Shopping has always been a social activity. People just can’t stop sharing their preferences and choices with their friends. They talk about brands, products, and trending elements which, in their opinion, everyone should try once.
This excitement among the customers has gained a lot of push since eCommerce and social media have directly and indirectly correlated. Social commerce has enabled shoppers to shop over social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and more.
Social commerce not only connects online brands with people but also people with people. Well obviously, the primary aim of social channels is to connect people with each other.
However, when it comes to social commerce, people can rely on the reviews and what other customers are saying about a brand or the products.
Such factors make Social Commerce the best opportunity to boost eCommerce sales. Don’t know how and why to utilize it? Well, if you’re looking to start an online selling business, or already selling and want eCommerce sales – Trust me – you’ve reached the best place over the web.
As the matter of fact, social commerce is the most essential and easiest element to cover in the initial stages of your online business to ensure better online conversions.
So, to make sure that you’re utilizing social commerce in the best way possible, let’s start with basics.
What Does Social Commerce Mean?
Most of it, you can get from its name. Social commerce basically means selling products online through social media channels like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
A study shows that:
- 85% of the shoppers believe that social commerce platforms help them make a buying decision
- 70% of the consumers are likely to recommend a product to their loved ones if they had a good experience with the brand
- More than 30% of the users would like to complete their purchase within the social media platform they’re using.
There’s a lot of competition in the eCommerce industry. There are currently more than 24 million eCommerce websites present on the web. Not all websites can manage to get all the customers.
But to make sure that your eCommerce store gets the most engagement – using the social media for your online store can be a great approach.
How Does Commerce Happen on Social Media?
If you’re the one who is responsible for driving traffic and sales to your eCommerce store, then you must’ve tried your best to utilize eCommerce social media marketing for your brand.
You can run ads on FB, Instagram, and Pinterest to catch the eyes of your customers. Now, if you’re utilizing eCommerce social media marketing, you’re ultimately driving customers to your native website.
Whereas, with social commerce, you give the complete shopping experience within the social media platform. Starting from product discovery to exploring more products and adding them to the cart to completing the payment process. The complete shopping journey starts from social media and ends in it.
How to Leverage Social Commerce?
The best social commerce platforms to boost eCommerce sales are only 3. And believe me, that’s all you need.
These three prodigious social commerce platforms are, as expected,
1. Facebook Shop
Facebook Shop is the best eCommerce marketplace present over a social platform. It works exactly the same way your eCommerce website does. Into the Fb shop, your customers can search for a product and presented with the relevant results. Once the customers choose the products, they can add them to their carts.
Facebook Shop integrates with verified online payment methods for customers to pay through. They can also use their bank cards to fulfill the purchase.
Thus, they didn’t have to leave Facebook and at the same time, they just completed shopping. It’s amazing as the customers can now shop along with getting entertained.
40% of consumers have made a purchase via Facebook.
To learn how to sell on Facebook, I’d recommend you read Why and How to Sell on Facebook Shop? For a detailed and step by step guide.
2. Instagram Shop
Instagram has been the fastest growing social media platform that’s working towards integrating shopping into it. You can run Instagram Ads just as you run FB ads.
Now if Facebook has come up with FB Shop, how could Instagram not! Recently in 2020, Instagram came up with its latest feature Instagram Shop and Instagram Live Shopping.
Where Instagram Live Shopping allows you to broadcast live videos where you can tag the link to your product page on a website or to your Instagram Shop. The link and your Live video will vanish as soon as you close the broadcast.
On the other hand, the Instagram shop is the full-fledged eCommerce platform where your customers can explore products, add them to the cart, and finalize the purchase without leaving the app.
Though there are more users on Facebook than on Instagram. But when it comes to engagement, Instagram is way better. People on Instagram love engagement whether it’s with people they know or the brands that have something great to offer.
3. Pinterest Shop
Pinterest is the most popular visual search engine with billions of ideas and inspirations on it. You can easily sell your product online and give it a boost with the help of this app. You can create Rich Pins, run ads, and as we’re talking about – Pinterest Shop.
However, Pinterest Shop is slightly different, or we can say, a little less advanced than the other two options we just talked about.
You can post shoppable Pins over Pinterest. You may either just upload a few shoppable products or the entire shoppable catalog of your products.
While browsing the pins, people can click on those pins and explore the in-stock, shoppable products. You must’ve seen a few pins tagged with ‘Shop’ links saying ‘Shop this look’. These are the shoppable pins where customers can explore that and the relevant products.
The only difference and drawback here are that the shoppers can’t fulfill the payment with Pinterest. They’ll be taken to the original online store’s website where they’ll have to complete the purchase.
Despite having no ability to complete the purchase within the app, Pinterest Shop can still be really fruitful as Pinterest is highly popular among the shoppers as it has exceptional ideas to provide that basically works as a personal stylist.
12% of the shoppers have shopped via Pinterest and this is a huge number for you to sell products online and increase eCommerce sales.
And, we never know how soon Pinterest will come up with the same feature and sweep everyone off their feet (just as it’s doing even without it).
Why is Social Commerce Important?
There are a lot of benefits of leveraging Social Commerce such as:
1. Interestingly engaging!
Though eCommerce business owners push hard to enhance engagement among the customers, shopping still ends up as a chore rather than an engaging activity.
Social commerce enables the customers to get engaged with a business in a rather interesting way. It doesn’t let the customers feel that they’re doing any dedicated chore. Instead, it makes shopping a part of the entertainment that they can enjoy over social media.
Shopping becomes fun and entertaining as they know they’re not leaving their ‘addiction’(social media) to fulfill another ‘addiction’ (shopping)! They can get both the needs fulfilled in one single place which makes online shopping much more engaging – which ultimately fulfills your goal to gain better engagement.
2. Boosts AOV
The average order value of shoppers shopping from Instagram is $65, followed by $55 from Facebook.
Where customers need to set aside a dedicated time when they’ll browse a shopping website and then explore the product, with social commerce, they can stay in touch with brands constantly on the social channels they use.
Shoppers need not take out the dedicated time to explore products. Thus, the constant engagement with enticing product images and offers encourage them to click and explore further. When they’re free to leave the task anytime and return back to the feeds and videos, it makes them more comfortable to interact with a brand.
The innumerable facilities and availability of products all on social media always make the buyers to buy more that they usually do.
3. Seamless customer experience
As I explained, shopping over social commerce is just seamless. People are not deciding any dedicated time for shopping websites, they do not need to leave their beloved social app, and they can utilize all the buying experience without even acknowledging how convenient it has been.
As per the recent data collected, customer satisfaction is gonna surpass the priority level of product quality and price for a customer. Simply put, customers want customer service on priority as compared to any other factor.
Now, social commerce just does the job.
4. Offers personalization
Personalization is one of the most crucial elements eCommerce business owners really need to integrate.
As per BCG, personalization can boost your revenue by 25%. In fact, a study also found that most of the customers are willing to pay as much as 3 times more to a brand if they can be promised personalization and customer satisfaction.
More than 80% of the customers want brands to show them more personalized options. Personalization is also one of the best factors for people to decide if they will be loyal to a brand.
5. Better reach to more audience
Shoppers can easily recommend you and share your products with their friends and family on the same app they’re engaging with you. With this, social commerce gives you a weir reach to get recommended and reach more audiences.
You don’t only get more customers but more followers over social media as well if customers are happy with your products.
6. Increase in the number of mobile shoppers
If the customers are to look for the products on a dedicated website, most people consider using their desktop as compared to their smartphone and tablet. If you don’t believe me, check the number of sales of your online store generated using different devices.
I bet the number of shoppers using a desktop would be the highest. However, with the help of social commerce, you can simply hike up the number of mobile shoppers.
Most people use social media over their mobile as they use it all the time. Be it while traveling, in bed, in the office, having, breakfast, or else – they all do it via their mobile.
As social commerce is about selling products on social media, it enables the buyers to shop from the app they’re using. There’s likely no chance that a buyer is going to switch the device, access social media from desktop and make a purchase.
How to Sell Successfully With Social Commerce?
1. Recognize your best-selling, less expensive products
It’s pretty obvious for less expensive products to sell well on social media. You’re capturing the shoppers on a certain plus point in their shopping journey.
It’s important that you focus and determine your best selling as well as less-expensive products.
With best-selling products, you can be confident enough to reach a wider audience, given the popularity of that product. You’re selling the products that appeal to a large pool of audience to start with.
With less expensive products, you’re reducing the friction in your buyers’ journey as they can quickly make the decision.
These 2 are the most effective and relevant strategies to give an initial boost to your social commerce sales.
2. Utilize the correct tools
There are thousands of tools out there for you to choose from, but I am gonna tell you about the 2 of them that should do the job.
The shirts is a messaging tool, ManyChat. It enables you to combine FB Messenger and SMS campaigns. This tool is fantastic for collecting leads and converting them into shoppers.
The second social commerce tool is jumper.ai. Jumper.ai comes with pre-built checkout chatbots, which integrates all kinds of different platforms and tools. You can simply integrate it into Instagram to create a wonderful social commerce experience.
3. Join hands with influencers
Influencers are playing a great deal in inspiring their followers towards a brand and online shopping stores. These people are highly influential and have an extremely potential and large pool of audience.
If you can partner with influencers, you don’t need to reach out to your potential market individually as the influencers bring their audience along with them to engage with your eCommerce business and products.
4. Encourage them with giveaways
Have you tried online competitions and scratch card giveaways during your eCommerce social media marketing campaigns? Well, it’s a lot easier now to engage them as if they engage with you, they don’t need to visit your site separately.
You may run the ad and allow them to interact with you within the same platform. You may also offer discounts if the customer buys from you via social commerce.
Attract and encourage them with giveaways, freebies, and discounts to promote your social commerce campaign.
5. Leverage the power of feedback
Taking feedback is essential if you want to gain customers’ trust and respect. When you ask for feedback, your customers feel valued and heard. It shows that you value their opinion and they can have a say in how you should work for them.
Feedback also works as social proof to build your social commerce. No matter how well your sales team is or how well-crafted your eCommerce social media marketing strategies are, you can’t overpower mouth publicity.
More than 80% of the customers trust real reviews rather than what the brand is saying about itself. And even 60% of the store hoppers search for the reviews online rather than considering the sales person’s suggestions.
6. Product image editing
Product image editing
Arguably, the biggest mistake brands make when attempting to leverage social commerce is not considering the importance of product image editing. Your product images are the only way your customers can figure out what they are being sold.
If your images look dull, distorted, and unattractive – no one’s waiting for that product. Thus, it’s crucial to have your product images retouched before you post them online.
At the time of product image editing, you can adjust the reflection shadows, remove unwanted elements like background, scratches, dust, and fingerprints, and take care of the colors and quality.
Make sure that you make your images as captivating as possible.
★Lead followers to your storefront
This is the biggest and most effective point in this entire article to leverage social commerce and sell products online successfully.
You need to make sure that you’re providing as many avenues as possible to steer your followers towards your social commerce campaign.
Instagram hashtags are often overlooked when it comes to motivating the customers to buy. The hashtags also play an equally important role in catching the eyes of the customers.
Make sure that you’re using enticing images, the right keywords, and all the necessary steps that ensure you run a successful social commerce campaign.