Social Commerce: What it is and its Journey?
What is Social Commerce?
Simply put, social commerce is the buying and selling of products straight through social media. It is the opportunity to make a purchase from a third-party business within the indigenous social media experience. The complete customer journey occurs on a social networking platform, from product discovery and research to the purchase procedure.
You might remember the “Shop Now” button popping up whenever you came across an interesting product or brand on your feed. It allows you to complete the purchase within the app itself. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are some of the common social apps that are benefiting from social commerce.
E-commerce v/s Social Commerce
There is a significant disparity between social commerce and e-commerce, though it is muddled sometimes.
With social commerce, the entire sales experience or journey from product sighting to check out occurs entirely within a social networking site. Ecommerce usually relates to a retail practice or purchase that takes place on a brand’s proprietary application or website and sometimes via a mediator, such as Amazon.
Social commerce is not the same as social selling. Social selling is the practice of forming links and contacts on various social media sites. It supports the growth of the company’s potential client database.
Proof in Figures
Social commerce is currently an $89.4 billion market. It’s projected to grow to $604.5 billion in the next seven years.
As 90% of Instagrammers follow at least one business, there is no doubting the influence of social media feeds to boost demand.
The recent Shopify research, that examined above 500,000 orders coming from social traffic, provides insight into the thriving status of social commerce. The report’s major findings include:
- Instagram is the largest social networking site among Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, with the greatest average order value of $65.
- Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have been the only major social media networks with a lead generation of over 1%.
- Above two-thirds of Shopify store visitors can be traced back to Facebook.
The numbers presented highlight users’ growing adoption of social media as a strategic instrument for shopping and staying abreast of the latest product trends.
Evolution of Social Commerce
Increased addiction to social media over time caused consumers to ignore a purchase for the sole reason of not wanting to exit the site. Social Commerce emerged as a solution, a method for converting a customer’s social interaction into sales.
Facebook was the prime platform to research Social Commerce in 2007. By 2014, you could buy items straight from Facebook using the buy button. It released the very first Shoppable Ads test in 2015. 2018 witnessed the launch of Facebook Marketplace, a system within Facebook that emulates Amazon, eBay, and others.
Although Pinterest and Instagram came around a little later, they show more promise now. As people use them to view attractive visual content, it is simpler to convert traction into purchases. Instagram and Pinterest are more often used by a younger demographic, who are the masters of haste. And that’s what shopping advertisements and postings are for, instant buying via social media
Challenges faced by Social Commerce
Despite the greater predicted revenues for businesses, social commerce is still vulnerable to cyberattacks and retail fraud because of imprecise guidelines for reliable originality identification and scam surveillance. These threats could be:
- Seller Imitation – Such scammers impersonate a valid webpage in order to steer user money to an unauthorized receiver.
- Forged Merchandise – These vendors entice consumers with first-rate product details and marketing, accompanied by phony comments and enticing offers, only to supply cheap-quality, or counterfeit, products.
- Actual fraud – This is perhaps the most prevalent type of online theft in which offenders gain customers’ personal and credit card data to make unwarranted transactions. On websites, you may come across identity thieves who appear to be genuine customers.
- Infiltration fraud – Attackers of this type of scam frequently intervene after a genuine transaction is complete to interrupt the order to change the delivery address, resulting in the loss of the actual consumer’s shipment.
Advantages of Social Commerce over E-commerce
Creating an online network, regardless of its size, can be beneficial in terms of a powerful presence. Thus, social commerce has several advantages:
- Social Experience – Shopping on social sites makes the process more communicative compared to an eCommerce website. It is easier for customers to compare products, read and share reviews, and interact directly with the brands they love.
- Eliminate Friction – Social media stores make it simple to move from discovery to purchase. All they have to do is look at it, tap on it, and purchase it. After all, every click represents a chance for a prospective buyer to reverse their decision.
- Higher Expected Returns – Experts estimate that e-sales revenues will exceed $735 billion over the next three years. 81 percent of customers conduct product research on Instagram and Facebook, while 48 percent of Pinterest users prioritize shopping.
- Instant Focus Group – Social commerce allows you to have pertinent data, such as consumer feedback and preferences. Including the ability to communicate with them afterward via comments or DMs, enabling delivery of tailored customer support.
- Hyper-targeting – The plethora of user information generated by digital platforms gives you a golden chance to fine-tune promotions. Like bringing particular, found to be suitable products in front of the particular individuals who could appreciate them.
- Leveraging Influencers – Micro-influencers have fewer followers than that of the standard celebrity account. But the caliber of the viewers is wider, with a greater probability for a similar close community of customers willing to take advice from each other.
Future of Social Commerce
As consumer behavior is always changing, so the sheer volume of fresh data and possibilities will help brands understand their present and future audiences better.
Keep these pointers in mind about the social commerce future:
- Brands will have to implement an end-to-end merchandising structure that helps customers and brings authenticity from surfing to after-sales services.
- Using company analytics throughout all online touch points improves the effectiveness of communication with customers.
- Customization enables marketers to deliver products and services of key importance at the specific moment of need, without disturbance to their social or online activity.
- Providing suitable experiences may significantly optimize the advertising budget, assisting businesses in prioritizing cash conservation and administrative expenditures.
Brands should explore how to use insights and analytics of various online activities to target limited quantities of greater standard, increased applicable material to attract consumers in the correct moment, with the best deal. This will provide an upper hand in filtering through the competition and gaining speedy success.
It is a good time to introduce your products to the digital spaces where your target audience regularly spends most of their time. So why not give them what they want, where they want it? The thought of taking such a big step can be overwhelming so Techminds is here to help make things sail smoothly and to aid in achieving greater results.