Do you have that one friend who always posts items for sale on her Facebook or Instagram account? Are you interested in doing the same?
If your answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Here, we’ll talk about social commerce: what it is and how this social media solution works.
What Is Social Commerce?
Social commerce involves making and completing a product purchase from a company within a specific social media platform. It is different from social media marketing, which focuses on referring traffic from social media to an online store or the company’s website.
When a customer engages in social commerce, the entire shopping experience – from the point of contact to the point of sale – occurs within the same platform. The transaction never leaves the social media site until it’s complete (or even after).
For example, you’re looking for a certain product on Facebook and find several people who sell it there. After comparing prices and other details of the offer, you decide to buy one directly over the social media platform without going to a company’s website.
How Does Social Commerce Work?
Social commerce has become a hot social media trend that is expected to have a more significant impact in the coming years. As you might imagine, this can lead to plenty of benefits for companies of all sizes.
From a more streamlined point-to-point process to cost-efficient marketing, you can improve your brand recall and close sales as quickly as the leads come. This is all thanks to social commerce features like autofill payments and delivery details, chatbot checkouts, and many others.
Plus, both you and your customers would need to do fewer taps and clicks with social commerce than with traditional web-store e-commerce.
Why Use Social Commerce and What Do I Need to Begin?
One thing that makes people shy away from selling (and buying) online is the length of the purchase journey. Unlike shopping in a physical store where you pick up an item, bring it to checkout, pay for it, and bring it home, traditional e-commerce may require additional steps – some of which are already unnecessary.
With social commerce, the process is shortened, and most redundant steps and pathways are removed to direct buyers towards the end of the conversion funnel. This way, there is a lower chance of potential customers abandoning their purchase and your online store.
However, what prevents many modern merchants from appreciating these benefits of social commerce is their reliance on tech and software solutions.
Rather than gamifying everything and making sales through cheap strategies, why not solve actual consumer problems? This way, you actually contribute to your customers’ lives. When you do, you can gain more loyal customers that help build your credibility in the business.
Want to start selling on social media? Here are the two most important things you would need:
● A product or service that solves a problem
Most of the time, sellers start thinking about the product or service they wish to offer on social media first. But if you still haven’t figured out the problem you intend to solve, how can you pick an offering that sells?
The bottom line: Know your customers and understand what they truly need.
● A social media platform equipped for commerce
There are plenty of social media apps you can use, but the most social commerce-friendly ones are Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook has made it a point to integrate social commerce into the platform by introducing “Shop Now” stores. Even Messenger was transformed into a viable customer service tool through customizable chatbots that allow companies to engage customers before, during, and after the sale.
Among the things you can do with a Facebook store include:
- Uploading products and information about them
- Curating the shop’s product catalog
- Selling directly from a Facebook Page
- Managing orders
- Running Facebook ads to promote products of your choice
- Getting insights according to your chosen target audience or demographic
When starting a Facebook shop, you don’t have to launch everything all at once. Besides the digital advertising advantage of having everyone tuning in to the platform, you can also benefit from the insights it provides to determine what people are looking for at that exact moment.
Instagram eventually followed suit. Considering that roughly 70 percent of shopping enthusiasts turn to the photo-sharing platform for product discovery (according to Facebook’s data), this is to be expected.
With Instagram Shopping, users can tap on stories or posted images to see information about the products featured in them. This makes it a promising platform for social commerce.
Currently, more than 70 participating countries can sell physical goods on Instagram. And since Facebook already bought the company, linking the two platforms together can be done in a jiffy.
Plus, Instagram has started offering checkout features, starting with a few well-known merchants like Kylie Cosmetics, Nike, and Outdoor Voices.
Why Not Twitter?
Although considered one of the most widely used social media platforms to date, you’d be surprised to learn that Twitter never actually made a significant profit before Q4 2017. Considering this, they should have been the first to jump into the social commerce game, but instead, they focused on Twitter ads.
In September 2014, the platform gradually opened up to the idea of social commerce and introduced the “buy now” button attached directly to Tweets for some items. Three years later, this was expanded, but later faded out after the site ruled it out as a pointless venture.
Sell on Social
While it is relatively new, selling on social media has become quite popular among big and small companies because of its countless benefits.
Not sure how to go about social commerce? Reach out to us. Yellow Branding is always ready to help your brand succeed, no matter what platform you want to use.