2022: The Latest E-Commerce Trend – Social Commerce

2022: The Latest E-Commerce Trend – Social Commerce

In recent years, the world of e-commerce has grown rapidly with more people shopping online and more businesses offering their products and services to be purchased through the Internet.

Considering just how important social media has become in our lives, it’s no surprise that it has now fused with e-commerce to form an entity of its own – social commerce. Here’s everything you should know about this latest e-commerce trend and how you can use it.

What Is Social Commerce?

To put it simply, social commerce is the combination of social media and e-commerce. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest among others offer users the opportunity to use special tools and features specifically for e-commerce. These tools can be used both by brands and by individual entrepreneurs to sell products and services directly through social media.

Social commerce offers opportunities to businesses and individual entrepreneurs in different niches and industries, with different resources and experience, and with vastly different target audiences. That’s what makes it so appealing to all kinds of brands and that’s exactly why it has been growing in the past few years.

Why Do You Need Social Commerce?

One of the biggest reasons why social commerce is so popular right now is because of how easily it connects businesses with their customers. Users don’t need to leave social media to make their purchase – they can do it directly in the app. This makes shopping a truly social experience with smooth browsing and checkout opportunities.

Maison Bannister, an expert from the writing services reviews site Writing Judge, explains, “Most social media platforms nowadays offer businesses an option to see insights and data about their audience. This makes targeting more accurate as businesses can post content that is more relevant to their audience while also launching social ad campaigns that reach exactly the kinds of users companies are looking for.”

At the same time, using social commerce means you don’t have to switch between platforms to manage sales and social media marketing. Customers are able to browse and purchase products in one place, but you as a business owner can manage all of the activity on your end from a single dashboard as well.

If you are still unconvinced about all the benefits of social commerce, here are some statistics:

  • US retail social commerce sales amounted to almost $27 billion in 2020.
  • More than 1 in 4 online users utilize social media to find products to purchase.
  • 72% of consumers use social media to research brands.
  • 60% of consumers state that they discover new products on Instagram while 62% say that they become more interested in products they see in Stories.
  • 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month while over 200 million visit at least one business profile daily.
  • >>>
  • US retail social commerce sales amounted to almost $27 billion in 2020.
  • More than 1 in 4 online users utilize social media to find products to purchase.
  • 72% of consumers use social media to research brands.
  • 60% of consumers state that they discover new products on Instagram while 62% say that they become more interested in products they see in Stories.
  • 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month while over 200 million visit at least one business profile daily.
  • >>>

US retail social commerce sales amounted to almost $27 billion in 2020.

More than 1 in 4 online users utilize social media to find products to purchase.

72% of consumers use social media to research brands.

60% of consumers state that they discover new products on Instagram while 62% say that they become more interested in products they see in Stories.

130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month while over 200 million visit at least one business profile daily.

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#1 Choose Your Platform

First and foremost, you need to choose your platform. The biggest social media platforms all offer tools and features of their own, so you will definitely find something that fits your resources and goals. Here’s a rundown of what each platform has to offer:

  • Instagram: Instagram allows you to launch ad campaigns as well as utilize its business features collectively known as Instagram Shopping.
  • Facebook: Ad campaigns can be launched simultaneously on Instagram and Facebook, but you can also use Facebook Shops specifically for selling products or services on Facebook.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is great for marketing in general, but it also offers Pinterest Business which provides companies with features specifically for social commerce.
  • TikTok: TikTok can help your products go viral. It also offers TikTok for Business along with TikTok Ads.
  • Snapchat: Snapchat offers the Snap Business Manager as well as Snapchat Ads for running ad campaigns.
  • Other: Other platforms like WeChat have also been involved in social commerce, but these platforms are not always popular in Western markets.

As you can see, there are quite a few options available to you. Depending on your target audience, you might want to opt for one platform over another. If you already have brand accounts on one or more of these platforms, perhaps it’s best to stick to it for now until you decide to expand to other platforms.

#2 Update Your Social Media Strategy

Once you have chosen your platform, you will need to rework and update your social media strategy a bit. This is necessary because you will now be involved in social commerce – not just social media marketing. You will likely be able to resume most of your past social media activity in the same way, but you will have to ensure that it aligns with your new goals.

For instance, you probably already have a social media content strategy that includes the formats, topics, etc. you use for your content. Now that you will be using certain social commerce features, this content will need to be optimized to fit the way these features are used (e.g. shoppable posts on Instagram).

Likewise, you need to consider the techniques you’ve been using as a part of your social media strategy so far. Anything from influencer marketing to social advertising should be taken into account when planning your new course of action. You will also need to align your activity across different social media platforms to get the best results from your efforts.

#3 Optimize Content Accordingly

Speaking of optimization, once you have a solid strategy ready, you will need to start working on a more detailed level to optimize your content. The changes you have outlined in your strategy need to be put into practice with all the new content you produce for your social media accounts.

Jennifer Hook, an expert from the custom writing reviews site Best Writers Online, says, “It depends on the platform, of course, but most of the time, I advise businesses to focus on their visuals. Even when simply shopping in an online store, customers look at images first and product titles second. That’s why you want your images to look right before you start thinking about captions, descriptions, titles, and so on.”

Another thing to keep in mind is branding. You might be posting on social media, but because this is about social commerce, you should also present yourself as a brand. Users need to realize that you are showing them a product and not just posting a nice picture to get likes. This is why it could be a good idea to use more branding elements in your content such as your brand logo, slogan, colors, etc.

#4 Leverage Social Commerce Best Practices

You don’t need to invent a bicycle to be successful with social commerce. Therefore, try to stick to the most common social commerce techniques at first before you get more experience and start experimenting with your strategy. The top three to start

  • Promotion of Lower-Cost Products: Instead of trying to push products that are on the higher end of the pricing spectrum, focus on the ones that cost less. With social media, you are able to reach massive numbers of potential customers, so focusing on products that cost less will still bring you a sizable revenue.
  • Influencer Marketing: As mentioned earlier, you can still use many techniques you’ve used before on social media – and that includes influencer marketing. Partner with macro and micro influencers to promote your brand and your products. This will help you increase brand awareness while also potentially increasing sales.
  • Encouraging Social Proof and UGC: Word-of-mouth advertising can work wonders even for smaller businesses which is why you should definitely encourage social proof and user-generated content. Remind your past customers to share their reviews on social media and spread the word about your brand this way.

#5 Never Miss Out on Upgrades

Last but not least, you should never miss out on the latest upgrades and updates to the social media platforms you are using. Keep an eye out for any new features that are being introduced, even if they don’t directly relate to social commerce. All kinds of features can be used to strengthen your overall social media strategy which is why they will still be important for your social commerce strategy.

For instance, Instagram has a feature that allows you to pin comments and make them appear at the top of the comment section this way. While this feature may not seem like something particularly important for social commerce, it can actually help you strengthen your relationship with your audience which, in turn, leads to more returning, loyal customers.

On the other hand, consider the competitive edge you will get if you figure out how to use a new feature in an unconventional way. Once something new is introduced, experiment with the feature and see what it can do for your brand. If you get things right before your competitors, you might be able to reach more users faster, improve brand awareness, and even get more sales out of it.

Wrapping Up

All in all, social commerce can be an extremely useful strategy to adopt whether you have a business or you are an entrepreneur offering products or services. Use the tips in this article to help you get started with social commerce and start selling through social media.

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