The trend of social commerce has been around for some time and is going to grow in the coming years. That’s because the big social media platforms invest in commerce solutions to compete for advertisers and audiences.
By 2028, the global social commerce market is expected to reach $3.369 billion. What does the rise of social commerce mean for online businesses? It means that you need to have a solid commerce strategy to provide the best buyer journey for your customers.
Unfortunately, social commerce can’t reach these goals without a cohesive digital experience. In this article, you’ll get your social commerce ready with the top 11 powerful tactics to increase your brand visibility and generate more sales.
Table Of Contents
- What is social commerce?
- The rise of social commerce
- 11 smart practices to nail your social commerce strategy
- 1. Select the right social platform
- 2. Define your social media persona
- 3. Collaborate with influencers
- 4. Create a seamless shopping experience
- 5. Engage your followers with live shopping
- 6. Create shoppable content
- 7. Use the power of social proof
- 8. Experiment with chatbots
- 9. Build a visual social storefront
- 10. Provide a personalized experience
- 11. Find the ideal price
- Bonus tip: use analytics
- 1. Select the right social platform
- Final words
What is social commerce?
Social commerce refers to activities that support online buying through social media platforms. It differs from social media marketing as you’re not leading users to your online store but showing the ability to check out right away within the network.
With 60% of buyers saying they discover new products on social media and 200 million Instagrammers visiting at least one business profile daily, you can’t ignore the trend. The main thing about social commerce is the opportunity to build a seamless ecommerce experience within social channels as one of the most popular places on the web.
Brands educate users about their products, publish content, run ads, collaborate with influencers, and engage customers to drive online sales. And finally, they offer users to buy right on the social media platform without redirecting them elsewhere.
Social commerce includes a wide range of additional channels to sell products directly:
- Shopping via mobile apps
- Shopping integrated into social media
- Group buying
- Retailers adding social features
- Social shopping
And although social commerce has been around for the last 15 years, it’s only in the previous five that it’s rising.
The rise of social commerce
The global COVID-19 pandemic and the related mitigation efforts forced you to use online shopping, instantly providing your customers special promotions and new products while staying safe at home. Scott Galloway, the marketing professor, states that the pandemic has accelerated that change by around five years.
That’s incited social media platforms to integrate their ecommerce efforts and invest in multiple in-stream product discovery and purchase forms. Now online marketers need to adapt to the existing trends and enhance the shopping experience for customers through social media channels.
11 smart practices to nail your social commerce strategy
As you can see, the social commerce competition is fierce, and the key to success in 2022 is to build out a cohesive social shopping experience for your business. Here are ten hands-on tactics you should consider:
1. Select the right social platform
Not all social media platforms fit ecommerce purposes. But some of them, including Instagram, act as discovery engines for online businesses. Users engage in different actions, from searching for inspiration from brands and people and direct messaging for opinions while making social media purchases.
It would be best to consider focusing on your customers’ channels and engaging with them the most. Then, select two or three platforms to achieve your goals and increase your online presence on these channels.
For example, if you sell clothes or beauty care products, Instagram will win sales among other channels. At the same time, tech products and gadgets might do well on Twitter or Facebook. To find out the right one, check your social media analytics to see the most engagement for your brand.
Another great way is to survey your target audience on different platforms. For example, take a look at the table of social media platforms where most of all online shoppers would make purchases as of April 2021:
2. Define your social media persona
You can’t start building your social commerce strategy without defining your social media persona. It’s a fictional representation of your ideal customer, including their demographic data (age, gender, location), buying patterns, desires, and pain points. To gather your outstanding customer data, you can use Shopify’s customer reports or your social media analytics.
To know your customers better, you can listen to what others are saying on social media platforms or get direct feedback through customer surveys. It will help you gain valuable insights into your customers’ experiences and perceptions and build a holistic view of all their interactions with your business. (See what lessons you can learn from unhappy customers).
Make sure to create a document listing all the mentioned aspects; you can even include a good picture. Then, you can always get back to this ideal social media persona whenever in doubt while crafting content tailored to their preferences and needs. For example, see a template that shows what a complete social media persona looks like:
3. Collaborate with influencers
There are many benefits of collaborating with influencers. 89% of marketers confirm that collaboration with influencers generated a comparable or frequently better return on investment (ROI) than other marketing channels.
Working with influencers can support a social commerce strategy by these three benefits:
- Association: connect your brand with an influencer’s positive reputation.
- Affinity: the ability to build brand alignment and creativity with an influencer
- Reach: using the target audience of an influencer
Specifically for Instagram, Mariano Rodriquez, CEO of LawRank, said that the channel had positioned itself as a “one-stop-shop” where businesses can solicit influencers by spotlighting a new product, sharing reviews up to purchase.
Teaming up with affordable, relevant, and authentic influencers can be an excellent way to attract new or existing customers and increase your brand awareness. But it doesn’t always cost a lot. There are a massive amount of micro-influencers with laser-focused accounts and friendly audiences.
Before investing in collaboration, analyze the followers of an influencer with whom you’d like to collaborate. Make sure that their following aligns with your target audience.
To learn more about collaborating with influencers and the types of influencers, check out our recent Influencer Marketing Guide for Ecommerce.
4. Create a seamless shopping experience
Customers like convenience, speed, and ease when shopping on social media. Try to speed up online shopping by creating quick and straightforward purchasing paths. Fortunately, you can do it, thanks to the valuable features offered by social media platforms.
For example, Instagram allows you to set up Instagram Shops and tag shoppable products in posts, Stories, and Reels. Eligible businesses from the United States can already use Instagram Checkout, which allows them to purchase products without leaving the platform. With post-purchase surveys, you can define the problems that frustrate shoppers to remove friction from their experiences.
If you don’t have access to Instagram Checkout just yet, create a seamless transition between the social platform and your retail store. For example, add links to specific product pages whenever you post about them and include a link to your ecommerce store in your bio.
Make sure that customers don’t experience any issues outside the social media platforms. For example, provide multiple payment options and an option to buy without registration.
5. Engage your followers with live shopping
Live shopping gained massive popularity during the global pandemic. Using video shopping can provide customers with an experience similar to in-store shopping: you can showcase your products and talk to your customers in real-time. But, most importantly, they can ask questions, review new products, and even place orders during the live session.
Live shopping is an excellent way to add a personal touch and immediacy to social commerce. You can organize live videos whenever you have a new drop of products or a sale (Here’s how to do an Instagram live stream using your PC). In addition, you can go live on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat to interact with your users, answer their questions, and help them make decisions.
P.S. To get some shopping inspiration for your live videos, Depositphotos is a great place for that. You can find many different videos about product reviews that you can use to make your video content compelling.
6. Create shoppable content
Instagram allows brands to tag products in their posts. The tags are clickable by enabling users to visit a product listing and discover details such as the price and shipping options. From there, they can move straight to the checkout or save the product to get back to buy it later. It’s an excellent facilitation tool for discovering new products.
A similar option is available on Pinterest. By adding links to your Pins, you cut the distance to the checkout for your customers. Make sure to direct them straight to the product page.
7. Use the power of social proof
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon; it occurs when people get inspired and copy the actions of others. People usually follow those they admire in the steps: friends, relatives, and influencers.
Testimonials, user-generated content, customer stories, and reviews all fall under the power of social proof. The main thing is to use them correctly within the customer journey.
To enhance the phenomenon of social proof, show appreciation towards those who post pictures of your products: share their publications and thank them either in a comment or a message. In this way, you’ll increase the chances that they’ll mention your brand again.
8. Experiment with chatbots
According to this research, customers prefer to spend more when their shopping experience is personalized. Chatbots can facilitate the shopping experience for your customers. In addition, they can give quick and straightforward answers to customers’ questions, save time and money, and build credibility even with some limitations.
Chatbots are pretty intelligent and can assist your customers almost as well as human advisors. So, if you’re brave enough to experiment, they will help you increase your social sales. One example of how a chatbot can help you are LEGO. Its bot is always available to help customers select and buy the ideal toy based on your kid’s age and interests:
9. Build a visual social storefront
Instagram pointed out that 60% of people find new products and services on their channels and want to buy something right away if it’s visually appealing. So, creating a visually attractive social storefront on Instagram or Facebook is one of the first steps you should take to optimize your social commerce strategy.
If you have products that visually stand out from users’ newsfeeds, this will strengthen the fact to build an online presence on social channels such as Instagram. For creating impressive designs and videos, VistaCreate (ex-Crello) is a great (free) tool to keep all your projects consistent with your brand identity. You can use different templates and animated designs for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
The next thing to consider is Instagram Shopping, where you can show your specific products. Set up a Facebook Shop first because Instagram Shopping extracts all data from your Facebook catalog.
One more way to highlight your products is to use shopping tags within Instagram Stories and the newsfeed. That allows users to get necessary information about a product and purchase it instantly.
10. Provide a personalized experience
Today customers want personal interactions with brands, so it is crucial to reach them with the right products. For example, you can target your customers with personalized ads based on their previous browsing and purchasing behavior.
Take a look at some valuable tips to follow:
- Use the native targeting options of the social media platforms. Retarget those users who have previously visited your product page with an ad.
- Analyze user behavior on your page. You can create heat maps to determine what elements on your website stimulate interest most frequently.
- Speak the language of your customers. A keyword suggestion tool like WebCEO can help you determine which keywords generate the highest search volumes among your target demographics and use them for advertising purposes.
- Use emails lists to segment your audience and send more personalized communications. You can target them to grow your business and get new shoppers with the correct email marketing tools. Learn more about email marketing for ecommerce.
11. Find the ideal price
The competition in social commerce is fierce. You need to compete with alternatives available on the market to stand out from the crowd. To succeed, you should create an excellent pricing strategy to maximize profits on sales of your products or services.
The best price can affect the customers’ buying decisions. That’s why it’s essential to benchmark your costs with competitors to understand better how your brand fits into the marketplace. If your rivals have the same quality of products for an unbeatable price, you can take losses.
Try to make a list of your main competitors, keep an eye on their products, and define their best prices regularly. Then, ensure to adapt those prices to your industry standards with exclusive discounts.
Not sure when and what kind of discounts you should offer to your customers? Plan a perfect discount strategy for your store with our easy guide!
Bonus tip: use analytics
Analyzing your results is a crucial element of any social commerce strategy. If you don’t track the results of your efforts, you’ll never know how you’re doing and what you should change to achieve better results.
The social media channels like Instagram and Facebook have their native analytics sections to track the progress of your business. Once you start monitoring user and performance metrics, you can quickly identify possible trends and problems and make changes accordingly. In addition, you can use social media engagement tools like NapoleonCat to extract detailed information about your activity to get advanced analytics.
Social media platforms constantly evolve and introduce new commerce-friendly features. As a result, social commerce creates an incredible shopping experience and attracts new customers to the places that matter.
But to get success in social commerce, you need to build a cohesive strategy and find the proper channels to engage with your target audience. Fortunately, the tips mentioned above can help you increase your social and content marketing efforts in social commerce.