Learn more about social commerce and how it can fuel business growth.
It is becoming increasingly important for all types of businesses to be on social media.
Interestingly, until now, companies were using it as a channel to boost brand awareness or run marketing and advertising campaigns.
However, with the advancements in technology, it is now possible to create an end-to-end buying journey on these platforms. Brands can now reduce the sales cycle or the number of steps it takes for their audience to engage with them via social commerce.
In this article, we discuss the future of shopping, the benefits of social commerce, and tips to make social commerce work for your brand.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce, also known as social shopping, is the intersection of e-commerce and social media. It is a way for businesses to engage with customers in an increasingly seamless and integrated way, using the latest in technology to create an end-to-end buying journey for their audience.
Social commerce can greatly benefit your business by allowing you to:
- Reduce the sales cycle for your audience. Instead of them needing to go through multiple steps in order to engage with your brand — like visiting your website or downloading an app — they can simply access it via social media.
- Create a seamless shopping experience for your audience across all online channels.
In addition, this new way of selling enables businesses to engage with consumers in a way that previously was not possible as it allows them to send direct messages or reply via comments in real-time, which gives them an opportunity to show off their values of customer experience.
The rise of social commerce
Increasingly, consumers are expecting a more seamless shopping experience and they are starting to get it from retailers that have been aggressively building their social commerce capabilities.
Let us look at some stats that highlight why social selling seems like a promising retail avenue for brands of varying sizes-
- According to Accenture’s report, social commerce sales were worth $492 billion in 2021.
- The same report estimates the value to reach $1.2 trillion by 2025.
- The highest sales opportunities come from apparel, accessories, electronics for consumers and home decor.
- 59% of the audience even stated that they would purchase from small businesses on social media versus through online shopping.
- The top social selling platform in the U.S. is Facebook with 56.1 million buyers.
Benefits of social commerce for businesses
If you are still on the fence about setting up your store on social media, here are a few reasons to sway your mind:
1. To make shopping a social experience
By creating a channel for your audience to shop via social media, you make the experience social and interactive. They can directly share your post with their close friends to ask for their opinions instead of switching between platforms. They can also get immediate reviews from the comments section before making a purchase.
Consumers can also get the latest product updates from brands they love and share their product experience via stories, pictures or videos and tag the brand.
2. To shorten the customer journey
The problem with the customer’s buying journey is not in the first and last steps; it is what happens in between that matters. In between is where your customer’s eyes could go to your competitors.
Look at it this way, why should they buy from you instead of your competitor? So, it is important to cut down your customer’s journey time by keeping them on your page for longer and making purchasing easy. Improve your chances by offering an incentive for checking out fast, such as free shipping or a coupon code.
When customers can easily click through to your social media shop, they are more likely to make a purchase on impulse.
3. To increase your revenue
Having a social storefront is also a great way to increase your web presence, which is vital for growing an online business. It also drastically speeds up the transaction process for a purchase.
In fact, 70% of shoppers turn to Instagram to find new products. With such a staggering percentage of people open to shopping directly through social media platforms, it is only natural for growing businesses to set up a social shopping channel for existing and new audiences.
And apart from your existing channels, if you can find success (in terms of sales) on another platform, why wouldn’t you want to explore it further?
4. To gather data
Since most of your target audience could be spending hours on social media each day, you get a focus group to collect insightful data.
With most of your product catalog displayed on your social pages, followers and profile visitors can give their validation and feedback in the comment section and through likes and shares.
You can also make use of features such as question and answers and audience polls to know where your audience stands. This could be especially useful for small businesses that do not have dedicated resources to assess such information.
5. To target large demographics
Social media is still the best strategy for engaging with existing customers and potential customers, and setting up a social media storefront is a great way to reach untapped audiences that fit your buyer persona and drive more traffic to your online store.
With millions lurking on these platforms daily, it gives brands a great opportunity to collect frequent feedback from people. How? Right from photos, reels and carousels that garner likes, shares and comments to polls on stories, brands can gather plenty of insightful data to get the ball rolling.
If your target audience is millennials and gen-z, then you would be happy to know that 54% of gen-z and 58% of millennials prefer discovering new products on social media over online searches, according to Statista.
6. To sell to a highly personalized audience
Because of the in-built performance insights you get on these platforms, you can run ads and target an audience that is highly personalized. For instance, Instagram lets you run ads on posts, carousels, stories, reels and the marketplace. They also let you target your ads based on age range, gender, location and more.
Tips to make social commerce work for you
Once you have your business set up for social commerce, here are some of the tips you can follow to make it work in your favor:
1. Optimize your sales and customer service
If there’s one thing that holds the most value in making social commerce work is optimizing how you respond to customer service and support requests. But as per statistics, a typical netizen will make use of at least 2-3 channels on average to reach out to a brand for assistance.
The only way to stay on top of all conversations is to be able to monitor all the ongoing conversations proactively. This is where social listening and monitoring tools like Radarr come into play, helping you keep track of conversations on one dashboard to improve response rates.
Additionally, leveraging technologies like chatbots can also help streamline the number of conversations you need to respond to. You can automate responses to specific queries to only handle complex issues manually.
2. Frequently engage with your followers
Whether you’ve been running an online storefront for years or you’re just getting started, customer satisfaction is key.
One of the best ways to ensure that your customers find a great experience when they view your products is to respond to all of their questions, comments, and concerns. It’s not always easy to engage with customers because you required dedicated resources earlier, but with tools like Radarr, you can streamline the entire process.
When you engage with your followers frequently, you’ll find that you can build a loyal fan base. The more you engage with your customers, the more they’re likely to purchase from you in the future.
3. Make use of social listening
Social listening for eCommerce tools is an excellent way to increase your brand’s exposure and maximize your social media presence. They are used to monitor feedback on all social platforms. In-depth evaluation of user data from social platforms is how companies stay ahead of their competition.
By monitoring what people are saying about your brand and your competitors, you can keep track of feedback and take criticism in stride, instead of letting it hinder your marketing strategies.
Manually tracking conversations can be difficult and time-consuming, but tools such as Radarr are available to make the process more manageable. By using tools to monitor social media, you’ll be able to offer your customers a better product and presence in the marketplace.
4. Push for reviews
If you are a new brand, positive reviews can be the difference between struggling to sell and boosting your revenue.
Most online shoppers consider reviews before making a purchase. So, every time you make a sale on social media, encourage your users to share their reviews via direct messages, comments and on stories. This step can even be automated through emails, chatbots and proactive social listening to identify your happy customers.
Use the social proof you receive and share it in a dedicated story highlights section or as a carousel for profile visitors to see.
5. Segment your audience
With the data you receive from the platform and from additional smart tools you use, segment your audience and target specific audiences to visit your social media storefront. This includes netizens who feel happy, unhappy or neutral about your brand and what it has to offer.
Additionally, we do recommend segmenting your audience based on their interactions and purchases from your business. The idea is to identify common patterns and categorize similar consumers together to form segments that reflect similar choices and purchase preferences.
6. Use social analytics to price your products
Social analytics for e-commerce brands is a way to get information about individual products. This information encompasses anything from how many people like the product to how many people are talking about it. Once you have a considerable amount of data concerning your product, you can adjust your pricing and your discount schemes based on how your product’s performance.
Also, with this information at your disposal, you can better understand which products you should create ads around to boost sales. Remember — the best businesses use social analytics to get the most information possible from their marketing efforts.
This is where social media analytics tools like Radarr come in handy. They help you process multiple data points to understand your audience, their response to your current pricing, their purchase motivations, trends and interests, and optimize it for more favorable outcomes.
7. Make use of image analytics to sell better
Shoppers don’t want to miss out on any key detail, so if a product does not have a picture or if it is not the best quality or even evokes the right emotion, they may be more likely to leave and go to a competitor’s store.
Using the right images with your products is vital to selling them. Image analytics allows you to know which product images attract the most attention. You can then use these analytics to your advantage to grab the attention of potential customers. For example, you can improve the quality of your product images by running them through a filter or classifying them based on content. You can also make sure your brand messaging is clear and on-point.
8. Use sentiment analysis to understand consumer emotions
Sentiment analysis and social media go hand in hand. With the boom of social media and the rise of social shopping, there is always a platform to learn more about your consumers. However, there are few ways to truly understand how people feel about the product you promote.
What if there was a way for your company to have an unrestricted idea of what people are saying about their product on social media? Well, by using the sentiment analysis tool by Radarr, you can see how people feel about the product you are promoting. Not only will it help you learn more about your consumers, but it will also help you adjust the growth of your social media store according to their needs.
With Radarr, your business can gain insight into how consumers feel about buying the products you are promoting on social media.
Social commerce examples from global brands
While there are a number of brands using social commerce to fuel their business growth, here are some we have seen succeeding with the integration.
Nike ran an exclusive launch sale on their Jordans on social media, giving their audience an ability to learn more about the collection and also pre-book the product. They integrated the use of social media and ecommerce to simplify how consumers moved from the platform to making a purchase – all without leaving the channel.
2. Dollar Shave Club
As we mentioned before, positive customer reviews play a huge role in succeeding at social commerce. Dollar Shave Club does this well by dedicating a Pinterest board to feedback they receive from buyers. They have set up a smart ecommerce integration to lead Pinterest users to make purchases of products with more positive reviews.
Does your brand care about social commerce?
Social media is a great way for your brand to generate revenue and interact with customers. With social commerce, brands can even create a community and get consumer support.
With a majority of millennials and gen-z frequenting sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, your business can enjoy a wide audience.
But how do you get even ahead of your competition? Use a social media intelligence tool like Radarr to gain in-depth brand insights!