Online shopping is growing in popularity. By 2023, online sales will account for 22.3% of all retail sales. Social media is a big part of ecommerce. It allows you to connect with people and create a brand. Social media can now be used to create an ecommerce marketplace of its own: social shopping.
You’ve likely seen social media ads with embedded links that take you to product pages if you are a regular social media scroller. Unfortunately, the extra friction that customers experience while being redirected onto an ecommerce website can cause them to abandon their purchase.
Social commerce allows customers to create shopping experiences that don’t require them to leave the app. They are not directed to a website or landing page. They are making a purchase right away from your post in their favorite social media platform.
What is social commerce and how is it different to ecommerce?
Sometimes people confuse ecommerce with social commerce, as both are connected to social media marketing. Ecommerce and social commerce, however, are two different sales methods.
Ecommerce is the traditional online shopping experience. Ecommerce is the process of creating leads and converting customers through online shops. No matter if your customers shop in an app or online, your marketing strategy will focus on attracting them to your landing page or product page to drive sales, and converts.
Social media marketing focuses on advertising your products and engaging customers. Social media is the best platform for marketing and engaging customers, but the actual purchasing process takes place on the retailer’s website.
Social commerce combines ecommerce with social media marketing. Instead of using social media accounts for only user engagement, brands can use social commerce to tap into their captive audience and offer shopping capabilities built-in to their posts. Social commerce is a $89.4 billion market right now. It will grow to $604.5 million by 2027.
The ecommerce customer journey was similar to this before social commerce. You scrolled through social media until you saw a fun tshirt that you liked. After clicking the link to the product page, you went through a long checkout process. This included giving out personal information to a brand that you had just met.
Social commerce allows you to shop on all social media platforms. To purchase the shirt that you just need to have, simply tap on it and then go to the in app checkout. You can enter your payment information in the appropriate fields using your preferred payment method. Click “Buy Now” and your shirt will be on its way.
Here are some ways to increase your sales of social commerce
Many social apps allow businesses to transact directly within their app, without having to follow any external links. Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest all offer in app shopping experiences. There are more brands that offer simple social commerce shopping experiences to their customers.
Do you want to be a leader in the rapidly growing social commerce market? These are proven strategies to increase sales of social commerce.
1. Identify your most popular social channels
Social commerce is a great way to make money. Brands should identify the social media channels that are most popular with their target audience in order to maximize social commerce. Although it might seem more efficient to market your business on every social media platform, you will waste your time creating content that isn’t relevant to your products.
To make the most out of your social commerce efforts, you should focus on two to three of your top social channels. Ask your marketing team to identify the top social media channels that bring in the most cash flow, and which ones get the most engagement. Next, poll your audience to discover where they enjoy seeing your posts.
2. Make your posts shoppable
To engage in social commerce, you need to make your posts shoppable. Shoppable posts are social media posts that allow customers to tap on a featured item and purchase it in-app. It’s easier for customers to shop from brands through social commerce. Instead of seeing your product on their feeds and then navigating to your website for checkout, customers can be converted in seconds.
If your posts can be shoppable, you will benefit from a large audience. Facebook Insights shows that 81% of shoppers use Instagram and Facebook to research products before buying. It’s a great way to make it easy for them to shop while they are already shopping.
3. Social proof is powerful!
Social proof is information that customers get from your online presence, user ratings and the way people talk about your brand via social media. This helps them determine if your marketing messages sound authentic. Your audience will be more trustful if you share claims about your products on social media if you have positive reviews.
Ask your customers to give feedback if you don’t have many customer reviews. For each product, people who aren’t familiar with your brand should expect at least 100 reviews. Reviews show what customers think of your products, and can help you establish your brand with a wide customer base.
4. Social customer service: Adapt
Customers who shop on your website and have questions about the product may use the “contact us” section of your site or your chatbot to ask. What about social commerce customers? They wouldn’t be able to visit your site to ask a question. Therefore, they will likely expect some social customer service.
Brands must use social media messaging to answer customer questions and solve their problems. These questions can be answered manually or automatically depending on how large your company is. Social commerce is free from external links and friction.
5. Collaborate with influencers
Influencers have a loyal following that trusts their opinions. Collaborate with influential people from your target audience to expand your reach and increase the effectiveness of your social-commerce approach.
Look for social accounts that are relevant to your niche and team up with them. Find the most influential people in your niche and reach out to them to ask if they would be willing to review your product in return for a sample.
Customers can also be asked to become brand advocates. Ask your customers to post content using your brand’s hashtag, create rewards programs, or request video testimonials from your customers in exchange for the opportunity to be featured on one of your posts.
6. Lean into personalization
Accenture’s survey found that 91% of customers would rather shop with brands that offer personalized experiences. Personalization is a key way to grab the attention of key audiences.
You could offer suggestions based on past purchases from your website to customers. Recommendations can be a great way for your audience to get their attention via relevant social media content.
A page-level targeting tool can be used to create personalized product recommendations for checkout. This tool automatically generates recommendations based on past purchases. Cross-selling recommendations and page-level targeting are great ways to increase cart sizes.
Pro tip: Unbounce’s Smart Traffic is another great tool to improve the customer journey through personalized experiences. It will automatically direct your visitors to the landing pages most likely to convert based on their behavior.
7. Engage your audience
You can provide your customers with great social commerce experiences by being social. Get to know your customers through comments. Ask for feedback and find out their opinions about your products. Provide valuable content.
Customers can leave comments on shoppable posts to ask questions about your product. You’ll also be creating a user-led FAQ that will enhance your customer experience with your brand.
8. Test your landing pages
Yes, landing pages are an external link. While social commerce requires only social shopping experiences, audiences that haven’t made a purchase will most likely navigate to your business social accounts to conduct their research.
A good strategy to increase your social media presence online is to include links to your landing pages in your bio. Customers can also learn more about you and build loyalty to your brand through landing pages. You should test and optimize them.
Pro tip: You can also create shoppable landing pages using Smart Builder’s Stripe App for an incredibly seamless shopping experience.
Social selling of seashells is a way to increase sales
Social commerce isn’t just a passing trend. It’s a new way that customers can shop and experience your brand from their favorite apps. Social networking apps are used by many customers to search brands and products. It makes sense for businesses to take advantage of this captive audience in order to sell social commerce.
Brands can improve their social commerce strategy in many ways. Identifying where your target audience is online, using social customer services techniques and promoting sales via social proof and influencers are some of the best practices.
Unbounce’s Smart Copy is another way to simplify your social commerce. It can help you create everything, from engaging product descriptions to social media copy in seconds.
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