The term ‘social commerce’ seems almost mystical to those not involved in the marketing sector, and it’s understandable why. It never seems to be explored with much depth by day-to-day social media users. What is really shocking is that there’s an increasing number of businesses who also don’t really understand what it means. So here we are, Create8 at your service. Bringing all things about social commerce into the light.
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WHAT IS SOCIAL COMMERCE
As eCommerce continues to boom, it constantly creates more ways for us to think about driving sales. We all want to buy, and these days we want to buy from the safety of our homes, from our bathtub or the early hours of the morning as the kettle boils. This is why eCommerce strategy has become one of, if not the most crucial factor in almost all retail business plans.
Social commerce is the middle ground in which eCommerce sales and social media meet. It is a tool by which businesses across the world can leverage social media followings to make sales. With the top 500 global retailers bringing in over seven billion dollars from social shopping last year, should your business be making the most of the social commerce wave?
Why Social Media and eCommerce?
Although it sounds like a simple question to answer it’s actually a quite tricky one. Putting social commerce at the top of the priority list has been a long time coming, and in truth, we haven’t reached the pinnacle yet. Social media platforms are still doing battle on a daily basis for the most innovative ways of driving social commerce. And, of course, once one platform steps up to the mark, businesses rush to make the most of it.
Social media is one of the most influential sectors in the world, a wide range of customer buying habits are driven through various platforms. That being said, it has taken a little longer for social commerce to take the reins and win the hearts of the consumer. At first, it felt like there was a lack of trust from a potential customer when buying directly from a social media platform. However, that has since subsided, and we are well in the thick of the social commerce boom.
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WHAT FALLS INTO THE REMIT OF SOCIAL COMMERCE?
As far as the term social commerce is concerned, it’s blanket terminology for many things. The features available to businesses that fall into social commerce differ dependant on what platform they’re marketing on. Below are some of the most popular social commerce features.
By now, you probably know we love shoppable posts. As an agency, we understand how the interactive nature of the shoppable post movement really invigorates the potential customer. Therefore, driving sales via a connection to the post itself. With Instagram and Snapchat both being driving forces behind shoppable posts they have taken off in a huge way.
You may have seen the ‘swipe for more info’ prompt on your social media platforms whilst browsing your favourite brands feed. What this does is it allows businesses to catalogue products in the background of their social media platform. Meaning if you like the way the product looks, you can instantly find out how much it’ll cost you and take you straight to a purchase option.
For some time, platforms like Twitter and Facebook have used the buy button as an immediate call to action for potential customers. With buy buttons, businesses can sell immediately through their social media marketing without the trouble of getting people over to their website. Buy buttons may seem a little intrusive at times, but as in the generation we live in, a lot of potential customers don’t have time on their hands to wait for your website to load. The instant purchase us a time-saving option, allowing customers to commit to purchasing straight from their social platform of choice.
THE KEY TO SOCIAL COMMERCE
When hiring an agency to help you make the most of social commerce, there are a few essential factors you should take into account.
OK, so if you really want to stand out from the crowd, you need to be producing organic content. Both buy buttons and shoppable posts rely on brilliant content to catch the eye of the potential customer. When hiring an agency who specialises in graphic design and content creation, your social commerce strategy is in extremely capable hands.
Another critical factor to social commerce is the shortening of the buyer journey. By bringing your products to a place where your potential customers feel comfortable, you increase your chance of selling products. To make the journey itself feel seamless to the consumer, a specialist agency will pinpoint specific times and places to post your content, they will take care of the posting itself and the management of the social feed. As a business owner, you can sit back and count the sales.
SOCIAL COMMERCE FAQ
Can social commerce help in-store sales?
Yes! Here’s the thing with social commerce. Buying online creates a seemingly tighter bond between customer and business, this is due to the level of trust the customer puts in the company to deliver the product exactly as it was described online. Therefore, if you have a shopfront, your online sales will support this as the customers will already have a strong bond with your product and brand.
Brand awareness is also invaluable when it comes to social commerce. Your statistics will tell you how many people bought your product online, but they won’t tell you how many have purchased at a later date or called in-store to buy. When people become used to seeing your brand name, they immediately learn to trust the brand itself.
Which social media platform is best for which sector?
The answer to this question differs based on what it is you’re offering. We would also advise a multi-channel approach to social commerce and social media marketing. Allow us to alleviate the stress and for now, make the most of whatever platforms you currently have.