Social commerce is the use of social media networking websites as vehicles to promote and sell commercial products and services and it's a rapidly growing practice. 87% of e-commerce shoppers believe social media helps them make shopping decisions and 30% of consumers say they would make purchases directly through social media platforms. Social Commerce involves:
- Inviting users to vote on product style or choices
- Offering personalized buyer options
- Using graphics to attract viewer clicks
- Using videos to show the product in use and from multiple angles
- Encouraging user-submitted photos, commentary, and feedback
- Using celebrity endorsements
- Linking directly to the checkout or shopping cart
- Offering promotions or giveaways to users who share the product on their feeds
- Offering expert product advice and support.
The main networks used for social commerce are:
- Facebook: Companies can create “Shop Now” stores to interact with consumers. You can upload products and product information, curate and customize your catalogue, sell directly from your Facebook page and manage orders.
- Instagram has a merchant agreement and commerce policies that permit you to create posts that allow users to tap on images and stories to view products featured on them. You can link your Instagram site with your Facebook page.
- Pinterest began buyable pins in 2015 and has since worked with a number of major retailers. Visual presentation of the products is their hook.
- Snapchat has recently partnered with Spring, a shopping mobile app that catalogues all a consumer's favourite brands in one place and operates as a virtual shopping center. This collaboration will make it easier for consumers to purchase products on mobile.
Social Shopping describes networked shopping. It refers to consumers that use social networking services and sites to share the latest items they purchased, deals, coupons, want lists, product reviews, and other shopping finds.
Shoppable content is any content that offers consumers a direct opportunity to buy a product with just a few clicks. It generally includes clear product recommendations or purchase points. Shoppable content may include text, photo, video, blog posts and shoppable quizzes. This strategy helps to increase engagement and bridge the gap between browsing and buying. It improves conversion rates and helps brands measure conversions through content.
Shoppable posts look like a regular post except that the displayed products are tagged and linked to the seller's website. When clicking on the photo, a bubble will pop up containing the product's name, price and relevant information.
Social commerce is the natural evolution of online buying. As social media continues to evolve, so will the number and range of platforms with which people will be connected. Consumers will expect to be able to view and buy products within these spaces. Take note of how social commerce is evolving. Keep up with the latest features. Let social commerce boost your business.
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