By Ivie Ndep
As social distancing continues, people are spending even more time on their phones than before. According to Later, screen time has increased by 18%. Online shopping has also increased in the last few weeks. Social commerce is becoming an increasingly important channel in online shopping and social media’s immense popularity and influence have built a huge potential for shopping through social platforms.
According to Sproutsocial, social commerce is an eCommerce term for buying and selling activities that take place on social media networks such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest. This is a great time for businesses to take advantage of social commerce as social activities are at an all-time high due to the pandemic.
Here are four e-commerce trends on social media to keep in mind as you consider your overall eCommerce strategy.
Businesses can now integrate shoppable feeds into their social profiles by linking their eCommerce website like Shopify.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have several native shopping tools. Pinterest has shoppable pins where pinners can buy products from the app. Facebook makes it easy for consumers to search and shop for products online. It recently introduced “Shops” which gives brands the ability to create a digital storefront on their Facebook pages and consumers can buy products directly on the platform. Instagram also has shoppable posts that allow people to shop on the platform and is currently the most popular for social media shopping. Even TikTok, a favorite of Gen Z, is experimenting with eCommerce by allowing websites to include links to products.
Content consumption on mobile is continually on the rise and mobile shopping is now possible on social media platforms. Recently, Shopify reported that 82% of smartphone users consult their devices when making an in-store purchase, and that 55% of customers have bought something online after discovering it on social media. It is now more important than ever that businesses integrate their social media with eCommerce platforms.
Businesses also need to ensure that their websites are optimized for mobile as it can be frustrating for customers, once redirected from social media, to find themselves on a website that is not mobile-friendly.
Shoppers, especially younger generations, rely on peer recommendations when it comes to buying. User-generated content (UGC) is generally more authentic, so businesses use influencers and their social media community to create content about their brand and drive purchases to their website.
The combination of UGC and social commerce can be a big win for your social commerce efforts as UGC has a high impact on purchasing decisions.
Enhancing the customer shopping experience
Customer experience impacts a customer’s decision to purchase from, and remain loyal to, a brand. Social media channels have devised different ways to enhance the shopping experience for consumers. Here are some of the ways social platforms are improving the shopping experience:
- Augmented reality: Augmented reality is providing new opportunities for users to experience different products. An example is Pinterest where consumers can now try on makeup virtually to show what shade they should buy. AR gives customers a better idea of how and what products work for them.
- Customer support: With “Shops” on Facebook and Instagram, businesses can handle customer support through Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram direct. Facebook also has the messenger chatbot which helps businesses send automated messages and customers with the checkout process.
- Loyalty/reward programs: Facebook is currently testing ways to make it easy to earn rewards with the businesses you love. The plan is to make it easy to integrate your own loyalty programs, so you can keep track of rewards and points.
It is an exciting time for eCommerce on social media right now as opportunities keep evolving. These opportunities are worth exploring, especially for small businesses that closed their physical storefronts during this time.
Do you want to learn more about how to take advantage of eCommerce on social media for your business? Contact us!