The future of online shopping is here – are you ready for it?
It’s official, the time has come for businesses to meet their customers in their domain. Whether they’re lounging on the couch at home, commuting to work or simply filling in time, consumers are growing hungry for effortless ways to get a hit of those virtual checkout induced endorphins.
And where are your customers hanging out almost every day? Social media.
A beacon for online businesses, social commerce is the process of selling products through social media outlets – a handy combination of the brilliant elements of ecommerce and social media that we have all come to know and love. Think of it as an extension to your existing storefront, both brick-and-mortar and online, here to help you increase overall brand awareness and revenue.
With COVID-19 turning more customers towards online shopping methods (and forcing new audiences to trust the online world), the use of social commerce has skyrocketed, leaving the ability for customers to have the option of making a purchase within the realm of their social platform more popular than ever. More than a simple sales transaction, social commerce encapsulates the entire customer journey, all the way from product discovery to customer service. The entire buying process is happening right at their fingertips – and we recommend you jump on the bandwagon.
If your social journey has already commenced, your brand will likely have begun to foster a community of loyal followers – also known as the perfect target audience to help you achieve those business goals. Not only does implementing social commerce within your marketing strategy offer the opportunity to convert existing audiences into return customers, but it increases the likelihood of garnering new clients. With social platforms currently housing over 4 billion active social media users worldwide, there is an ever-growing market right at your doorstep.
Compared to typical ecommerce methods, social commerce offers an interactive experience through a personalised shopping journey that is only possible thanks to the help of social media. Not only can customers get the hit of their social shopping day out by conferring online with friends, but they can show off any new purchase to their personal followings, giving your brand VIP access to your own library of user generated content (USG).
Methods such as USG allow brands to promote their satisfied customers while also showcasing their product range – a win, win that offers you an evergreen content base, while also providing users with a sense of social proof to increase the likelihood of potential customers. There also lies the opportunity for brands to customise their customer experience through engaging with their audiences using community management methods, increasing brand touchpoints and brand trust.
Now, is investing in a social commerce strategy really a necessity for your brand? If you’re looking to drive sales and open up new revenue streams, the short answer is yes.
Social commerce is on track to nearly triple by 2025, boosting it to become a $1.2trillion channel. With the appetite for online shopping growing in popularity across the globe, social media is no longer simply a space for brands to foster a community and build brand awareness. Instead, it’s a powerful avenue available to businesses to directly influence how the average consumer shops (and who they shop with!).
The ability to shop via social media allows customers to readily find new brands to connect with, and new holy-grail products to *add to cart*. You want to make sure your catalogue is ready and waiting to be browsed by the 81% of shoppers that use Instagram and Facebook to window shop during their consideration phase. Offering your online community a no-fuss shopping experience that doesn’t involve a mad dash to their local Westfield also helps to remove barriers or pain points that the everyday customer may face, helping to make the buying process as easy as the tap of a button.
From their discovery feature to collections, Instagram has quickly become a fantastic way for businesses to elevate sales thanks to the platform’s snazzy range of e-commerce features and its visual content focus. With straightforward options that are easy-to-use for both buyer and seller alike, Instagram helps funnel existing followers to your product pages, while also allowing new fans to effortlessly browse your catalogue. To put the playing field that awaits you into context, 130 million people tap on an Instagram shopping post each month, with 44% of users using the platform to shop weekly – all we can say is, wow.
Social media marketing is about making the most of all opportunities that come your way – and we would call Facebook offering businesses the ability to reach over 250 million shoppers through their shop feature a big opportunity. With the mobile-optimised shop also accessible through Instagram, users can have new experiences with your brand and products daily through the likes of custom collections and tags. With one million sellers already taking advantage of the feature, if you don’t jump into the social shopping arena and join them, you’ll be left behind.
Did you know that 9 out of 10 users visit Pinterest to pin inspiration for their next purchase? Well, you do now!
Users are logging on to save the items that they love as part of the consideration phase of their buying process, and with 64% of pinners visiting the platform just to shop – it’s safe to say purchasing is on their mind. We can all acknowledge that the platform is not the simple hub of DIY ideas and recipes that it was once upon a time, and with options available such as product pins and shopping lists there are countless opportunities for your brand to boost sales.
Now, we aren’t saying that your product pages and online storefronts will see an influx of customers from near and far without effort on your part. From getting more eyes on your products to driving sale numbers, it’s important to ensure your pages are implementing a strong strategy with clear goals to ensure the success of your social commerce outlets.
If you want to learn more about how you can elevate your social commerce strategy, connect with our Digital Director, Sophie Viallard, via [email protected] to find out how our digital experts can support you.
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