What is social commerce? What are the trends and platforms?

What is social commerce? What are the trends and platforms?

On average, people spend two hours and forty-two per day on social networking sites . Many aren’t there to catch up with old friends, upload cat videos, or share awkward family moments. They are there to shop.

survey conducted by The Influencer Marketing Factory found that 82 percent of respondents claimed they have purchased a product via their smartphones after discovering it on social media. Furthermore, 97 per cent of Gen Z shoppers use social media to find inspiration for their shopping.

It’s not surprising that merchants around the world are optimizing their social-commerce capabilities with a global social commerce market estimated at $475 billion. While China is the leader in social commerce, the U.S. has been catching up quickly. eMarketer projects that the U.S. market for social commerce will reach $45.74 trillion in 2022. This is a nearly 25% increase over last year.

What is social commerce? And how can you get on board with this growing trend as an online store owner. This guide will give you a definition of social commerce and lots of useful hints to help you get started. You’ll learn:

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What is social commerce?

Let’s begin with what social commerce isn’t.

It’s and not about marketing your products on social media, and driving potential buyers towards your site.

Modern social commerce, on the other hand, involves bringing the entire customer journey onto social media. In other words, with a social commerce strategy, you strive to bring your products–or your entire catalog–to your shoppers within their social-channel-of-choice.

Let’s take a look at an example of social commerce buying experience.

  • Shopper logs in to his or her preferred social media app
  • The shopper can discover your product while still within the app and learn about its features through posts and stories.
  • The app is closed and the shopper buys the product.

You can measure your reach with clicks, shares and likes. But true social commerce measures engagement metrics as well as revenue. Your potential profit margin will increase the more you sell products in-app.

What is the difference between social commerce and eCommerce?

While eCommerce and social commerce are closely related, they are distinct. eCommerce includes all transactions made online, but social commerce is limited to purchases made on a social network platform.

Social commerce allows you to integrate your products in the content that social media users want. This includes videos showing your customers using your product or polls that allow people to vote on different product options or styles. Nearly every eCommerce merchant has embraced social commerce. Harris poll conducted for Sprout Social found that 73% of businesses are already involved in social commerce and that 79 percent plan to do so within the next three-years.

You want to know more about social commerce for small, medium, and large merchants? Ryan Barretto, CEO of Sprout Social, answers our questions.

Social commerce has many benefits

Find the right customers

Every social media channel has its own community. This gives you a lot of potential new markets. Is your product appealing to all ages? Facebook may be the right channel to reach your target audience, with its consistent reach across all age. Are you looking for customers between 25 and 34? This age group is 33% of Instagram users. TikTok, a smart channel that promotes products for younger people, has nearly half (48%) of its users younger then age 30.

Compare with the large brands to be more competitive

Larger enterprises have the advantage of having large budgets for traditional media. Social media is a level playing field. It allows merchants of all sizes to get their message across at a much lower price. Social media is not about budget. Content does. These new tools are available on social media platforms. To help you stay ahead of your competition, consider using one or more of them.

Simpler buying experience

Buyers today expect seamless experiences. This means that they expect to be able to purchase their favorite products in as little as three clicks, taps or swipes. This type of social commerce offers a simplified customer experience that removes redundant steps and reaches buyers at a place they already know.

Mobile strategy – Get more

Nearly 45 percent of all eCommerce transactions in the U.S. took place on mobile devices in 2020. However, mobile devices have lower cart abandonment rate. This gap can be closed by social commerce because social media users already use their mobile devices to access their favourite platforms . In-app shopping makes it easier to purchase.

Social proof is possible

Online consumers aren’t afraid to complain about or boast about their products. You can use social media to promote products. Get honest feedback from customers to share with product development teams and/or display on your website as social proof. This kind of user-generated content is an extension of social commerce.

Social commerce trends emerging

Users’ favorite social channels can help them embrace the future. These two trends are hot in social commerce and will help you position your products as the leader of the social media conversation.

Live stream commerce

Influencers are the ones who have always dominated the social media conversation. They are the ones behind the most popular products and tried-on looks. Many brands and influencers are now doing this via livestreams on social platforms. Livestream hosts go live on an application and show their favourite products. Potential customers then react, comment and ask questions. Livestreams allow customers to save or buy products. Live stream shopping was started in China, but is rapidly expanding in the U.S. Facebook has launched Shopping Fridays in 2021. This feature features well-known brands such as Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Sephora, and Sephora.

Augmented reality (AR).

“How does this couch fit into my living room?” Back in the day, shoppers had to measure the space with a tape measure. They can now use their smartphones to “set” an item in their home and see how it will look in real-life. AR is taking the world by storm, from Snapchat to TikTok filters. Over the past year, both Snapchat and Pinterest launched AR-fueled Virtual Try-On Tools that allow merchants to increase their social commerce skills.

Top social commerce platforms

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular U.S. social network. Nearly 74% of consumers use Facebook for brand and product discovery, compared with 41% who find them on a brand’s website. Facebook is easy to use. You can create an online store, called Facebook Shops, completely free of charge. You only need a Facebook business account.

Facebook allows you to showcase your products in a Facebook Shop so that customers can purchase them through the Facebook app. Facebook allows businesses to create collections and run targeted ads to people who are interested. They also allow influencers and brands to tag products in news feed posts

Wix allows you to connect your Facebook Shop to your Wix account. This will allow your team to manage all your multichannel selling activities and products from one location.

Instagram

With 32.4 millions users, Instagram is the second most popular social commerce platform in America. You can link your Instagram Shopping account directly to your Facebook Shop because it is owned by Facebook (Meta).

Instagram offers several social commerce features that are unique, such as:

  • Instagram checkout allows you to make in-app purchases
  • Shoppable ads, stories and videos that showcase products and encourage users to purchase them, such as reels, stories, videos and videos.
  • Instagram drops, which allows you to draw attention new products and limited-time offers

Pinterest

Today, 89% of Pinterest users are looking for inspiration. This makes Pinterest an excellent social commerce platform for businesses that sell apparel, interior design, and health-and fitness products. The Pinterest Shopping list allows shoppers to save favorite items and lets them keep those pins together for easy access. Pinterest also offers AR tools and personalized product recommendations. Find out more about Pinterest for Businesses.

TikTok

TikTok is the biggest social commerce up-and-comer. TikTok trends has put Halara on the map with videos that use the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt . Halara is a DTC brand that has been around for less than one year. This DTC brand gets nine thousand visitors per month thanks to its tipTok-first strategy. TikTok allows users to make in-app purchases and live shopping. There are also a number of shoppable advertising types such as Hashtag Challenge Plus Ads, which allow you to create a hashtag for promoting a trending product. These are all great ways to make some money with Tik Tok.

Snapchat

Snapchat is the best choice if you want to sell to younger people. The majority of Snapchat users between 18-24 years old are estimated to be between 18-24. Snapchat allows businesses to tag products, promote product catalogs, and run shoppable ads. They are investing heavily in AR and using their in-app feature Lenses to assist users with virtual try-ons.

Three brands that are killing it in social commerce (with examples).

These three brands are a great example of social commerce success and have achieved amazing business results.

01. CeliaB

Wix merchant CeliaB is a Spanish brand of women’s clothing. They use social commerce to showcase their latest collections. The vibrant designs are a highlight of their Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Their Facebook Shop allows shoppers to browse, view and purchase tops, leggings and accessories in just a few clicks. CeliaB integrates their Facebook Shop with their Wix storefront via our native Facebook Shop integration capability.

02. Ivory Paper Company

What is so special about goal organizers, planners and stationary? There are many options if you shop on social media using Ivory Paper Company and Wix.

In addition to Facebook shops and Instagram, the company also has Facebook. The company injects personality into its social media feeds, talking with consumers about their pain points, as well as giving them an inside view of the company’s inner workings through engaging and enthusiastic posts, reels and videos.

03. PETKIT

The viral cat videos on Wix are well-known. PETKIT found a way for them to become a social commerce giant. PETKIT is a seller of smart pet supplies. They sell on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok , where their charming videos make people smile and draw attention to them before they even introduce PETKIT products.

How to build a successful strategy for social commerce

Social commerce can be used to grow your business, increase revenue and expand your brand. Here are some tips for building a successful social commerce strategy.

Select the right platform

You don’t have to be on every social media platform. Instead of spraying and pawning, consider the demographics of each channel to determine which channels will attract your target shoppers.

Select the right product

You should consider whether your products can be used for social commerce. Social commerce can be a huge benefit if you sell accessories, apparel, electronics, cosmetics, and other impulse purchases that are frequently bought on the spot. Although social commerce won’t help you directly sell products with a long path to purchase, it can still be a valuable tool in keeping your products top of mind with your target audience.

Be authentic

Although social commerce is about driving revenue, a hard sell will not work. Shoppable ads and all other content should feel friendly and casual. They shouldn’t sound like corporate marketing departments. Social media is, in fact, founded on the idea of being social. Be personable. Be engaging. Your brand should be engaging.

Listen actively

Keep an eye on your feed to see reactions and comments. Respond quickly to buyers who ask for help. Offer incentives to customers for leaving reviews. Social media should offer the same level and responsiveness to your customers as any other channel.

source https://www.wix.com/blog/ecommerce/2022/02/social-commerce

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