Social Media Grows Up
We all enjoy a good cat video or Game of Thrones meme (let's all forget about season 8). However, social media has grown into much more. It's now a place for shopping. Ecommerce is migrating to social media platforms. This "social commerce" trend has grown during the pandemic as more consumers were trapped at home and unable to visit stores.
Social commerce is expected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2025 (according to Accenture) driven primarily by Gen Z and Millennial consumers, who account for 62% of the spending. The social media tech giants are eager to capitalize on this trend so they are doubling down on direct online shopping tools. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok now have integrated shopping tools available directly from within their feeds and posts. All the social platforms are presenting new ways to engage customers.
Shopping with Social Media
Social media is poised to drive modern retail in a global and culture-defining way. Social media has made shopping an interactive, entertaining experience with real time engagement and feedback. All the big social media platforms are jumping on lucrative online shopping marketing and providing embedded stores within the platform. Let's review what some of the platforms have in store for hungry shoppers.
Facebook introduced "Facebook Shops" which allows businesses to set up free online storefronts on Facebook and Instagram. For Instagram-specific users, there's "Instagram Shopping" which is a set of features that allow viewers to shop the photos and videos all across the platform. Businesses and creators can tag products directly in their posts. Customers can then checkout on Instagram directly in-app.
TikTok has rolled out "TikTok Shopping" among a select group of Shopify merchants in the US, UK, and Canada. TikTok Shopping will bring new features that help Shopify merchants create engaging, organic content that sends consumers directly to their online store for checkout, making it easy for people to explore and buy the products they discover on TikTok.
Twitter is offering the "Shop Module" where the site reserves dedicated space at the top of a profile where businesses can showcase their products. Visitors can scroll through the carousel of products and tap on any item to learn more and purchase within an in-app browser, without having to leave Twitter. They are also experimenting with a new "Purchases" tab. When tapped, it shows a record of any subscriptions or ticketed Spaces that a user has paid for in the app.
Snapchat is rolling out business profiles called Public Profiles for Businesses that allow businesses to set up shoppable product catalogs and AR filters. This gives customers a way to place orders with each business without leaving the Snapchat app. The AR aspect is an attempt to provide immersive AR shopping experiences with concepts like virtual try-on services.
Video and Social Commerce
Video has always outperformed static images for conversion. Customers want to see a full 360 of what they're buying and videos offer engaging options. Today's social media is driven by video posts so it's a natural platform to show off new products. Brands are focusing on social media video engagements using livestreams, product examples, unboxing videos and more. Video has emerged at the desired medium of the current generation of shoppers. They want to be engaged and involved. Social media brings this flexibility right to the brand and customer in one place.
It's Time to Get Onboard
So, what does all of this mean for brands and merchants? It's time to focus some attention on your social media and reach your customers on the apps or platforms where they're already hanging out. The emergence of social commerce is a prime opportunity for businesses to leverage their social channels and expand their ecommerce footprint. Social commerce builds brand engagement better than a static online store or marketplace.
Evidence suggests that people are influenced to purchase by social media posts so your business should take advantage of this trend. You'll be able to increase sales by giving your customers more opportunities to shop, improve customer engagement rates and gain new insights into customer behavior.
Are you ready to take the leap into social shopping? Tell us about your project and we'll get you up and running.