In the middle of the night, you are resting from a long day of work browsing through Instagram stories. You are catching up on your friends’ activities and the latest news, then suddenly an ad from an apparel brand appears. You think it is a perfect addition to your work wardrobe. Fortunately, there is a button below that says “View Products” and you went in for more. You add items to your shopping cart and check-out. After all that, you are brought back to your friend’s Instagram post.
This is social commerce in action.
What is Social Commerce?
With the rise of social media use, there has been a shift in commerce from retailers and brands to people as audiences. In contrast to the anonymity behind commercial logos and big-name retailers, the commerce brought in by social media emphasizes on relatability, trust, and authenticity. From powerhouse, commerce became a people-centered retail experience. This is social commerce, and it is highly effective. Why? Because it blends perfectly to the personal social media experience and e-commerce transactions making marketing and business platforms more accessible and personalized.
Social Commerce as part of e-commerce
Social commerce is a branch of e-commerce wherein merchants and retailers sell their products directly through social media platforms. It allows customers to directly interact with brands, browse through and purchase products, and promote their goods and services.
This is also different from social media marketing, as social commerce gives customers the option to checkout directly from social media platforms, making the experience more seamless. Going a step further, it ensures that consumers will stay on the social media site, instead of navigating away, promoting more traffic to the brand’s store.
Top Social Commerce Platforms
Here are the top social media platforms and their key features that will help boost your business.
Known for its eye-catching photos, stories, and short-form videos through Reels, Instagram is the ideal space to showcase your products and services. It is also a platform that goes beyond brand awareness. In a survey, 54% of respondents say that they made a purchase after seeing a product or service on Instagram.
This easy-to-use platform could be leveraged to gain new audiences and expand to a wider geographical scope. There is the Facebook Marketplace that helped small- and medium- enterprises to build an audience online, especially during the pandemic. Facebook has also mastered the consumer-oriented algorithm. Once a potential customer discovers your products and services, Facebook does the work of featuring your products and services based on their preferences and data.
A new player in the social commerce arena, Tiktok immediately became the king of short-form videos. It has the unique ability to make new brands go viral overnight, with the phrase “Tiktok made me buy it” as a social proof. Now with shoppable posts, live streaming options, and opportunities for influencer marketing, it is truly a social commerce platform worth noting.
Impacts of Social Commerce on Customer Behavior
Brand awareness is raised
Instead of keeping your brand separated from social media, social commerce helps to integrate the two. This gives the opportunity for you to create brand awareness and keep your brand on-top-of-mind to your customers through daily contents. Another way to strengthen this is through influencer marketing, which social media platforms are also keen on building.
Shopping becomes more frictionless
With features like the Buy Button, View Products, Marketplace, and price tags on posts, social commerce removed unnecessary steps in the buying process. With fewer steps that go into the sales funnel, there is also a lesser risk of customers losing interest and leaving your page.
For instance, rather than redirecting your customers to a different app or e-commerce site, there are platforms that offer the Checkout option, such as in Instagram. This makes your brand more integrated in social media platforms and helps customers discover your brand easily.
The audience is more engaged
Brands invest in trust. And it is a reality that audiences won’t trust brands right away. Luckily, social media comes with built-in social proof that helps convince potential customers through likes, shares, comments, and reviews. The more customers interact with your brand, the more likely that other consumers would trust it. Social media also has mechanisms that incentivize these interactions.
Social media is the new frontier when it comes to business. While campaigns to enhance commerce have long been leveraged by business powerhouses, social commerce made it more accessible for brands, both big and small.
Ultimately, businesses have used the omnichannel strategy. This is building a presence across all business channels and weaving them into one consistent and engaging customer experience. And one way you could do this is through social commerce.
If you would like to know more about social commerce or would like to explore integrating it into your business strategy, then Marketin247 is the place to be. Contact us today!