Social commerce—the use of social networks to send traffic to e-commerce sites or to complete the purchase on social media platforms and, ultimately, drive e-commerce purchases—is having its moment.
In fact, social commerce wars are heating up and every social platform has had to introduce commerce and outside links to strike a balance between content and conversion. You are not searching for products on social media – rather you are presented with a stunning visual of a content which is not only inspiring but it also fits in your lifestyle, hence persuading you to buy it on social platforms.
Social commerce is most relevant to lifestyle-oriented retail categories such as apparel, luxury goods, beauty & fashion, travel & hospitality and home decor. Forward looking traditional brands and direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands have started to understand the importance of discovery driven experiences and are finding success by taking shoppers from inspiration to action.
Through this article, we will share how each social media platform has embedded e-commerce capabilities and how you can use it to your advantage this holiday season to be found and noticed through social content.
Social commerce isn’t just about making your feed shoppable, it is about providing thumb stopping content aimed at delighting your customers in an engaging and inspirational shopping journey.
Facebook - Facebook Shops, recently launched by Facebook to help small businesses in the U.S. turn their social media profiles into digital storefronts. Facebook Shops will act like an online catalog for businesses, whose customers will have to leave Facebook and complete a purchase on a separate website.
Instagram - Instagram, last year, added in-app checkout for brands as a part of its e-commerce ambitions. Since then, the image-sharing app has continued to roll out features that make it easier to shop within its ecosystem, including through a ‘Shop’ tab that showcases the top merchants from categories spanning fashion, beauty and more. Users can save, share or visit the brand’s website to complete their shopping. Instagram will soon allow “Shopping” to more diverse business owners, including the content creators who make up a significant chunk of its community. Instagram is also planning on letting users shop directly from Reels or IGTV in the near future.
YouTube - YouTube added the direct response (DR) format to help merchants convert viewers into shoppers. The DR ad formats will allow retailers to turn their video ads into shoppable experiences for viewers by adding a "shop now" button.
TikTok - TikTok has recently partnered with Shopify, an e-commerce website to encourage brands to advertise on TikTok and drive sales. As an added incentive, TikTok is also giving a $300 ad credit to get started. TikTok is also running beta tests that let influencers embed social commerce links in videos on the app, Adweek reported. Levi’s recently became one of the first retailers to use an ad product, which turns creator videos into in-feed ads featuring a “Shop Now” call to action. According to Digiday, TikTok is testing a similar feature that will include the same call to action in creator videos, with the ad revenues split between TikTok and the creator. By letting people buy products directly through its app, TikTok can help to convert passive viewers into active shoppers and further open its platform to retailers and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands.
Snapchat - Snapchat's global rollout of dynamic product ads is a strong indication that the format is providing returns for marketers looking to drive mobile commerce sales. Snap reaches 90% of 13- to 24-year-olds, making it more appealing to brands that want to cultivate their next generation of loyal consumers. Adidas boosted its return on advertising spending (ROAS) by 52% in a test of Snapchat's e-commerce ad format. Following suite, Hoka One One aims to engage Snapchat users in a virtual shopping experience as many consumers avoid shopping malls and stores during the coronavirus pandemic. The experience includes an augmented reality (AR) pop-up store and virtual try-on of running shoes.
Pinterest - Pinterest is going all the way from a platform of inspiration to a platform of transaction. Users can tap the camera in the search bar and snap or upload a photo to see the “Shop” tab with similar products. Each product found will link to the checkout page on the retailer’s site, per the company’s announcement. Pinterest said it has improved the search results that appear when users snap a photo within the Lens camera search, to match similar suggestions and products to buy.
With social platforms paving ways for brands to sell and measure conversion on social channels, brands such as Amazon are taking advantage of the power of social commerce. Amazon is testing personalized online storefronts for social media influencers, AdExchanger reported. They are trying to deepen their relationship with online content creators as the influencer marketing space reaches new levels of maturity and continues to command a massive amount of advertising spend.
Need some inspiration on how best to use these social channels to inspire, engage and connect with your consumers this holiday season? Head over to this page to read more.