Turning likes into sales: social commerce strategies
In 2022, social commerce contributed to almost $1 trillion in sales. Considering the global ecommerce industry is valued at approximately $3 trillion, this implies that social commerce could represent about a third of all ecommerce sales. If your business hasn't yet crafted a social commerce strategy, the time to act is now!
Social commerce is like discovering a treasure chest for brands and retailers in the vast world of online shopping. Whether it's TikTok Commerce or Instagram Checkout, major social platforms are all in the race to catch users' attention and encourage them to make in-app purchases. This new shopping trend offers ecommerce companies an additional channel to connect with their customers.
According to a study by Accenture, social commerce sales hit $492 billion globally in 2021, and the forecast predicts a remarkable tripling to $1.2 trillion by 2025. As people spend more time on social media, social commerce is quickly catching up. Currently contributing 10% to ecommerce sales, it's expected to surge to 17% within just three years.
For competitive ecommerce businesses, it's crucial to embrace social commerce and develop a solid strategy. Your ecommerce plan should seamlessly blend with your overall digital brand experience to deliver the best customer journey. Social commerce isn't a stand-alone concept; it should be an integral part of a unified digital experience.
Social commerce is like having a shop inside your favourite social media apps. Instead of clicking on ads that take you away, you can buy things right there. Imagine scrolling through Instagram, finding cool jewellery in a post, and with a few clicks, it's in your cart, and you've bought it—all without leaving Instagram. People like shopping without going to other websites, so businesses are focusing more on social media.
Big platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Twitch, YouTube, and WhatsApp let you buy stuff directly. Whether you discover a product through a post, a livestream, an ad, or in the app's store, you can do the whole buying process without leaving the app. It's shopping without the hassle of going to different places on the internet.
To make your social commerce plan work, remember it's not about you; it's about your customers. Timothy Hughes, who wrote about Social Selling, suggests starting fresh by putting yourself in your customer's shoes and creating a social commerce strategy centred on their needs.
“It's about building a community, not just making sales,” says Timothy Hughes.
Start by figuring out where your customers spend their time online. This step ensures you choose the right social commerce platforms to reach them. Check the demographics of popular platforms and see if they match your target audience.
Look at what your competitors are doing, too. See which platforms they use and how engaged their customers are. This information will guide your own social commerce strategy.
Take Knix, for example, a brand selling intimate apparel. They discovered their customers love finding inspiration on Instagram. So, they've made it super easy for customers to go from Instagram to their product pages with just one tap.
Did you know that 93% of people shopping online believe that a review can be the deal-breaker or deal-maker? If your product has folks smiling, ask them to help spread the good vibes.
You can do this by sending a quick email after they get their product, asking for a review. Or, make it fun with incentives like contests to get past customers sharing their thoughts. Collecting these reviews is like getting a thumbs-up online.
Once you've gathered some positive reviews, flaunt them on your social media. Get creative! Share posts made by your customers, do live videos with happy customers, or even make a cool slideshow of all the nice things people are saying. There are loads of ways to do this without sounding like you're showing off.
If you're a new business, launching something new, or just want people to know more about your brand, showing what happens behind the scenes is a great idea. It's like giving your audience a sneak peek into how things work and how your brand comes to life. This not only helps tell your brand's story but also makes your followers feel more connected, keeping them interested.
Use this chance to share what makes your company special or show shoppers things they wouldn't normally see from a brand like yours.
For example, Grace Eleyae, who sells satin products to protect your hair, recently showed viewers how to pronounce her company's name, giving them a little peek behind the curtain.
Did you know that a big worry for folks shopping on social media is trust? According to a survey by Accenture, people are concerned that their purchases might not be safe, or they won't get their money back. They're also worried about whether the stuff they buy is real and if it's okay to share their money info on social networks.
Dutta Satadip, Chief Customer Officer at ActiveCampaign, says, "Customers have lots of choices. And trust is an important part of that choice." So, to get that trust, people aren't just looking at the brand and what influencers say. They're checking out reviews, talking to others, and making sure it's the right choice for them.
If you want to build trust in your social commerce plan, focus on these things:
- Make sure people get what they ordered.
- Protect their purchases.
- Make it easy for them to get refunds or return stuff hassle-free.
In the world of social commerce, what you share matters a lot. Here's the deal: when people hop onto social media, they want content that's either educational, inspiring, or just plain fun. So, the first step is to make sure your posts fit at least one of these categories.
Now, on social media, pictures and videos are like the stars of the show. If you want to shine, you've got to invest in top-notch visuals. Studies tell us that people only remember about 10% of what they read or hear after a few days. But if you throw in a picture, that number jumps to a whopping 65%!
So, to win at social commerce, focus on creating eye-catching images and videos. Keep testing which ones work best, and you'll be on the path to success.
In the realm of social commerce, sticking to a consistent style is crucial. Building a brand that people can easily recognise involves making sure that your logos, colours, fonts, messages, tone, and content look the same on all social platforms.
Here's the trick: whip up a guide that spells out your brand identity. This way, your creative team can follow it when they're writing product descriptions, creating ads, setting up photo and video shoots, and designing graphics. Having this guide ensures that shoppers can spot your brand and feel comfortable, no matter where they're checking you out.
Before diving into content creation or splurging on creative assets, it's crucial to carve out a social media plan tailored to your specific goals. Take a moment to figure out what kind of content you want to make, where you're going to put it, and how you'll spread the word.
Building a strong social commerce strategy demands digging into the social media platforms that sync up best with your brand and audience. Think about the latest trends, how users behave, and industry tips to figure out where your efforts should be concentrated. Also, be a step ahead by putting together a social media content calendar. This helps you organise promotions and campaigns well in advance.
According to Instagram's stats, a whopping 60% of folks stumble upon new products and services right there on their platform. And get this—lots of users are itching to find and buy stuff they're inspired by on Instagram, like, right away.
Now, if you've got a Facebook Shop up and running, the next smart move might be to dive into Instagram Shopping. Just a heads up, you gotta have a Facebook Shop first because your Instagram Shop grabs all the product info from your Facebook catalogue.
Other tips to consider
- Use AI bots
- Tap into User Generated Content
- Team up with influencers
- Utilise shoppable links, tags and stickers
- Stay on top of trends
In conclusion, navigating the landscape of social commerce involves a strategic approach that considers various key factors. Building trust with your audience, showcasing visually appealing content, and maintaining a consistent brand presence across platforms are paramount. Encouraging customer reviews, exploring behind-the-scenes content, and optimising your social commerce strategy for different channels are effective tactics to enhance engagement.
Moreover, tapping into the potential of Instagram for product discovery and shopping is a notable avenue, given the platform's popularity and the immediate action users take when inspired. Ensuring consistency in branding and considering the visual appeal of your products on Instagram can significantly contribute to your social commerce success.
Remember, the digital realm is dynamic, and staying attuned to social media trends, user behaviours, and industry best practices is essential for adapting and refining your approach. By keeping these principles in mind and continually refining your strategy based on customer feedback and market trends, you can position your business for success in the evolving landscape of social commerce.