#1. What is Social Commerce?
Online commerce has now gone social.
Social commerce is the buying and selling of goods or services directly within a social media platform. With users spending close to about 2 hours and 27 minutes every day on various social media platforms, this throws up new opportunities for retailers and brands, big and small. The benefit of this model is that it enables users to complete the entire purchase process without leaving their preferred apps.
According to Statista, China is the social commerce powerhouse with its’ social commerce gross merchandise value (GMV) set to reach 3.7 trillion yuan (567 billion U.S. dollars) in 2020. The lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, saw US retail shoppers move online and embrace social commerce. The US market saw a 30% increase, with about 79 million social buyers in the U.S. in 2020 compared to the previous year.
#2. Why Social Commerce is important for you
- Large base of users with around 3.5 billion people, (44%+ of the world’s population) using social media
- Availability of smartphones and internet access
- Shopping on social media is a social experience making it more interactive than a typical eCommerce process.
- Ability to hyper-target your marketing due to the customer data available on social. This allows you to get ready-to-buy products in front of specific people with less fiction which is not possible in traditional e-commerce and brick and mortar retails.
- Meta (Facebook), TikTok, etc strategy to get into commerce to challenge the dominance of Amazon
#3. How does Social Commerce work- See it, click it, buy it.
- Social Commerce works by directly enabling commerce through the social media platform instead of redirecting to the eCommerce site or app. This is a natural next step for customers who are already engaging with your content.
- Businesses must set up Social Shops on the social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
- Enabling discovery & commerce within the social media platform, allows consumers to browse, explore, get recommendations and buy products in a single location.
#4. What are the challenges
- For large retailers, social commerce would require investments for integrating the new system into their primary eCommerce channel.
- Nowadays, regardless of the touchpoint, customers expect the same prompt, personalized, and consistent experience at every stage along a customer journey. This makes it more important for you to serve the customers, the same experience whether they buy your product on Facebook or your eCommerce website.
- For a brand with a wide range of products, Social Commerce doesn’t have the flexibility for showcasing product assortment
#5. What next ?
So, what does all this mean for your brand?
One thing’s for sure: social commerce is not a fad but a model you must embrace as part of your overall eCommerce strategy. Social commerce opens up opportunities to reach out to new customers, create new types of shopping experiences, connect in new ways and engage directly with consumers.
The best aspect of social commerce is democratization! You don’t need to be a big brand with a huge investment into technology and platforms to start selling. Any brand, large or small, can sell via social commerce and reach its market directly. If you are a big brand and not there on social commerce, you are not only missing out on the opportunity but leaving your followers to your competitors. Especially if your brand is in the business of accessories and apparel, consumer electronics, home décor, and cosmetics, social commerce is must-have for you.
Does what we say, ring a bell with you? If so, talk to us at Iksula and together we may be able to create something great together.