Social Commerce

What is Social Commerce and Why Small Business Should Care About It?

The prevalence of the internet and smart devices is a significant achievement of the modern world. Due to the increase in internet availability, social media is also experiencing widespread popularity in the form of blogs, chat apps, social gaming, and social networking platforms. 

A study by Mediakix revealed that the average person will spend more than five years of their life on social media, which is equivalent to 1,825 days.

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The figure is based on our current collective social media usage. Research reveals that the number of hours we spend on social media every day is increasing. So, nobody knows how big the number will grow in a few years?

Though social media platforms were initially created to help people network, their roles have changed considerably over the past few years. The popularity of social media has reached to an extent that it has started playing a crucial role in modern society.

Apart from liking, commenting, and sharing user generated content on social media platforms, there is another thing blowing up the market, and we call it ‘social commerce’. Social commerce allows consumers to make online purchases without leaving the social media platforms, and this trend is now affecting the ecommerce industry in more than one way. In this post, we will discuss what social commerce means and why it is essential for businesses to integrate the underlying principles of social commerce into their businesses.

What is Social Commerce?

The BusinessDictionary defines social commerce as: 

“a form of electronic commerce which uses social networks to assist in the buying or selling of products.”

Put more simply; it is the activity of purchasing products directly on social media platforms. Though the phenomenon is still in its infancy, more and more people are attracted to social commerce because it eliminates the need to leave your favorite social media channel in order to make a purchase.

Unlike the traditional way of following a link to a 3rd party seller website, you can now browse, compare, and buy products on platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. The method in which social commerce is implemented on various social media platforms may vary, but the key point is that purchases can be made partly or entirely on the specific platform.

It is pertinent to mention that it is the online retailers that are doing the selling. The social media platform only provides a channel for consumers to engage with the retailers and purchase their favorite products.

Companies are still experimenting with new features to enable commerce on their platforms; however, small businesses need to join the party sooner than later to get a competitive edge over their competitors. Here are more reasons why businesses should care about social commerce.

Boosts Your Sales

Social commerce can be highly beneficial for businesses to improve their sales. A study published in the Adweek revealed that social commerce brought in over $6.5 billion in revenue for the top 500 retailers in one year. Small things like adding a shop section to your Facebook Business Page can provide a direct boost to your sales. Facebook, not only being the most popular online social networking platform, is also commonly used for social commerce. As per a report from Shopify, 85 percent of all social media orders come from Facebook.

By setting up the Shop Section feature on Facebook, online retailers can list their products and reach more customers and prospects. The Leatherskinshop – an online leather jacket store – utilizes this feature to shorten the shopping time and reach out to new audiences.

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It also allows you to sponsor posts tailored fit for particular demography of your audience. Once you have provided all the information, your sponsored posts will appear in the feed of your target audience.

Reduces friction in ecommerce:

Social commerce allows consumers to purchase a product at a few clicks. It eliminates the need to re-enter your input payment or address details every time you buy a product because all this information is already stored on the social media platform. Since reviews and customer feedback can be found on the same page with the product, it reduces the time required for product research and how other users are thinking about it.

Personalized customer experience:

One of the key features of social commerce is that it allows for personalized customer experience. Using personalization features like Facebook retargeting enables users to see their favorite products in their feed, which increases the chances of a sale. Users are more likely to click straight through to the selling site and enjoy a smooth purchase journey.

Warby Parker Buy Button | Shopify Retail blog

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Talk about personalized experience, we can’t miss talking about Warby Parker. They cleverly used the power of Twitter to driver more traffic to their website. 

Allows brands to make connections:

Another feature of social commerce is that it enables businesses to make connections with their target audience. Brands can use these connections for purposes like brand promotions, research, and sales. It also allows businesses to combine their online marketing and offline marketing efforts so that they can send out the same message to their customers in a similar tone. The more connected a brand is with its customers, the more likely they are to shop from them regularly and frequently.

Builds trust and loyalty:

If you have a lot of happy customers, leaving positive feedback about your business on your page, prospects are more likely to trust you and purchase from you. It will also make satisfied customers make repeat purchases. 

Even if the customers don’t frequently shop from you, they provide you an opportunity to build deeper trust and win their loyalty. Posting live stories and behind-the-scene footages will help you come across as more transparent and human. It will encourage your customers to engage with you and make a special connection with your brand.

Reach out to more people:

The benefit of social media is that it knows no geographical boundaries. For brands who want to reach an international audience, social media is the best platform to promote themselves and sell their product. Facebook alone is home to more than 2 billion active users globally, so the opportunities for business growth are enormous. The key is to do it the right way.

Parting thoughts:

Social commerce is a booming market, and the trend is not going to stop anytime soon. Integrating social commerce with tools like Instagram aggregators make it even more effective to curate, moderate, display and selling of products! It offers a slew of options for business growth; however, there is also a fear of increased competition. To keep up with the competition, you will need to come up with a professional social commerce plan and strategy.

Author Bio:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/U1aTSDKJUv3M2HIkQ4VG5LhHRRaxIf4B2T_iNAl2Ts3oigpAYOYOZbptyd_2itCFGo5R_uCxj1R_yOjzAWyHroJoYjA3XfyRZjgmJ524T1QgiOEzec3GYXXcfHq68chNUh2VNR0zJYil6r5X1A

About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well.  She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2.

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