These days, consumers are turning to social media for more than just engagement. Consumers not only use social media to research your company but also to explore the products and services you provide. In fact, 62% of socially-engaged shoppers follow a brand(s) or retailer(s) on social media (Inmar Intelligence). Smart businesses are turning those queries into customers via a new avenue, Social Commerce.

Some of you may be wondering what Social Commerce is, or how it differs from eCommerce. Social Commerce is essentially the same as eCommerce, just delivered via different platforms. They both possess the same key features and functionalities—providing the convenience of buying and selling goods through a digital platform. However, eCommerce provides the experience via a website or app, while with Social Commerce the shopping experience takes place on social media platforms.

Basically, Social Commerce refers to the ability to buy and sell products through social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or TikTok. Businesses use social media to promote products and services, and shoppers can search and engage with the business directly via their favorite social media platform. With Social Commerce, that journey is taken one step further as not only can you search for products and services, but you can now buy directly with just a few clicks of a mouse or taps of a finger. Therefore, Social Commerce not only gives your business added visibility but also an added revenue stream.

With Social Commerce, everything is wrapped up in a perfect bow as the shopping experience evolves from research to discovery to purchase all on one platform. Potential customers can scroll a business’s social media page for products, watch videos to learn more about them, interact with the business to find out more information and make a purchase directly from the social media platform. In fact, 52% of socially-engaged shoppers have made a purchase through a social platform (Inmar Intelligence).

Social Commerce has made the path to purchase more accessible than ever by allowing businesses to sell directly from the social media platforms their customers are already spending time on. For businesses looking to increase their online sales, Social Commerce is quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to do it.

Here are 5 tips for your small business to succeed with Social Commerce:

  1. Engage with your audience. Social media is the perfect tool to use to interact with shoppers, engage with the community and build your local audience. In doing so, you gain their trust and build loyalty that can lead to future sales.
  2. Invest in video. Whether video ads or promotional videos, businesses need to utilize this tool to reach their local audience. Videos are a quick and easy way for potential customers to learn more about your business or the products and services you supply. And videos are a proven method for reaching your audience. Did you know that 9 out of 10 will watch explainer videos for products or brands and 84% make a purchase decision after watching the video! (Source: Hubspot) Remember, you don’t need expensive cameras or lights to make videos anymore. Most cell phones have high-end cameras that can create perfect videos to use on your sites.
  3. Target ideal shoppers with paid advertising. The goal of social commerce is to convert shoppers to buyers. Paid advertising helps you place your products in front of your ideal audience. Facebook offers a wide range of advertising objectives to ensure your advertising investment hits the mark.
  4. Create a product catalog. Create a product catalog of your most desired products on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. But be careful not to overload your audience with too many products. Select those items that are fan favorites, high conversion, and offer a range of price options. By narrowing your inventory, you help your target audience focus on certain products.
  5. Utilize a strong call to action. A strong call to action is critical to any marketing campaign, and Social Commerce is no different. On social media, consumers engage with your posts and videos. Don’t just assume they will know what action you want them to take. Use clear, concise calls to action to show customers how to shop for your products and services.

Social Commerce is truly a beginning-to-end online shopping experience that can and should be used, not only during the holiday season but throughout the year. Do you need assistance with your Social Commerce strategy? Vivial can help!