Social Commerce | If you’ve been using Facebook and other social media platforms for a long time, you might have noticed several changes throughout the years. A decade ago, these platforms mostly showed our friends, family, and colleagues’ activities online in the form of posts, photos, and videos. Now, it seems like all our feeds are filled with nothing but business ads and posts. Have you wondered why that is or, more specifically, why businesses are expanding their online presence from the websites and eCommerce stores to social media?
It’s not just because advertising is the main source of revenue generation for these channels. It has more to do with the fact that traditional purchase journeys have involved too many steps in getting from discovery to check out. With people spending nearly 2.5 hours on social media apps every day, many businesses are asking themselves, “why lead prospects to our landing pages or YouTube channel when we can just sell our products here?”
This led to the rise of social commerce – a tool used to shorten and streamline the sales funnel and purchase journey and concentrating it all on social media where their target audiences are most actively engaged,
Let’s dive deeper into social commerce and why businesses can’t afford to ignore this marketing gem in 2022 to improve sales and brand loyalty.
What is Social Commerce?
You might not know the ‘definition’ of social commerce, but you’ve probably seen it before while scrolling on Instagram and Facebook when you come across a product image with a tag or “buy” button next to it. In a nutshell, social commerce encompasses all the activities and processes brands undertake to sell their products directly on social media. With this combination of eCommerce and social media, the entire shopping experience takes place on a single platform, from research to payment. As of 2022, social commerce is set to join the $100 billion market club and project to grow to over $600 billion in the next decade.
The Importance of Social Commerce for Businesses in 2022 and Beyond
Social commerce connects businesses with their audiences where they already are. With billions of active users on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, involving this subset into the marketing mix makes perfect sense. Here’s why you can no longer afford to ignore social commerce in 2022:
1. Social Commerce Can Reduce Your Marketing Expenditure
If you invest in pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization, and other forms of paid advertising and digital marketing channels, you understand how costly these strategies can be. While social commerce won’t eliminate the need for PPC or influencer marketing, it reduces your dependence on these channels to attract your audience, thus, allowing you to reduce or limit your average spend on these channels. You can use the money saved on more creative or strategic initiatives to grow your brand further.
2. Social Commerce Can Remove Resistance within the Customer Journey
According to research, consumer attention span has decreased from 12.5 to around 8 seconds in the last two decades. As a result, businesses have no choice but to say it quickly and say it well if they aim to cater to a post-pandemic generation of internet consumers. Social commerce makes it incredibly easy for users to purchase products by removing the resistance within the consumer journey and minimizing abandonment due to multiple clicks. The greater the number of clicks to reach the check-out stage, the greater the chances of the buyer opting out of the desired purchase.
3. Social Commerce Fosters a Social Buying Experience
When you shop from eCommerce stores, you’re all alone. The only interaction you can have is with the support team. In contrast, social media adds a fun and interactive shopping experience. It enables users to interact and consult with other users, including their peers, under posts and comments before deciding whether or not to splash their cash. Moreover, brands can compel users to purchase using highly visual and aspirational content to simulate their audiences’ passive desires.
4. More Sales and Revenue
Although the eCommerce industry has thrived during the pandemic, many small businesses still struggle to break even and grow their sales. Social commerce allows them to promote their products in one saturated online space and potentially generate more sales and revenue. They can also engage with other audiences that weren’t looking for their products through the power of discovery – scrolling down their newsfeed and coming across your value offering.
5. Social Commerce Focuses On Your Buyer Persona
With social media, you can make tweaks to your advertising and specifically target those people from your data that desire, appreciate, and purchase your products, thus, allowing you to penetrate deeper into your buyer persona and increase your return on investment (ROI).
6. More Feedback
A lot has changed since 2020, and with 2021 on the horizon, businesses are looking for ways to collect more customer feedback to enhance their products and services for 2022 and beyond. With your products on display on Facebook, Instagram, and other sites, your existing customers will tell you what they feel about you and your value offerings in real-time. You can also seize this opportunity to communicate with them personally and use their feedback to generate valuable insight to improve product development or customer service. All you have to do is create a poll, short survey, or share a story and let them raid the comment sections.
7. Social Commerce is Already Mainstream
Social media is already an established business communication, and purchase channel as thousands of direct-to-consumer businesses run ads and lead prospects to their landing pages. Plus, platforms like Facebook and Instagram have built-in analytics that they can use to measure campaigns. Therefore, transitioning into this new selling model shouldn’t be too difficult for businesses, and they can quickly reap its benefits by fostering interactivity, hype, improved sales, and better relationships.
Wrap it up
The days of simply creating a social media account and engaging with your audience occasionally on posts are almost gone. Social commerce is the next big thing in digital marketing and rapidly becoming mainstream across the digital sphere. Hundreds of businesses use it to keep up with changing consumer behaviors and optimize their customer purchase journeys.