What is social commerce?
Social commerce allows consumers to buy products or services directly from social media platforms. The entire shopping experience, from product discovery to the check-out process and after-sales support, takes place on the platform. Social commerce is a great way to grow your brand and drive your sales and revenue.
Social media platforms that offer social commerce include Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Benefits of social commerce
Social media platforms are built to be mobile-friendly and highly accessible to its users. Social commerce enables businesses to creatively promote their products and services, engage their customers and enhance brand awareness. It also provides a broad market base, allows brands to launch a more targeted campaign toward specific customer groups, and streamlines the buying process.
Analytics capabilities offered by social media platforms enable businesses to gather demographic data about their customers and gain insights into their preferences and buying behaviour. Social commerce comes with built-in social proof, such as reviews and testimonials, which are essential to building a positive reputation online.
For customers, social commerce is a convenient and seamless way to shop. They can view product reviews through social media platforms, which is a key aspect when researching and selecting products before purchasing. Customers can also easily reach out to businesses or their brand communities for help and advice.
Leveraging social commerce
To leverage social commerce, businesses will first need to develop a strategy. Here are some tips for embarking on the social commerce journey.
1. Choose the most suitable platform
Analyse your targeted customer segments to find out which platforms they use most. Select a social media platform that is relevant and preferred by your customers.
2. Know your customers
Focus on your targeted customer segments and understand their behaviours. Prioritise creating the most optimised shopping experience. Use analytics to stay informed and gather customer insights to see what is working and what is not. Refine your strategy where necessary.
3. Create a frictionless shopping experience
Prioritise convenience for customers. Ensure that the end-to-end buying experience is short, simple, and seamless.
4. Engage your customers
Connect with your customers and promptly assist them with their enquiries on products, orders, or general questions. Interactions showcase your brand’s personality and builds trust. Encourage customers to provide reviews and share their experiences.
5. Consider investing in influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is becoming a popular way for businesses to increase their digital footprint, reach new customer segments and grow their brand. Influencers who have already built an engaged audience can play a significant role in a brand’s success by helping to drive the brand’s visibility and showcasing products that can be converted into sales.
Ben-Itzhak, Yuval. “Why Influencers are the Secret Sauce to Successful Social Commerce.” SmartBrief. Published 4 November 2020, https://corp.smartbrief.com/original/2021/11/why-influencers-are-secret-sauce-successful-social-commerce
DeGruttola, Megan. “8 Social Commerce Strategies to Win Consumers’ Hearts and Wallets in 2020.” Social Media Today. Published 2 February 2020, https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/8-social-commerce-strategies-to-win-consumers-hearts-and-wallets-in-2020/571513/
Influencer Marketing Hub. “Social Commerce.” Accessed 9 September 2022, https://influencermarketinghub.com/glossary/social-commerce/
Laing, Joanne. “What is Social Commerce? Definition, Examples, Stats.” The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience. Accessed 9 September 2022, https://www.the-future-of-commerce.com/2021/01/12/what-is-social-commerce/
Llewellyn, Gavin. “Social Commerce 2022 Trends and Tactics: Grow Your E-commerce Strategy Through Social Media.” Smart Insights. Published 21 January 2022, https://www.smartinsights.com/ecommerce/ecommerce-strategy/social-commerce-trends/