Social commerce has revolutionised the way we shop online, making it that much easier to check out those carts–and it’s all thanks to social media. Now it’s normal to find products in between posts from your friends and colleagues on social media.
According to Accenture, consumers spend two and a half hours a day on social platforms, which serve as an entry point for everything they do online: News, entertainment, communication and shopping. Customers buy products and services from people they trust, including family and friends, influencers and creators they follow and brands they advocate, to get more quality content and services visit copywriting services.
Social commerce ensures that people find products and services based on trusted recommendations, which means it has shifted the power from retailers and brands to customers. Social commerce seamlessly blends e-commerce transactions with the social media experience, allowing people to purchase products without leaving their favourite apps. It’s important to learn how social commerce works so that you can leverage it for your sales and marketing strategy.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce is under the umbrella of e-commerce, but it applies specifically to the buying and selling of goods within a social media platform. Social commerce speeds up the purchasing process because it allows the buyer to discover and then purchase the product, all without having to leave their preferred social media to complete a transaction.
Businesses are seeing the value of using social commerce, and eight in 10 executives expect to sell their products or services via social media within the next two to three years.
Facebook and Instagram are two major social media platforms that have introduced social commerce. Facebook features products based on user preferences to encourage organic discovery. Brands can also set up an online shop on Facebook so that their followers can browse through their catalogue and make purchases if they want to.
Instagram also provides an online shop for brands, allowing their followers to view items without having to leave the app. It also features Product Tags that allow shops to tag and highlight items from their catalogue in their photos and videos, making it easier for customers to pick and choose which items to view.
Social commerce encourages customers to stay on their favourite apps longer, further curating their social media feeds which allows them to discover more targeted content and products based on their preferences.
How you can use content in social commerce
Using the social commerce model for your brand doesn’t mean that you just upload your products and services on social media and let the algorithm do the rest. You need to incorporate a robust social media strategy with content so that you can increase traction with your online shop on social media.
You need to consistently create and publish engaging social media content on all your official channels. You can repurpose blogs or long videos as infographics or short visual clips on social media, and your content can serve as conversation starters with your audience. You can also create new videos specifically for your social media channels so that you can build an online presence. Your social media videos can serve multiple purposes: To promote your products and services, to increase brand awareness and to engage your audience.
Nurturing an active and engaged audience online will increase the likelihood of them purchasing your products on your social media channels.
Including social listening into your strategy will also make your social commerce shop more effective as well as improve your branding online. Social listening allows you to track relevant conversations and discussions about your brand and your products and services. This will help you understand what your audience thinks of your brand and it will allow you to quickly respond to important queries or questions online, as well as adjust the content you’re releasing to boost your social commerce efforts.
Practising social listening and applying feedback into improving your brand and your content will make you trustworthy and credible to your audience, and they will be much more likely to purchase from your shop.
3 ways social commerce can benefit your small business
Social commerce isn’t just catered to corporations and big organisations, it can also be beneficial to small businesses and mid-level enterprises. Because it uses social media, this type of e-commerce is much more accessible and easy to use.
If you’re still on the fence about using this model for your products and services, here are three benefits of using social commerce for small businesses that can change your mind.
1. You can find more of your ideal customers
Online shopping has made it easier for customers to discover new brands that suit their needs, leaving traditional brick-and-mortar shops behind. Aside from offering an official website from which your customers can purchase products and services, using the social commerce model can widen your reach while allowing you to target your ideal customers. Tailoring your content and the products you include in your social shop will allow your brand to be more discoverable to your target customer.
Having a strong social media presence, combined with the social commerce shop showcasing your products, will attract more potential customers and leave a positive first impression on browsing visitors. They’re more likely to follow and subscribe to your social media channels if you consistently publish high-quality content and if you actively engage with your audience. The social commerce model can also streamline the purchasing process for your customers, which can give them a better (and quicker) shopping experience.
2. You can increase your conversion rates
Using the social commerce model entails implementing a strong social media strategy as well, and the combination of both can increase your conversation rates as you engage more of your target customers on different platforms.
Some of the most fundamental steps in a social media marketing strategy include:
- Promoting user-generated content – User-generated content is a great way to build a brand community online, and it can make your followers feel important and valued.
- Creating video content – Visual content performs well on social media, leveraging your videos can garner more views, which can increase the number of visitors to your official channels.
- Using social proof – Publishing customer testimonials (with their permission, of course) can build your brand credibility and trustworthiness.
Using a combination of these three steps can increase your conversion rate, and providing a social commerce model can tip new visitors into actual customers since it removes the friction of having to switch to a browser or app when they try to make a purchase.
3. You can boost your online presence
Social commerce is crucial in product discovery on social media, and it gives brands the opportunity to showcase their products and services to a wider audience instantly and on an international scale.
The algorithms used in social media also ensure that your products are shown to users that are most likely to be receptive to your brand and offerings, based on their preferences and past purchases. When your customers on social media have a positive shopping experience, they’re more likely to visit your website and check what else you have to offer, increasing traffic to your official channels.
The future of social commerce is bright, and it’s only going to get more innovative and popular as social networks continue to update their features in improving the social shopping experience. Understanding how social commerce works can allow you to leverage this model for your own business so that you can promote your products and services to a wider audience.