Social media has become a prevalent force in eCommerce, but is your business using it to gain customers and make revenue? If not, why not? Why aren’t you utilising the idea of social commerce to grow and expand?
According to the latest global survey of internet usage and online behaviour, over half of the world’s population (58.4%) uses social media.
Around the world, social media users have grown by more than 10% over the past 12 months, with 424 million new users starting their social media journey in 2021. To put that figure into context, it equates to an average of more than one million new users every day, or roughly 13½ new users every second.
These statistics tell us that social media is a treasure trove of opportunity for eCommerce businesses, offering a means to reach and engage new audiences around the world.
In this article, we’ll outline the fundamentals of social commerce and how it can be a powerful driver of growth for your business if leveraged correctly.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce (also known as social shopping) combines online shopping and social media into one seamless user experience.
The aim is to make it as easy as possible for social media users to discover a product, learn more about it, and purchase it without having to leave the social media platform.
To illustrate the rising popularity of social commerce, let’s take a look at some statistics from around the web:
- Social commerce is predicted to grow three times as fast as traditional eCommerce, more than doubling from $492 billion worldwide in 2021 to $1.2 trillion in 2025.
- In 2021, retail social commerce sales in Asia and China came to $351.65 billion, and $36.62 billion in the US.
- About half of all US adults made a purchase via social media in 2021.
- 70% of internet users in the US who regularly watched influencer-led livestreams said they were likely to buy products recommended by those influencers.
Why is social commerce so popular?
Online shopping exploded in popularity during the pandemic when people were spending a lot more time scrolling on the internet. Social commerce meets people where they’re already hanging out — on their favourite social media platforms.
People want convenience, they want a custom shopping experience, and they want to be able to get what they want in as few steps as possible. Social shopping fulfils all of these desires because the entire experience — from product discovery and research to the checkout process — takes place within the social media platform.
No matter what industry or niche your business is in, you can utilise a combination of influencer collaborations, consumer calls to action (e.g. ‘swipe up to purchase’), and user-generated content to be successful in the social commerce sphere.
Examples of social commerce
Here is a brief overview of how social shopping works on the main social media platforms:
- Facebook is the top social commerce platform in the US, with approximately 56.1 million buyers in 2021.
- Brands can create ‘Shops’ with free virtual storefronts, accessible via an in-app ‘Shop’ tab.
- Facebook Marketplace allows businesses and individuals to buy and sell products for free.
- In 2020 Instagram placed a ‘shop’ tab in a prominent area on the homepage, enabling users to instantly view and purchase products advertised by people (influencers, celebrities, etc.) and brands that they follow.
- Similar to Facebook, brands can advertise and sell via in-app ‘Shops’ with virtual storefronts
- Brands can also advertise and sell products directly from their Stories or grid posts.
- Brands can create shoppable product pins, dynamic shopping ads, shoppable spotlights, and more.
- They can also have a dedicated ‘Shop’ tab on their brand profile and within the app.
- TikTok offers three different social commerce options:
- Product links, which allows brands to highlight products and link to a page with more detail, all within a video.
- Direct integration allows brands to upload, manage, and sell products directly.
- Live shopping, whereby a product is shown and discussed/reviewed in a live video and users have the option to purchase it via a dynamic link.
How to use Social Commerce in your business
Social commerce can help you reach new customers and grow your business, but it can be a minefield when you’re just starting out.
Our advice is to keep it simple by following these steps:
- Identify which social media platforms your target audience is most active on
- Choose one or two to focus on first and create a strategy around your goals, budget, etc.
- Begin building your presence and engaging your audience on those platforms
- Once you have some actionable insights and experience behind you, you can think about expanding into other social media platforms
You’ll also need an order fulfilment partner you can rely on, and that’s where ParcelPlanet comes in.
Our range of fulfilment solutions offers you the infrastructure, tools, and industry knowledge you need to tap into the unlimited potential of social commerce.
If you’re ready to expand your business with the power of social shopping, then ParcelPlanet is right here to help.
Get in touch today for the ultimate fulfilment solutions for your expanding eCommerce business.