Up until recently, the worlds of ecommerce and social media have been completely different beasts. Sure, you might use social media to promote your brand and build a team of loyal followers, but they always had to leave Facebook or Instagram to make purchases via your e-commerce site. Now, thanks to the emerging trend of social commerce, these two worlds are merging – creating a new, more streamlined experience for both shoppers and sellers alike.
Simply put, social commerce allows companies to sell their products via sales channels that appear directly on their social media profiles, so there’s no need for customers to navigate elsewhere to buy. And it looks set to be big news. According to experts, the social commerce sector was worth around $475 billion in 2020 and is predicted to grow exponentially, eventually reaching more than $3 trillion by 2028.
So what does social commerce look like?
Typically, it takes the form of features such as clickable posts, dedicated checkouts, and on-site storefronts, although new tools and techniques are emerging every day. The idea is to build trust in a brand by creating a new purchasing route, bypassing the filters that shoppers typically apply to content and advertisements. And there are a whole host of benefits to this approach.
To begin with, social commerce reduces friction in the checkout process. When shoppers are forced to stop whatever they are doing and visit another site to complete a purchase, they are much less likely to follow through. But when these processes are integrated, and making a purchase is as simple as clicking a button in a Facebook post, conversion rates soar.
But that’s not all. Social commerce is also a great way to grow your ‘social proof’ – the reviews and testimonials that help build public trust and loyalty in your brand. When your ecommerce store is linked to your social media, it’s easier to encourage shoppers to share pics and videos, or leave a review. And as your posts gain traction, they generate their own social proof.
Finally, embracing social commerce now will future-proof your business as mobile shopping continues to grow in popularity. After all, customers using their mobile phones to check social media are even less likely to navigate to an external site in order to make a purchase. And with mobile e-commerce sales set to account for almost 50 percent of purchases by 2025, it’s important to adapt now. Moving forwards, having a mobile-friendly website won’t be enough – you’ll need to think about the growing number of shoppers who are making their purchases via their social media apps.
As social media continues to infiltrate all aspects of our lives, it’s perhaps not surprising that the lines between Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and ecommerce are beginning to blur. And if you don’t want to be left behind, it’s important to start exploring social commerce today.