What is social commerce?
Social commerce is when social media platforms are used to make a more personalized and targeted in-app experience shopping experience for consumers. It can make a product purchase from a third-party company within the native social media experience. In simply, it brings e-commerce functionality directly into social media platforms.
In the last few years retailers have continued their consumers to engage with consumers through their social media channels, helping increase brand awareness, promote products and create conversations around their brands and products.
For example, you can browse and compare products on Facebook and purchase Facebook itself instead of going to the company’s site to make the purchase. Or you can learn about a product in a tweet and make the purchase on Twitter itself.
When consumers are satisfied with your business, they can share and recommend your brand through social media. Examples of social commerce platforms and social commerce sites are Facebook business retail store pages where users can browse and shop without leaving the platform, or buy buttons on Twitter and Pinterest.
Here I have mentioned five business benefits of social commerce.
1. Consistent audience growth
Every day, thousands of new users join social media sites around the world. Millions are already active on it. According to researchers, Facebook has over a billion active users each month and many new users join every hour. One of the most important considerations for any business is how to reach and sell to its target customer audience. In the companies that use social commerce, their followings are continuously growing.
2. Higher search engine ranking
Engagement on social media can lead to just direct transactions. It has been proven that social media commerce increases traffic to your website which will eventually influence your ranking on search engine results. Sharing links to content on your website through social media is a better way to drive traffic from social media users. It also allows your consumers to engage with a comment, like, or share to reach an even larger audience.
3. More authentic engagement and traffic
Actively working to grow your social media audience is a great first step in making conversions. One of the most important benefits of social commerce is the engagement and reaches that businesses can get whenever they share content. By showing up in a follower’s updates feed regularly, you’re participating in a powerful branding opportunity. People who have regular contact with a company are more likely to recommend that company.
Social commerce encourages people to connect with a business through two-way communication. This allows customers to not only engage with your business but also allows them to use social media as an efficient customer service channel where it’s possible to solve problems.
4. Customer Loyalty and Retention
In using social commerce for your business, you are aiming to sell and promote your products/services and to build good relationships with people. This in turn creates customers that are happy/ satisfied with your service, who will likely remain clients who make repeat purchases. Make sure to treat first-time buyers just as well as you’d treat repeat purchasers.
5. Business Metrics from Social
The objectives you decide upon should be kept in line with company key performance indicators. Social media commerce makes it easy to measure and evaluate performances. Facebook pages, Instagram business accounts, and tweets on Twitter have built-in metrics for impressions, engagements, and reach. Besides, most social media posts allow for the measurement of traffic to your website through website click counts. To determine positive measurements might include your total numbers of fans/followers, likes, and the overall sentiment of interactions.
Social media commerce will only be beneficial for your business if it’s done right. Formulate a solid plan and don’t be afraid to take the risk and invest a reasonable amount of time, effort, and money.
If you’re looking for an easy way to use social commerce trends to your company’s advantage, consider Pixlee’s Shoppable Instagram tool. Shoppable Instagram makes it easy for Instagram users to buy items they like in Instagram photos, reducing the path to purchase. It integrates with your e-commerce platform.
Three social media sites that are owning the social commerce space: Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Facebook has doubled down on social commerce. Companies can create entire “Shop Now” stores, and Messenger is being used by companies to interact with consumers (both pre-and post-sale).
With a Facebook store, you can,
- Upload products and product information;
- Curate and customize your shop’s product catalog;
- Sell directly from your Page;
- Manage orders;
- Run a Facebook ad to promote one of your products,
- Get insights.
You don’t need to put your entire inventory in your Facebook shop. Try releasing products to Facebook first to see how they go over, rerelease old products on Facebook, focus on your top sellers, and so on.
Some 70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery—at least that’s what Facebook data reveals.
It’s no surprise that Instagram introduced Instagram Shopping, a feature that allows users to tap on images and stories to view products featured on it. Instagram Shopping is currently available to companies in over 70 countries.
Sell physical goods;
- Have an Instagram business account connected to a Facebook page;
- Comply with Instagram’s merchant agreement and commerce policies.
When we look at the Pinterest commerce flow, Pinterest has worked with several major retailers. What’s unique about Pinterest is that a small portion of the site’s content is original. According to one source, 80% of Pinterest content is repinned. This is a major benefit for you, an original content creator.
Be sure to feature your products in various colors. I don’t need to tell you that the visual representation of your product is clutch, so spend the time (and money) to perfect your product images.
Finally, many people wonder if social commerce will work for their business. But definitely, it offers benefits for your brand to increasing customer engagement.