Now more than ever, brands who are optimizing their customer journeys across multiple digital channels are showing a strong advantage over those who are not. In particular, social media continues to offer opportunities for brands to connect with consumers in fresh and interesting ways, across a wide variety of devices, and it looks that it will have an even bigger impact in 2020.
What is Social Commerce?
In plain words, social commerce is selling products directly from your social media platforms. But why is it so special? Online buying habits are certainly changing, and social commerce presents brands with great opportunities to boost sales and streamline the path to purchase.
- A huge user base: Social commerce has a preexisting user base that includes millions and millions of daily active users (active social media users passed the 3.8 billion mark in January 2020).
- Social proof and influencers: Potential consumers can see users’ and influencers’ reviews on certain products, recommendations of brands, etc. This gives them all the fun of social media, but with a commercial twist.
- Visual need and demand: As we mentioned before, visual content is one of the best ways to boost consumer engagement, and social media incorporates it directly into the sales process, making the buying experience a much memorable one.
- Optimized shopping experience: Consumers like shopping where they have to invest minimal time and effort, and by optimizing the consumer experience you will reduce cart abandonment, bounce rate, and drop rate, leading to higher conversions and revenue.
However, the concept of social commerce is bigger than a transaction through a buy button. Yes, it shortens the buyer’s journey of researching, evaluating, and purchasing a product from different web pages and websites, but the real value of social commerce comes from the social side of things.
Are your customers ready for it?
Social commerce seems to be a natural evolution of online buying, but it looks like not everyone is sold on the concept of social commerce just yet.
- Testing phase: Almost all social media platforms are still adapting, testing new buying features – some even not available worldwide – and haven’t fully convinced audiences that this is the right place to take the final step – actually making a purchase.
- Security: Many shoppers remain skeptical about security and privacy on Social Media and how their personal information is protected. 71% of US Internet users also say they have doubts about how credit card numbers and banking information are protected.
- Organic and paid reach: As of late 2019, the average reach for organic Facebook posts was around 5.5% of a page’s followers. Big brands with massive follower counts can expect even lower averages. This means that just by selling on social media doesn’t mean people are going to see or buy your products, you’ll still have to advertise and market as you do now for your current strategy.
- Sources and target audiences: If you’re just focusing on social commerce only in, let’s say, Facebook, you’ll only be targeting Facebook’s audience. With e-commerce, you can diversify the channels you use for a solid demand generation strategy, including other social networks and Google AdWords.
- Data and analytics: On their e-commerce, brands control and guide customers’ buying path and that generates valuable data for other marketing strategies. With social commerce, you don’t actually know if you’re going to be able to get the same amount of data back, or if you are going to be able to control that end-to-end customer experience.
Which is the best strategy for your brand?
There’s no question that social commerce is on the rise, but it still is a developing field. The best way for businesses to thrive in this new landscape is to take advantage of both worlds to cover as much ground as possible and keep themselves ahead of the competition.
Solutions like Olapic’s Tapshop might be the bridge between both worlds that your brand is needing right now, where you can link the products of your e-commerce to your Instagram followers so you can seamlessly make your most popular content an interactive shopping experience. This way you’ll be using:
- Social media for product awareness, engaging your audience and for customer care.
- Your e-commerce for the last part of the funnel, product discovery, and upsells. This way you won’t miss out on valuable customer data and analytics as all communications are handled by you rather than Instagram.
Using a link from your Instagram bio, consumers can access Tapshop and easily start their shopping experience. It’s really intuitive and easy to set-up, with a minimalist design, a smart-scheduler, custom link editor, and it’s totally free for Olapic’s User-Generated Content Platform customers.