Social Commerce: The Future of Online Retail

0 80

Online shopping has now gone social! Imagine you are scrolling through Instagram and find something you like. You complete the purchase from within the app, avoiding the need to navigate to another landing page of the product. This is social commerce. It streamlines the purchasing process by removing unnecessary steps and encouraging customers to complete their purchases in the app itself.

As a result, when using social media for retail, social commerce may be the key to success. Let’s understand what social commerce is and how brands are benefitting from it.

How Is Social Commerce Making Purchases Easy?

Social commerce allows users to complete the entire purchasing process on the same platform. This means users can move from discovery to purchase easily without leaving their favorite apps.

Leading social media platforms now provide retailers with dedicated social commerce capabilities. This includes sites like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest, among others. You can construct digital stores within any platform that customers can utilize to find and purchase products without visiting another website.

Social Commerce vs. e-Commerce

Both social commerce and e-commerce allow online shopping, then what makes them different?

E-commerce is the approach of buying and selling goods online. It includes selling via numerous digital channels such as online marketplaces, websites, and specific retailer apps. Meanwhile, social commerce entails directly selling through a social media network. Social commerce is a subset of e-commerce although it is not the same as e-commerce because social media is an online medium.

Top 3 Trends Shaping Social Commerce

Many of today’s e-commerce trends are impacting social commerce positively.

Brands are confident about the future of social commerce. Social commerce will be a primary driver of e-commerce growth in the United States, and China provides a model for innovation.

China’s WeChat platform, for instance, will stand as a model for corporations and other brands in the U.S. that are developing a social commerce strategy. WeChat serves as a one-stop shop for e-commerce by allowing merchants to host virtual storefronts on the network.

1.  Livestream Purchasing

A considerable amount of social media transactions will be driven by livestream purchasing. The audience can thus interact with the host in real-time. Potential consumers who watch the show can ask questions or drop comments, and the host will respond to them as they model or review a product. This behavior is becoming more prevalent as influencers become more involved in product sales.

2.  VR and AR Shopping

The social shopping experience is enhanced by VR and AR activities. Pinterest, for example, has developed an AR-powered “Try On” option. This allows customers to try on makeup and see how home décor items look in their environment.

3.  Inclusive Marketing

In social commerce, inclusive marketing will be a critical purchasing consideration. Inclusive marketing efforts will reach out to all demographics, especially the marginalized and underprivileged. They will, however, do so in a way that defies stereotypes. They will tell the audience that you see them and truly understand them.

Top 5 Social Commerce Platforms for Online Shopping

Social commerce features were initially introduced by Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Platforms such as YouTube and TikTok have now joined the fray and begun to roll out their own social commerce capabilities. If you want to be ahead of this possible cash stream, here are the 5 most popular platforms that you should try:

1.  Facebook

Facebook Shops, Facebook’s social commerce service, has an extremely low barrier to entry. Shops are free to create and may be accessed through your Facebook business profile. You can instantly sync your whole inventory list in seconds if you use a Facebook partner platform. If not, you can also upload product information using a spreadsheet.

On the Facebook mobile app, the Facebook Shop tab displays products based on user preferences. This encourages organic brand discovery. Customers who find your products can make a purchase within the app or on your website. Sellers use Messenger to engage with customers, ask inquiries, provide help, and more.

2.  Instagram

Instagram Shopping is linked straight to your Facebook Shop. Users must link their Instagram business account to their Facebook business profile in order to set up a shop. After that, users can either upload an existing product catalog or build a new one. Then, using Instagram product tags, you can make your content shoppable and your products easier to find.

Product tags enable you to showcase certain goods from your product catalog in your videos and blogs and users can learn more from them.

The “View shop” button allows buyers to browse their other listings and have a more enjoyable shopping experience. Similar to Facebook, purchases are made in-app or on your company’s website.

3.  Pinterest

Pinterest Shopping has simplified the selling process on Pinterest for retailers. You can publish your product catalog to your Pinterest business page. You can then tag products in your ‘Pins’ so people can learn more about them by clicking on those tags.

Remember that ‘Product Pins’ are not direct social commerce tools. Customers will still get redirected to a product-specific landing page to complete the purchase. However, it simplifies the purchasing process because individuals can acquire product information directly from Pinterest.

4.  TikTok

TikTok’s social commerce capabilities have made it easier than ever for retailers to monetize the TikTok network.

Businesses can now create a ‘TikTok Shop’ to promote their items and drive sales directly from the app. This feature allows you to create shoppable videos and enables viewers to shop right on your TikTok LIVE broadcasts.

5.  Snapchat

Although Snapchat did not previously focus on social commerce, it now supports augmented reality (AR), which has interesting social commerce implications.

Snapchat refers to its AR lenses. Users can capture selfies using a lens that allows them to experiment with makeup and sunglasses digitally. Now, they can virtually try on any style of apparel. According to Snapchat, more than 170 million users interact with AR on the site daily. However, while you can try on things within Snapchat using its AR lenses, you must still click outside of Snapchat to complete a purchase.

Concluding Thoughts

Social commerce is an important and growing industry that enables businesses to provide frictionless shopping experiences and reach consumers where they spend most of their time – on social media platforms. Although social commerce is still in its early stages, it has the potential to significantly boost e-commerce sales and offer a seamless omnichannel shopping experience for customers.

Additionally, social commerce enables two-way communication between businesses and customers, allowing for more personalized interactions and better customer engagement. The future looks promising for social commerce, and businesses should consider incorporating it as part of their overall marketing and e-commerce strategies to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.