You’re scrolling through Instagram, and then you see an ad for this bag that you really like. You notice that there’s a ‘View Products’ tag underneath, so you decided to click on it. It takes you to a page where you see the bag in all these enticing images, so you decide that you absolutely need it. You select ‘View on Website’ and from there you decide to purchase the item. You may or may not know it, but you just experienced social commerce in action.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce is the process of selling products and services directly through social media. With social commerce, the entire shopping experience, from product discovery and research to checkout, takes place right on social media.
So what exactly is the difference between social commerce and e-commerce?
Ecommerce broadly encompasses the process of buying and selling goods online. The model is convenient, but it’s far from perfect. Over 50% of all internet traffic is from mobile devices, and mobile users have a much higher cart abandonment rate than desktop users. As buyers move to the small screen for everyday purchases, streamlining your checkout process is key.
This is where social commerce comes into play. It removes the drop-off points that can result in abandoned transactions.
Why you should take advantage of it
1) You can reach a wider audience
Global eCommerce sales are predicted to grow to $1.6 trillion in the next three years—an increase of over 100% compared to 2020. While that’s great news, it also means that you need to find ways to market your products worldwide. With over 4 billion people active social media users across the globe, you can build a brand with a global reach.
2) It creates a frictionless experience
Buying over social media is made simple by features like in-app checkout, Buy buttons (available in the US only), and instant messaging facilities. By using social commerce, extra steps in the purchasing process can be cut out. These extra steps often lead to customers losing interest in a purchase because they create more friction. With social commerce, customers are less likely to abandon a purchase when they are allowed to remain inside the app from discovery through to checkout.
3) Make the most of social proof
89% of online shoppers read reviews before hitting the add to cart button. So before clicking “Purchase,” consumers must trust a brand, and they will therefore check previous customer reviews, compare items, and even consult with other buyers.
Social commerce comes with integrated social proof in the form of user-generated content. Comments, likes, shares and following will influence potential customers. So when other social media users are directly exposed to that when shopping, it speeds up their decision-making by building trust.
Shoppers want to buy from brands they trust with a strong online presence, which is where social commerce comes in. It opens new opportunities for businesses, so if you’re not taking advantage of social commerce, you may be missing out on potential revenue streams!