Increasing internet accessibility all over the world is one of the major accomplishments of the modern world. Social media, internet’s lovechild, which is available in many different forms like blogs, social gaming, business networks, chat apps, photo-sharing platforms, and social networks, too is experiencing a widespread popularity. As per a 2017 report on Mashable, around 40% of the world’s population now uses social media.
The popularity of social media has reached to an extent where it has now started playing a crucial role in our modern society. But while most of these platforms were created with an aim to help people network, the way in which they influence and engage the users has changed considerably over the past few years.
Apart from sharing, liking and commenting on content, social media platforms are now increasingly used for shopping too. While brands understood the importance of social media marketing and have been using these platforms for promoting their products and services for a long time to encourage people to visit their website or online store, the platforms themselves can now be directly used for selling products and services.
All the popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest now allow users to make online purchases without the need to leave these platforms. The increasing popularity of this trend, popularly known as social commerce, has now started affecting the e-commerce industry in multiple ways. Read this post to understand what social commerce means and how it is impacting the e-commerce industry.
Social commerce can be defined as the process of purchasing products directly from social media platforms. It eliminates the need for the buyers to click on a link on the social media platform and get redirected to a 3rd party website in order to complete the purchase.
For instance, you can now browse, compare and purchase products directly on Facebook unlike the traditional method of following a link to the seller’s website. Something similar is offered on Instagram and Pinterest too. So, in a way, social commerce is the new online shopping evolution which combines social media and e-commerce.
With the introduction of social commerce, the social media platforms now have increased potential. While brands only used these platforms to engage consumers and interact with them, they can now also be used for selling products.
As per a report on MarketingSherpa, almost 95% of the adults between 18 and 34 follow at least one brand on social media platforms. Moreover, a report from Ambassador suggests that 71% of the consumers would recommend a brand to others on social media if they experienced good service from the brand.
While there are several other stats which can be taken into consideration here, both these facts are adequate to help someone understand the potential of social commerce. As an e-commerce business owner, you can take great advantage of this new world of online shopping and significantly improve your bottom line.
But while all of these sounds great, how will you actually make this work? To help you out, we’ve created a list of some useful tips for social commerce platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and how you can use them to improve your sales and brand credibility.
Facebook is not only the most popular social networking platform with more than 2 billion active users, it is also the most commonly used social commerce platform. A report from Shopify suggests that around 85% of all the social media orders come from Facebook, especially in industries like photography, sports, pet supplies, dropshipping, jewelry and watches.
Even if you have an experienced WooCommerce development company to take care of your eCommerce website, you should definitely consider using the Shop Section feature for business pages on Facebook. With the help of this feature, you can list the products you’d like to sell and reach more customers. It offers many different types of shop options to help you pick one that best suits your requirements.
Apart from using this feature to boost your sales directly through Facebook, you also have the very popular option of sponsoring your posts. The best thing about sponsored posts is the fact that it allows you to select your own budget and demographics of your audience. Once you’ve provided all the information, your sponsored posts with your products in it would then be presented in the Facebook feed of your target audience. However, you’ll be required to register as a business to use this feature.
As per a Statista report, Instagram now has more than 1 billion active users. The photo-sharing social media platform had 800 million users in September 2017. The steep rise in the number of users in less than a year confirms the massive popularity of Instagram. Needless to say, brands now lay a major emphasis on Instagram in their digital marketing initiatives.
Moreover, as marketing on social media is now so important, even professional SEO services now consider platforms like Instagram as a valuable tool for improving a brands social credibility. With reference to social commerce, there are a few ways in which you can use Instagram. Two of the most popular ways is to hire a social influencer with a massive following on the platform or promoted or sponsored posts.
The process is pretty straightforward for brands that already have massive Instagram followers. They can simply create posts for their products and promote and sell them.
However, if your followership is low or you are new to Instagram, you can also hire influencers.
An influencer is someone with a decent following on social platforms and can influence his/her followers to purchase products from your brand. So, rather than you marketing your products, it’ll be the influencer marketing them for you.
The next option is to make use of sponsored posts, especially if you do not have a lot of followers on Instagram. For this, you’ll be required to register yourself as a business on Instagram. For creating ads, you’ll be provided with several options like selecting your target audience to make sure that your sponsored posts correctly reach your audience. Once all of this is done, your sponsored post will then be made available in the Instagram feed of your target audience.
Pinterest is as popular as Instagram, especially among millennials. It currently has more than 175 million active users and has an excellent presence on mobile. The platform launched buyable pins in 2015 to help brands promote and sell their products directly on the Pinterest mobile app and online website.
Just like Instagram and Facebook, you’ll have to register yourself as a business on Pinterest to buy pins and sell your product. Your sponsored pins are spread all over the Pinterest, including the search results, related pins, and your business page. Shoppers can click on the “Buy It” button on your sponsored pins and then pay for the purchase through credit card or Apple Pay.
Once a customer places an order, the purchase information is sent to you so that you can process the order. Just like selling products from your online store, you’ll be responsible for customer service and shipping for the orders that you receive from Pinterest. And the best thing is that Pinterest won’t charge any commission for the sale.
Once you’ve purchased some pins, you can also sign up for Pinterest’s analytics platform from where you can check the pin views, impressions, repins, and clicks for all the pin. Demographics like gender, interests, and language can also be monitored to help you optimize your account and generate more sales.
Social commerce has witnessed rapid growth in the past couple of years and an increasing number of businesses have now started focusing on social media for improving their sales. However, as social commerce is still pretty new for the e-commerce industry, most businesses are unaware of how they can best use this evolved version of online selling.
To help you begin, we are sharing 4 valuable tips below-
With social commerce, it is very important that you select the social platform very carefully. Your strategy would only be successful if it is able to engage your target audience on a consistent basis. To select the right platform, you need to thoroughly analyze your target audience. This will enable you to find the platforms that your audience uses the most.
If your audience regularly uses multiple platforms, you can create a different campaign for each of the popular platforms.
To succeed with social commerce, you need to make sure that your offers look enticing to the customers. They should encourage the customers to purchase the products then and there from the social media platform. The best way to do this is by customizing a strategy for every platform. You should work on strategies to make sure that your customers know that they won’t get this deal even on your online store or any other platform.
By customizing your strategy for every platform, you can generate better sales and improve your brands reach.
It took Dropbox just 15 months to go from 100,000 users to 4 million users and record a permanent increase of 60% in signups from referrals. How did they do it? By implementing a referral marketing strategy which went viral! If you want to succeed in social commerce, you surely can take an important lesson from Dropbox.
Look for ways to incentivize people who share your offers. No matter how good your social promotion strategy is, it’ll probably never match the potential of your audience promoting your brand, products and offers themselves.
Another very important way to optimize your social commerce strategy is to reduce the steps involved in the purchase process. Once you’ve captured a lead, you won’t like to lose it only because your checkout process was long. This gets more important when you are trying to sell on social media platforms where people are eager to browse their social feed.
So, when creating a social store, ensure that the checkout process just has the bare essentials. This would probably lead to more conversions.
No matter if you already have an online store or are planning to hire a Magento 2 development company to build a web shop , make sure that you do consider social commerce in your marketing strategy. Several brands are already making good use of this new form of online selling and with some thinking and professional help, you too could generate excellent sales from social platforms and help your business grow