Over the past year, there has been an accelerated shift to e-commerce. The online retail sector has experienced a monumental boom as consumer behaviours changed drastically and high street stores closed their doors as a result of the pandemic - but what about social media ecommerce?
There’s currently 4.48 billion social media users around the world so it’s not surprising that brands are leveraging social media to increase sales and product awareness. We’re not just talking about social media marketing anymore, this is a completely new ball game with a whole new focus. Brands now have the ability to sell their products/services on a variety of social media channels, with new commerce features that have been recently introduced. As more and more people spend time on social networks, it makes perfect sense to integrate shopping experiences within that space. This has enabled new relationship-building strategies as according to a recent report by Sprout Social, 65% of consumers feel more connected to brands that have a robust presence on social media. Not only that, but it creates a seamless customer journey as customers can now discover a product when they are casually flicking through Instagram and check-out within a matter of seconds.
Social selling is something that definitely shouldn’t be left out in the cold - and if it is, you’re missing out on a key opportunity within the ecommerce world. But which ones should you be using? Notably, there’s a lot of variables that can influence where you position yourself on social media - your audience, product/service, value proposition - but ultimately, if you’re looking to embed ecommerce into your social media strategy, these are some of the best ways that brands can do it to maximise conversions.
Shopping on Instagram has never been easier. This visual platform has put its online selling functions in full-swing, giving brands the opportunity to now have their own storefront. If you still don’t feel like Instagram is the right place for your brand, you might want to think again as more than 80 percent of people actually follow a business account and 130 million Instagram users click on shopping posts every month. Instagram shopping is a powerful tool that brings a whole new level of engagement. Some brands have even seen an incredible 1,416 percent increase in traffic and others a nearly 20 percent increase in revenue proving just how valuable having an Instagram shop can be. Aside from the stats, there’s plenty of other reasons why you should incorporate this social marketing method into your strategy - the main one being brand recognition. Shoppable posts make your products look more appealing as they tell a story and relate to real life. If a customer can picture themselves in the product, it’s a lot more encouraging for them to click and buy. People resonate with culture and followers want to see beyond the surface of a brand and the personalised shopping experience allows for them to do that. The algorithm also pushes your content in front of the right audience, curating a shoppable feed bespoke to their interests - it really is the future of ecommerce!
Next up of course we have the leading social giant Facebook storming ahead with a range of ecommerce tools for businesses. Brands have had huge success with the platform’s ecommerce features so far as there’s now over a million active e-commerce outlets and 250 million people interacting with them each month. The platform has been at the forefront of all things social ecommerce for a while, especially with the likes of Facebook Marketplace, but these new shoppable features have grown and adapted with the times. Facebook Shops is a professional addition to the social network that’s suited towards online retailers with more functionality. Not only has it enhanced the customer journey, but it’s also provided a new revenue stream for business owners - and the best part about it? It’s accessible for all businesses regardless of budget as it’s free to set up! The beauty of Facebook shopping is that everything, including brand updates, product browsing and support, is all in one place. Facebook offers a seamless shopping experience for customers and is a no brainer when it comes to finding an efficient way to move your operations online.
Lastly, we have Pinterest - and don’t knock it before you try it! Lots of brands are quick to make assumptions about Pinterest, thinking it’s still just a DIY and recipes pin-board, but it has in fact evolved into a major shopping search engine. Did you know that 85% of users have made a purchase based on seeing a branded pin? With 459 million monthly active users, businesses really should be taking advantage of the platform. It’s a little different than Facebook and Instagram in the respect that you don’t set up an actual ‘shop’ as such - instead you just push out product imagery and link this back to your website so that people can simply tap to visit your online store. The important thing to remember with Pinterest is that it's a visual search engine meaning it has its own SEO and algorithm rules, so you need to do your research and strategically place relevant keywords in order to pull your posts right to the top of corresponding searches. Pinterest is unique in comparison to other social media platforms as users go on to actively search for what they need rather than casually just strolling through a feed. This makes discoverability incomparable as 98% of people report trying new things they discover on Pinterest, compared to 71% on other platforms.
So as you can see, there’s - 3 incredibly valuable social media platforms available for ecommerce retailers to leverage, and if you’re looking to increase conversions, build stronger customer relationships and streamline lead generation more efficiently, social selling is definitely the way to do that. There’s no sign of it slowing down anytime soon, so you’ll want to hop on the bandwagon sooner rather than later in order to maximise the benefits! If you’d like support on how to utilise or implement social ecommerce within your strategy, our team of ecommerce marketing experts are here to help. Drop us a line at email@example.com.
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