The 7 Benefits of Social Commerce in 2021Vanda Williams
Does your purchase journey have too many unnecessary steps?
Is it clogging up your conversion funnel?
The reality is that most purchase journeys involve too many steps; each one increasing the chances of your potential customers abandoning their purchase and never coming back to your store. To be a successful eCommerce business today, all you need is a useful product and a streamlined purchase journey. By streamlined we mean one that makes it easy to buy and that starts where the customer is the most actively engaged.
To do so, your brand will need to consider how to use technology to create a better customer experience. Currently, 40% of merchants use social media to generate sales. To stay ahead, make use of these prolific social media platforms through social commerce trends.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce refers to the selling of goods and products over social media platforms. Just like certain eCommerce businesses give you the one-click buy now button, social media has become a social commerce platform through which you can purchase as you scroll, without leaving the app. The purchase journey – from product discovery and research to the check out process – takes place right on your social platform.
Why is social commerce important?
Social commerce helps you meet your clientele where they already are. For example, Facebook, with over 2.2 billion users, presents businesses with a huge potential audience to leverage. Also, in 2023, Instagram is projected to reach 120.3 million monthly active users in the U.S., up from 107.2 million users in 2019. These stats depict the rise in social commerce in the coming years, and the importance of eCommerce companies to involve social commerce in their marketing and sales strategy. Already, 87% of eCommerce shoppers believe social media helps them make a shopping decision.
Wondering whether social commerce is for you? Here are 6 reasons why social commerce will profit your brand.
1. Social commerce removes friction
At its core, social commerce is about making it easy for users to complete their purchase. Social media shops remove the friction within the consumer journey, making it simple to follow through from product discovery to purchase. This type of commerce removes the potential for uncertainty and abandonment because it takes fewer clicks to get to the product, and ultimately less space to change their minds. Every additional click presents an opportunity for the customer to doubt their desired purchase. With typical eCommerce models, visitors have to go from your ad to your website, to add the product to a cart, to fill in their credit card info, giving customers ample time to lose their attention.
2. Social commerce is a social experience
The customer experience shopping on social media is fun and interactive, filled with content which is highly visual and aspirational. This varies from the typical eCommerce shopping spree, which doesn’t allow users to interact with the brands they love or shop their looks in real-time. Instagram, for instance, enables users to easily consult their friends with their purchases, post and review comments, and engage with various brands. The content itself stimulates the passive desires of users before functional needs arise; compelling users to purchase through the power of visual storytelling.
3. Social commerce equals more money
It makes good sense, and good money, to bring your products to the saturated online spaces where your customers already hang out. It’s forecasted that global B2C eCommerce sales are expected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021 and that 83% of shoppers use Facebook and Instagram to discover and research new products; so why not give them what they’re looking for?
4. Social commerce hyper-targets your buyer persona
Social media enables you to adjust and target your advertising, based on the staggering wealth of customer data it makes available. For instance, your product can be placed right in front of the eyes of the people who will appreciate, desire, and ultimately purchase it, the most. Social commerce allows you to get specific, ready-to-buy products to their specific buyer persona, in a way that traditional eCommerce and marketing cannot.
5. Social commerce provides you with a focus group
On top of providing customers with an easy transaction process, social commerce also offers businesses a powerful way to collect customer feedback. With your products on display for the social media world to consume, your customers will tell you what they like and don’t like directly. Social commerce, in combination with the platform itself, gives you clear data about who your customers are and encourages you to chat with them personally, improving your customer service offering. You can also use your followers to weigh in on product development decisions by creating polls, surveys, and stories, boosting the overall customer experience.
6. Social commerce is already critical
Every direct-to-consumer business should already be running ads on social media. With built-in analytics, every campaign is measurable to the last cent. That said, more and more businesses will begin to transition to a social commerce model. In fact, 48% of internet users aged 18-34 made a purchase on social media in 2019, and for those in the same demographic who haven’t yet shopped on social media, 27% expressed interest in trying it out. Through this new medium of social commerce, brands will be able to harness the unequalled benefits of interactivity, speed, and closer customer relationships.