We come across many things while scrolling our social media feeds. From influencers to advertisements, social media today has innumerable aspects of human life. A recent introduction to this particular digital space is commerce.
Recall the last time you were going through your Facebook and Instagram and you came across a product. You later discovered that you can purchase the product right then and there. This is exactly what social commerce is about. It refers to purchasing a product from a different company within the frame of social media experience.
In simpler terms, social commerce can be defined as a process where social media platforms are utilised to create a more personalised and targeted in-app shopping experience. It adds e-commerce functionality to various social media platforms. Once customers are satisfied, social media can give a medium to share and recommend the business. The concept of social media that allows content to go viral makes it an exciting place to conduct business. Additionally, this allows very efficient word-of-mouth marketing.
A few examples of social commerce platforms or sites include buying buttons on Pinterest and Twitter.
However, the most crucial example is Facebook’s business retail store pages which allow users to browse and shop without actually leaving the platform.
Statistics on social commerce
The concept of social commerce might not be entirely new but the doubts regarding it can be definitely solved with the statistics that do not fail to support it:
- Facebook has around 1.47 billion daily, active users
- 60% of active Instagram users confirm that they find new products on the same app (hence it means one can sell products on the same platform)
- 30% of online shoppers are of the opinion that they would be willing to purchase things from a social media network like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, or Twitter
- Social Media Messenger sales are performing tremendously better than the current email in terms of return on investment
Such figures are indicative of the growth potential in social commerce. However, this type of commerce is often mistaken as e-commerce which is not accurate.
Difference between social commerce and e-commerce
Both the terms are often confused. This is because they include an online medium for making a purchase. However, there lies a significant difference which makes it wrong to use them interchangeably.
E-commerce can be referred to as a shopping experience carried out through a website or an app. On the other hand, social commerce refers to customers making purchases within a social media platform. Hence, social commerce is not the same as e-commerce.
Along with this, social commerce is not social selling. The latter refers to cultivating relationships on social media that will help build one’s potential sales list.
Why Social Commerce?
If you are a business owner then the question on your mind is whether social commerce will work for your business. In order to make this decision, it’s important to find what benefits it offers to your brand. These advantages extend from increasing sales, customer engagement, website traffic to driving traffic.
Constant growth in terms of audience
Various social media platforms attract thousands of new users around the world. These sites already have millions of active users. Simultaneously, it’s important to remember that every business needs to figure out how to reach and sell to its target customers. If a company decides to use social commerce then their followings and potential customer base are continuously growing.
Higher search engine ranking
Engagement on social media has benefits beyond direct transactions. It’s proven that social media commerce brings traffic to the website which as a result improves ranking on search engine results.
Sharing links to content posted on your website through social media is an effective way to drive traffic from social media users. This allows the audience to engage with a like, comment or share. Hence, reaching a larger audience.
Increase in engagement and reach
Every time a business shares content for social commerce, they get a benefit in terms of an increase in engagement and reach. Showing up in a follower’s feed daily provides a powerful branding opportunity. Consequently, such people with regular interaction are likely to recommend the company. However, social commerce motivates people to interact in two-way communication. Customers can also use social media as a customer service channel to solve problems.
While one business aims to sell and promote their products/services through social media, they also aim to build healthy relationships with people. This interaction can allow building and maintaining relationships that increase loyalty and trust. Such satisfied customers are then converted to loyal clients who make constant purchases.
An important part of business marketing is to analyse your efforts in order to find out whether the campaign had a positive ROI. In this case, social media commerce allows to measure and evaluate performances. Instagram business accounts, Facebook posts, and tweets on Twitter have in-built metrics for impressions, reach, and engagements. Additionally, social media posts allow measuring traffic to your website through website click counts. Other ways to determine a positive ROI include numbers of followers and likes among others.
More on the social commerce space
The following three major platforms own the social commerce space today:
The social media platform has doubled down on social commerce. Brands can create “Shop Now” stores. In addition to this, companies use Messenger to interact with customers, both prior and post-sale.
According to Facebook data, around 70% of shopping enthusiasts use Instagram for product discovery.
The application’s feature – Instagram Shopping, allows users to tap on images and stories to vire featured products. This is available in 70 countries.
The aesthetic social media platform introduced buyable pins in June 2015. Initially, they were 30 million on the site. However, Pinterest reported that the number had doubled three months later.
E-commerce has emerged as a new trend in the business industry. But with the increasing influence of social media in our lives, social commerce is likely to become the next popular trend.
Contact us at Shaktiki today to find out how we can help you implement this type of commerce strategy for optimum results.