a Facebook Shop first as your Instagram Shop will be pulling data from your FB catalogue. This will allow you to create shoppable posts and streamline purchases directly from the platform.
Business profiles can create a customisable storefront page that acts as a curated collection of products for sale. To get your Instagram Shop set up, you just need to live in an eligible region and have an Instagram Business account that’s connected to a Facebook page.
If you’re just starting out in social commerce, Facebook could be a good place to begin. In 2021, Facebook had nearly 3.45 billion monthly active users — needless to say, the “OG” platform holds huge potential for brands to reach new audiences and expand globally.
A Facebook Business Page can be utilised to share company news, connect with fans, and show off your branding as well as sell your products. In a 2018 survey, 23% of respondents identified Facebook as the digital channel with the most influence on purchasing decisions compared to other platforms at the time.
Facebook business pages have the option to add a shop feature enabling checkout directly within the page and are fully customisable. When designing your shop you can choose which collections or goods to feature, customise the fonts, images, and colours to suit your brand. Import an existing catalogue of products from your website, or create one from scratch. Your customers will be able to browse, buy, and seek customer support without leaving the platform.
One nice feature of Facebook shops: you can create a test shop to learn more. Here, you can add items, manage orders, and even test out the customer experience.
A newer yet formidable player to the social commerce game, TikTok, has grown quickly, with the number of global users growing to a whopping 1 billion in such a short time. The social platform was originally devoted to short-form mobile videos and has now begun to explore social commerce functionality.
Now users can add links to ecommerce sites from their profiles, create shoppable posts, live stream shopping capabilities and opportunities for influencer marketing, TikTok is a social commerce platform worth noting. With a unique ability to make lesser known users, and brands and creators go viral overnight, TikTok has the ability to introduce your business to millions of new potential customers like no other platform.
Social commerce probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and, when utilised correctly, can be beneficial for your business. Formulate a solid plan with the Brave eCommerce content team today. We will work with you to indicate which social commerce tools will work best for you, locate your target audience and formulate a strategy on how you can monetize these experiences.