Whether it’s stunning visuals on Instagram or a fun quiz on Facebook, social media platforms allow direct-to-consumer (D2C) companies to connect with consumers by sharing engaging content about their products and services. Until recently, social media has been all about referral traffic to your website. Now, however, you can use your company’s social media presence to drive your sales directly through social commerce.
Why Social Commerce Is Critical for E-Commerce
Social commerce is selling products directly to consumers using social media platforms. Since 87% of consumers use social media to research and make buying decisions, the ability to purchase your products directly on your platform gives them a complete shopping experience without ever leaving Facebook, Instagram or any other social media account.
From stores with no checkout line to ordering from a mobile app, shoppers expect a seamless and convenient experience. Letting them buy something within their social media account eliminates the usual friction people go through when they’re referred to your website from an ad or post. Since most social platforms store payment and address information, buyers just have to tap the product they want, and it’s ordered. Easy, right?
Using social commerce features also lets you personalize your customer experience and boosts your retargeting efforts. When viewing your ad or posts, retargeting reminds buyers about your products and encourages them to take action.
About 77% of online shoppers are more likely to buy a product if it has favorable online reviews, so generating social buzz through direct sales on social media can increase the fear of missing out (FOMO) feelings in potential customers. While product posts can do this as well, adding social shopping features to your profile will make it easier for buyers to act on their FOMO.
The Most Popular Platforms to Use for Social Commerce
With so many social channels available, how do you determine what’s going to be most effective? With the benefits of social commerce in mind, it’s best to explore the most popular channels.
Facebook’s research (Facebook owns Instagram) shows that 70% of people use Instagram to discover products. This makes it a good channel for e-commerce companies to advertise and showcase their products. As customers browse their feed, you can create shoppable posts, collections, or stories that allow viewers to purchase their favorite products.
Sporting a higher average sales order than any other platform, Pinterest remains one of the best places to show and sell your products, with 93% of shoppers using Pins to plan or make an online purchase.
For home and fashion items, Pinterest’s “Shop the Look” Pins let people buy the product without leaving Pinterest, so adding “Share Pin” buttons to your website will also allow customers to save your products to their Pinterest account. This improves the chance that they’ll see it when they make a final buying decision. Product Pins are also great since they include real-time price information, product availability, and places where the product is available.
As of 2019, Facebook had approximately 2.45 billion users worldwide, making it the largest social network and a mainstay for any serious e-commerce marketing efforts. Setting up a store on Facebook is a great way to get started in social commerce on Facebook. Once you’ve set it up, you can add your products and provide people with pricing, shipping options, inventory status, and photos.
While technically not a social media platform, Google Shopping is another premium channel for online retailers. Product listings that appear on Google Shopping have a 30% higher conversion rate than pure text ads, and since most e-commerce companies are focused on Instagram and Pinterest, Google Shopping provides a competitive advantage. To get started, create a Google Shopping Campaign and connect it with your Google AdWords account. Then, describe your target audience, build ad groups, and schedule out your campaign.
Recently, we mentioned a new feature in Big E-Commerce News Events of 2019 that lets businesses showcase their products for buyers directly within WhatsApp. You can also suggest products from your product catalog within WhatsApp conversations with interested shoppers. This helps you provide a more native, less clunky shopping experience for potential buyers.
If you want to go after a younger demographic, Snapchat is one solution to explore; approximately 68% of Snapchat users are between 18-29 years old. Once you’ve created a business account, create a Product feed, and begin to use their new “Shop and Cop” feature.
It’s Time to Get (More) Social in 2020
Whether you’re a startup or an established brand, increasing the effectiveness and return on investment (ROI) of your social media marketing should always be a priority. Understanding the platforms and features available to boost your direct sales on social media will help you build a great social strategy in 2020.
Next, let’s explore why both organic and paid social media is important to your business.
Jaime is Head of Content Strategy at AdRoll, a division of NextRoll, Inc. She has 12 years' experience in content, social, and partner marketing, spanning from scrappy startups to the global enterprise. Jaime loves crafting content that actually gets used by customers and goes to bed dreaming about how content can change the world. An avid tennis player and Champagne Martini enthusiast, Jaime spends most of her spare time being the #1 dog mom to her chiweenie.