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Social commerce is an innovative and practical way to make money for your business. It blends product discovery and research with beauty. The best part about your shopping experience is that it takes place on the same platform.
What is Social Commerce?
Social commerce is a segment of eCommerce in which businesses sell products directly through social media platforms instead of being redirected to their website. This experience allows users to browse their products, interact with brands and make purchases.
What’s the Difference Between Social Commerce and eCommerce?
While they’re both similar experiences, they involve different paths to purchase. E-commerce typically refers to an online shopping experience via a website or branded app, and customers will access these websites via desktop or mobile devices. Often, even after the customer reaches the store through digital advertising, the customer has to go through more steps in the purchase journey. Each additional step poses the risk of losing their interest and possible sale.
Social commerce brings the store to the customers by allowing them to purchase items directly through the social media platform without redirecting them to an online store. Permitting shoppers to buy directly on social media removes unnecessary steps and streamlines the buying process.
The 4 Top Social Commerce Platforms
While Facebook and Instagram are probably the most well-known social commerce platforms, other social media companies are expanding their offerings. Since every platform is different and attracts a unique audience, you must research which platforms best suit your brand and products.
Instagram shops allow users to buy products featured in your photos, which provides an undisrupted buying experience. To get started, you need to set up a Facebook Shop first since your Instagram shop will pull data for your Facebook catalog.
One of the critical factors for Instagram shopping is that the products in your photos contain product tags. These tags let you highlight items from your catalog in your images and videos, so people can easily tap and learn more.
Facebook Shops are customizable, which allows you to choose which collections or goods to feature. You can customize your fonts, images, and colors to suit your brand and import an existing product catalog or create one from scratch.
When the customer is ready to convert, they can check out directly from the app, or they’ll be directed to a Messenger chat with your business.
TikTok is a great way to promote your business organically and another great platform to sell your products.
With TikTok Shopping, a shopping tab will be added to your TikTok profile. This tab will pull items from their Shopify product catalogs, allowing other TikTok users to browse products without leaving the app. Creators can also tag products in organic videos using dedicated product links.
Pinterest is the almighty platform of inspiration. It’s important to note that while Pinterest has similar shopping features to Instagram and TikTok, you can’t buy a product directly in the Pinterest app. When you click on a product pin, you will be directed to the eCommerce website to purchase.
Instead, you may use your business account to create product pins, which will be displayed in your brand’s Pinterest shop. One of the essential features to highlight about product pins is that users can save these pins to boards to purchase later.
You can set up a product catalog in your Pinterest Business account too. Pinterest will auto-generate some pins from your product images, allowing you to start creating your branded boards. Once your catalog is ready, you can begin a shopping ads campaign and a dynamic retargeting campaign to get your products in front of the right audience.
The 5 Benefits of Social Commerce
If you need more convincing to join in on social commerce, here are a few benefits that might help make your decision.
1. Larger Audience of Potential Customers
According to SmartInsights, 4.62 billion people around the world use social media. Social media has no boundaries and allows you to get your product in front of many new faces.
H3: 2. Build Brand Awareness & a Stronger Social Media Presence
Social Commerce allows you to merge your business’s social media and eCommerce. It will enable you to stay top-of-mind with your customers through daily content.
Another critical way to build brand awareness is through influencer marketing. If you are a small business, consider partnering with micro-influencers. Shoppers are looking for brands that others trust, and what better way to showcase that trust than with an influencer?
3. Connect with Your Target Audience
Social media platforms now have analytics for capabilities that you can utilize to track users’ shopping behavior. You can use this information to cater your content and products directly to your target audience.
Before starting your social commerce journey, take the time to identify your target audience. Reach your audience with products and messaging that best suit their needs.
4. Easy & Convenient Purchasing
Social Commerce removes unnecessary buying steps from the customer’s purchase journey. For example, instead of being directed off Instagram to your website, the platform allows you to “Checkout on Instagram.” Users will have an uninterrupted shopping experience where they can quickly resume scrolling after buying.
5. Creates Social Proof of Your Products
Customers may not trust you right away. They’ll be reading customer reviews and comparing products and may even talk to other customers who can vouch for your product or service.
Luckily, social commerce comes with built-in social proof. Primarily through user-generated content such as comments, likes, follows, and shares.
Tips & Tricks to Making Social Commerce Work For You
Make the most of your online presence with these tips for converting browsers into customers.
Streamlines Sales with an AI chatbot
A quick and professional answer can be the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart. Automate your customer service with a chatbot to ensure your customers are taken care of 24/7.
Engage With Your Followers
Don’t just post your content and leave. Spend some time replying to your customers, post polls or Q&As, and engage with your customers to learn what they want from you. Other engagement methods include liking their comments or resharing and mentioning user-generated content.
Similar to engaging with your followers, ensure you listen to what your audience is saying about your shop. Followers might give you product ideas and customer service requests or ask questions that could benefit your business. Additionally, track your mentions or branded hashtags when participating in social monitoring.
Reviews are the driving force behind an interested buyer’s decision and are vital to your company’s success.
Ensure that you are gathering reviews from buyers. Send an automated follow-up email asking for a review after a product has been delivered. Collecting social proof is a great way to build trust with your audience.
Finding a Social Media Specialist
Set yourself up for success by working with a Social Media Specialist. We have an experienced Marketing team here at NW Media Collective who, together, have experience with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok. We can help your business grow. Contact us today!