Online shopping or e-commerce has become one of the key pillars of the global retail industry. As per Statista website, by 2024, e-commerce sales would be 21.8% of the global retail sales. The website also reveals that in 2020, over two billion people did online shopping, and e-retail sales crossed 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars globally.
The ease with which users shop online today has primarily boosted the online shopping industry. Moreover, with the convenience of mobile phones, the e-commerce platform is churning more profits than ever. As per Statista.com, almost half of the world’s web traffic comes from mobile users.
Recently, a new trend has emerged in the online retail industry, i.e. social commerce. It implies boosting online shopping on social platforms. In this article, we have explained what social commerce is and how it is changing the online shopping experience around the globe.
Social commerce – the new way of making online sales
Social commerce means buying a product on social media directly. For example, buying a product on Facebook after learning about it from other users and influencers.
Here users don’t visit the company’s site for purchase. E-retailers are making use of growing your Facebook with Vervebook to gain a competitive edge in the social commerce domain.
Unlike social media marketing where brands promote themselves on social platforms to drive traffic to their business websites, social commerce is about creating e-commerce channels and integrating them with different social media platforms.
Nowadays, you will often see certain products being displayed on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with an option for “Buy Now”. Once you click on the link, you will be directed to the business account of the retail business and you can place your order through social media.
Thus, social media channels are proving to be a boon for online retailers as they not only help drive traffic but also increase the number of prospective leads and buyers with 100% assurance.
How is social commerce changing the online shopping industry?
With the rise of social commerce, it’s expected that by 2027, social commerce will reach $604.5 billion which is an overwhelming figure (Prnewswire.com).
Social commerce has changed the user psyche and behavior
With the introduction of social commerce, a shift has been noticed in the mindsets of the customers. Previously, retail businesses used to promote brands and products on social media channels. The users were directed to the main website where they were able to explore the products further for buying. In such a scenario, businesses were getting the traffic they had planned for even though the sales weren’t increasing as expected.
However, with social commerce, the process is not as long as the details of the products on social media posts. A user, if convinced, buys directly from social media rather than wasting time contemplating and then backing out. Hence, from a business’s point of view, there will be an increase in both traffic and sales.
Next, let us check out some ways in which social commerce can change the online business industry around the globe.
Social media platforms integrating social commerce features
Different social media channels have different technologies using which e-retailers can integrate the purchase channels directly with their social media account. For example, on Instagram, businesses can make posts that will be identified as shoppable. These posts will appear on the walls of both the followers and the target audience. People will be able to directly purchase the products, all thanks to the convincing post features you can take advantage of.
Similarly, if we consider Facebook, they have the product tags feature that helps in getting more and more leads for e-commerce business. Product tags help businesses establish a relationship between the brand and the business channel which further increases the sales.
Shopify is another social media platform where businesses can establish sales channels. This particular platform comes with several features using which you can post your products and convince the users to buy them immediately.
Next on the list is Pinterest. Pinterest has partnered with Shopify to sell online in over 25 countries. This partnership has enabled Shopify to take advantage of over 450 million Pinterest users. They have introduced features like multi-feed support for Catalogs and others to build interested audiences. The rich Pins feature helps to synchronize the information on the company website and social media posts. YouTube also offers opportunities to upsell to users through affiliate links, links in the description box, ads in between videos, and also influencer videos. In addition, the social media platform TikTok which became more popular during the pandemic is now being utilized by businesses like the online retail store Temu to sell their products.
Visual Content and Social Commerce
For posting products on social media channels, companies are using attractive, and enticing visual content in the form of pictures, GIFs, videos, and so on. With the integration of multimedia, businesses are trying to convince and captivate their target users thus enhancing their shopping experience. The idea is to penetrate the users’ mind. In short, the shoppability quotient of the content is heightened. For instance, creating vibrant shoppable galleries to woo more customers.
In contrast to traditional methods of retail business, social commerce (in this case visual commerce), allows the users to have a virtual experience of the products they are looking to buy. Once the products meet their requirements, they go ahead and check reviews and buy them, there and then.
It is also important to optimize multimedia content using the right keywords, hashtags. Product details and price.
Reviews by influencers and users
Integrating the influencer channels and supervising the insights on each post is yet another social commerce strategy. Influencers help to build trust amongst the followers and target audience and eventually help the business grow. Ecommerce business owners are aware of this new trend and run social influencer campaigns frequently.
Influencer reviews act like peer recommendations and are very impactful in convincing people. They can be in the form of posts, stories, and videos on social media accounts. They help users to get the clarification they need about the products and play a key role in helping one make a purchase decision. If you haven’t tried brand influencers for your marketing, try today. Don’t miss out on this impactful way of encouraging online shopping!
Buying trends are changing. Social commerce is trending these days and is changing the way people shop online. Businesses are learning these new marketing trends and integrating them into their marketing mix. Plan your social commerce or social selling campaign today!