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Social Commerce: A New Look Into E-Commerce Practices
E-commerce flourished as a monarch in the digital marketing world for over a decade. Several startups and enterprises have emerged. However, new avenues are quick to challenge this entity at lightning speed. Social commerce is sure to make some pertinent advancements in the coming years.
Statistics show that there are 4.9 billion social media users in 2023. This staggering rise in numbers makes a rightful premonition that social commerce will dominate the digital scene soon.
Let us get a better idea about social commerce and how it affects e-commerce practices.
What is Social Commerce?
This is the technique to buy and sell products on social media platforms. Social media’s deliverance has changed since its inception. These online platforms are toppling traditional roles and evolving to support e-commerce businesses.
Social media platforms are reformed to provide a user-friendly digital infrastructure. From easily discovering products to a smooth checkout process, everything is streamlined. Tracing customer journeys is now easier. Now customers can complete the entire purchasing process without leaving their preferred site or app.
The specific tools that are available on social media platforms enable retailers to advertise and sell their products efficiently. Some of the social media platforms that have set their foot in the business are – Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram. These platforms enable users to create storefronts within the apps. People can now easily navigate these storefronts to discover new products, check their prices, and talk to sellers.
Social commerce vs. E-commerce
E-commerce broadly involves the purchase and sale of products or services online. You can sell through different digital channels like websites, online marketplaces, and retailer apps.
Social commerce involves selling via social media channels alone. As social media channels are online platforms, it naturally becomes part of e-commerce. However, e-commerce is not applicable without social media.
5 Benefits of Social Commerce for Businesses
Connect With a Wider Audience
Social media usage is rapidly increasing. Social media platforms are the hub where consumers can discover new businesses and brands.
As per a study done in 2022 by Sprout Social, 40 per cent of site visitors discover the products they needed through the brand’s organic postings. Users research different brand profiles on social media platforms or navigate a friend’s or influencer’s post to find new products.
Leveraging social media platforms to showcase your products or services to a massive audience is a thoughtful step. This could transform more people into loyal customers.
Avoid Juggling Customers on Different Platforms
You can save the customer’s problems of hopping through apps to buy their favorite products. Social commerce allows navigation, discovery, comparison, reviewing, purchasing, and customer support all in one place. Users can buy products without switching apps.
Shifting between apps can distract a customer. It can give them a chance to wander away to different options. Grab your customer’s attention while you have them. You can easily do this by employing e-commerce strategies in your social commerce business model.
Boost Your Brand Image Using Social Proof
Explore different social media platforms if you are joining as an E-commerce seller. This is an excellent place to establish social proof. Online shopping does not allow users to touch the fabric or try out costumes before purchasing. Product reviews are elementary to inform other buyers about product quality.
Maintaining an end-to-end customer journey on social media channels can create a chain of positive feedback. Social messages and posts you publish on your social media platforms attract more visitors to your site. You will find more customers smoothly trickling down your conversion funnel.
Social commerce platforms create an organized and centralized space where the customers enjoy benefits such as buying, reviewing or interacting with brands.
As your customer engagement spikes with the influx of positive reviews, social media algorithms get the message that you are a trusted brand.
Collect Relevant Data to Know Your Customers Better
Social commerce platforms offer major access to customer profiles. These features enable you to take a sneak peek into what your customers like and thus create your e-commerce strategy accordingly.
Couple these insights with listening to your customers’ likes and dislikes to understand your audience better. You can take a detailed insight into their purchase habits, interests and social shopping patterns.
Post successfully conducting your research, you can create a conversion-friendly strategy for your brand. You should experiment with different designs, and introduce different headlines, CTAs and images in your campaigns. A/B testing is an accurate way to test design performance.
Generate More Revenue with Social Commerce
Social commerce is driving sales up for e-commerce businesses. Studies in 2022 suggest that the advent of social commerce has driven sales up to $45.7 billion. This amount is more likely to double by the year 2025.
Millennials and Gen Zs are the primary consumers of social media content. As a brand, you can dedicate your products to match the dynamics of the millennial and Gen Z markets. The younger generations are more driven to online shopping. They reap the benefits of immaculate social commerce via an interactive interface, smooth checkout process, perfect shopping experiences, etc. Subsequently, the youth shopping spree continues with an increase in the average order values.
Social commerce trends offer a steady increase in revenue growth for your business. Neither can you eliminate nor neglect the influences.
Use These Social Commerce Platforms For Your Success
Social Commerce was introduced first on platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. In recent times, we have seen other apps like YouTube and TikTok joining the field.
In case you are interested in soaring your business high in the social commerce landscape, you must try the following apps:
Buyers can directly interact and purchase from sellers within Facebook and vice versa. It is a social media platform that hosts a marketplace.
Facebook offers a swift process to set up online storefronts within their account limitations.
This social commerce site can easily sync data from your inventory hosted on other partner websites. You can do this in seconds. Create a spreadsheet with the product information if you are technologically backdated. It helps to give you a manual interface.
The Facebook marketplace has mobile commerce features which enhance user experience multifold. These features target your customers’ preferences and offer them exactly what they want. Thus, these apps help in multiplying your engagement and sales.
Sellers can easily reach out to customers via direct messages or comments to inquire about their product reviews or to offer support.
Instagram is popularly known as the app that flourishes in showcasing images and videos. Link your Facebook stores with Instagram business accounts to ensure an organized digital presence.
To establish a shop on Instagram sellers must link both Instagram and Facebook profiles together. Brands can get an option to either upload a new catalogue or share the existing ones.
Instagram offers product tags to simplify the process of shopping. These tags allow you to put your products in the spotlight. For example, you can see an advertisement for a shirt. You can view the price if you hover over the image. You can click on a tag and it will direct you to the purchase option. In this way, your products become easy to discover.
Similarly, you can engage customers in your products by introducing them to a seamless shopping opportunity with the “View shop” feature.
Online Shopping with Pinterest has made retailers’ live easier. Brands can now upload their product inventory as catalogues on Pinterest’s business page. You can tag your products on your pins so that viewers can click on these tags to gain more information about the products.
It is crucial to note that Product Pins are non-related to social commerce tools. However, due to the algorithms, viewers get redirected to landing pages so that they can go through with the purchase. This is different from Facebook and Instagram since you can complete the purchase process within the app. One positive side of Pinterest advertising is that you can advertise to people who are not necessarily looking to buy. For example, a user is scrolling through a Pinterest feed to check out the latest paint-brushing techniques. They come across these amazing paint-brush sets. They want to buy those. Therefore, they click on the image which enables them to purchase through the landing page.
Pinterest can readily simplify the process for its users by offering product information within the app.
Making money on TikTok has become easier for retailers with the introduction of social commerce features on the app. Brands can create a TikTok store to display their products within the app. TikTok facilitates users to browse and buy products within the app. Now businesses can make videos showcasing their products or make a TikTok LIVE broadcast to help users shop directly from the app.
Top 3 Social Commerce Trends to Adopt in 2023
Several current e-commerce trends inspire the revolutionary changes brought about in the social commerce world today. Three trends that are sure to dominate the social commerce landscape in 2023 are as follows:
Livestream has gained popularity over time. Entertainment brands, businesses and e-commerce setups have benefitted hugely from this feature. One positive aspect is that your audiences get to inquire about your product. They can ask about product details, colour options, discounts, washing instructions, pricing, and other offerings. You can answer their questions right here. This will satisfy your customers and give them a sense of comfort.
The app sends notifications to your followers when you start a live stream. They can join you without delay. So, none of your followers will miss product updates.
VR and AR
Have you experienced the ‘TRY ON’ feature in some online shopping apps? Using this feature you can test how a product affects your appearance in real life. Social media platforms like Pinterest have introduced this augmented reality feature. Now, shoppers can check out jewellery, watches, makeup products, home decor items and others to virtually observe and analyse products instead of trying out samples.
Inclusivity is an attractive purchase factor in present times. Nearly 59 per cent of people prefer brands that honour diversity and inclusivity. In fact, 59 per cent of people accept that they will more likely buy from an inclusive brand.
Inclusive brands are the ones that contain all features irrespective of shapes or sizes, colours or preferences and ethnicity or culture. For instance, if you are a global brand and sell clothes, you must think about the cultural references particular to the country or region you are targeting. Besides this, you should keep a tab on the pricing range you are offering to your customers. If you are intending to sell in a developing country due to its population strength, you should keep the pricing within the range of the masses. If your target audience is the rich aristocrat, your marketing strategy should also change accordingly. For Instance, if you are targeting the rich, you cannot depend on TV commercials to display your ads.
Social Selling is going to be the next big thing shortly. Social media users increase with the rising population. Businesses have successfully identified social media channel strategies for potential growth. E-commerce integration with social commerce has been an integral step in elevating the pedestal of digital shopping. Now, brands can augment their success quotient by spending their money, resources and time on integrating social commerce with E-commerce.
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