The Growing Power of Social Commerce

Sydney VaccaroEcommerce1 Comment

Social Commerce

By 2018, ecommerce sales in the United States will reach $491.5 billion. Earlier this year, Facebook reached 1.87 billion registered accounts and Instagram following at 600 million.

Ecommerce and social media have boomed with popularity so there is no surprise that these online power houses came together to create an irresistible shopping experience for customers. This merging of social and online shopping is called social commerce. It is currently reshaping how brands connect, approach, and sell to their customers.

Growing Share of Social Commerce

Social media allows brands and customers to interact constantly and in new ways. The great thing is that customers want this interaction. 86% of social media users want to and do follow brands. Social media is quickly becoming the first place that people go to research and find options. In fact, 9 out of 10 customers turn to social media for help with buying decisions.

Social commerce is a form of ecommerce where social media platforms assist in the purchases of products and services. Market researcher estimates social commerce could produce over $60 billion dollars in 2017.

Social Becoming Shopping Friendly

Followers become buyers. The social media platforms are recognizing this want for social commerce from their users and retailers. By introducing new features, such as direct sales without having to leave the social site, these platforms have made shopping even more convenient.

Instagram

Instgram’s average order value is at a notable $65. An Instagram user survey found that 60% of people say they discover new products on Instagram. Also, 75% took action after being inspired by a post.

Businesses on Instagram can take advantage of some of their shopping friendly features. By making your page a Business Account it allows you to get metrics on how your promoted post are doing and insights to your followers and how they interact with your posts. Adding a Contact button, which appears at the top of your profile, will allow customer to get directions, call, and email which makes your company as accessible as possible.

Instagram also continues to test various shoppable post features and design. Recent tests through U.S. retailers including Kate Spade, JackThreads, and Warby Parker, show Instagram posts with a tap to view icon in the bottom left of a photo. Tapping the button reveals tags on up to five various products and their prices in the post. Users then select a tag and are provided a detailed view of the product itself.

Facebook

Facebook currently dominates social sales and traffic. The average order value coming from Facebook is $55.

A recently produced Shop Section can be added to a business page that lets you display and sell your product right on your page. When the “Buy” button was added it created a frictionless checkout which can increase revenue by 5-10%. By integrating Facebook Messenger, you can respond to customers comments and questions quickly and easily. You can even automate responses for Messenger to send.

Of course, there are Facebook Ads that help target people that have visited your page or find people that your ad’s content is relevant to their interests. Other features to help business sell include:

  • Upload products and product information
  • Manage orders
  • Get insights from ads

Pinterest

Pinterest, the picture bookmarking site, is greatly used for research and gather information. 93% of Pinterest users say they use it to plan for purchases. Buyable Pins were released in 2015, which lets users buy products without ever leaving Pinterest. The blue price tag under an product image tells people that the product is in stock and available for purchase.

80% of the content on Pinterest are Repins, which means when something gets pinned it continues to circulate. Your Buyable Pin may be circulated to countless different groups of Pinterest users. The half life of a pin on Pinterest is 3.5 months, which is 1,680 times longer than a Facebook post. An evergreen image will continue to be Repinned and clicked on for months.

Is Social Commerce Here To Stay?

Social media is playing a key role in ecommerce. Embracing social media can translate into sales for your business. Just from the sheer number of users on social media sites, it’s easy to see the influence it has. The wide reach your brand can have through social channels has never been seen by merchants before. Social commerce helps companies maintain customer relationships while increasing visibility and sales.

For the consumers benefit, it makes stores from around the world available at their fingertips. They can see something amazing on their feed and purchase it in just a few clicks. It also makes the normally solo act of online shopping feel more social.

Social media is not just a place where users come to shop. It is a place for users to make connections with the people (and brands) they love. Companies need to remember to make the personal connections with their followers not just sell to them to be successful in social commerce.

2016 was seen as a year of social commerce. We have seen no slow in the popularity of social media or ecommerce. With companies and social platforms both working to create an even more convenient and enjoyable shopping experience, why would the customers stay away? Social commerce is here to stay.

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