Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, everyone's favourite social media sites have turned into lucrative sales channels for all social commerce businesses.
It's been around for a few years, garnering traction as early as 2015, but the Covid-19 outbreak brought it to the forefront over two years ago. Last year, social commerce earned $474.8 billion in revenue, an almost 40% increase over the previous year. Since then, more organisations have embraced social commerce as a critical component of their omnichannel commerce strategy.
You cannot afford to ignore social commerce because it is the future of eCommerce. Checkout processes are becoming more streamlined and efficient, but they are still not allowing customers to make purchases without leaving their platforms. This prolongs the sales process but also decreases conversion rates.
By analysing data from social commerce platforms, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their customers’ needs and wants. This information can then be used to improve the products and services that companies offer, as well as their overall marketing strategy.
It should not exist in isolation. Instead, social commerce is most effective when it is integrated with a company's existing sales channels, from its online store to its physical location.
Nowadays, consumers aged 16 to 24 prefer to undertake brand research on social media platforms, but this does not always imply that a purchase will be made immediately. Although a consumer may make a purchasing choice based on a brand's social media, they may still choose to acquire the goods in-store or from a trusted retail partner.
The easier the purchasing options and checkout procedure are, the more likely the buyer will complete the purchase wholly through social media or at least follow the path to purchase through the brand's other channels. Consumers will benefit from readily available 'Buy now' or 'Where to Buy' buttons on social media. With growing investment in social commerce, they will undoubtedly become more popular next year.
Social media is the leading source of shopping inspiration for 97 per cent of Gen-Z customers, and 62 per cent of 13 to 39-year-olds are interested in purchasing things directly from their social media feeds. Almost two-thirds of buyers polled by Google claimed that mobile-friendly shopping modes are critical when determining which brand to buy.
As a result, businesses who make the error of designing online stores that perform best on the desktop are losing clients before they even get to the checkout. Whether shoppers are shopping for fashion on Instagram or potential Christmas gifts on local merchants' Facebook pages, social commerce provides a streamlined path to purchase from browsing to checkout.
The ability to connect with target consumers is one of the most fundamental characteristics of social media. According to research, 72 per cent of millennials believe that if a company interacts with them on social media, they are more likely to become loyal customers.
Every Christmas, there is a push to support small businesses by shopping locally. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic and the associated issues faced by smaller retailers, this behaviour has become even more prevalent on social media. We all want to shop and support locals.
Social networking is beneficial in this situation: the more you connect with your customers online, the more likely they will use the shoppable channels available to them. Sixty-two per cent of consumers trust small and local businesses more than national merchants. Given that Gen-Z's trust in large companies is low but social media usage is high, social commerce is a perfect area to increase consumer engagement with the demographic. It also enables large brands to advertise and support their local retail partners to increase indirect channel sales.
Social media platforms level the playing field between small and large enterprises in many ways, which is why, in 2022, more brands should consider investing in it.
Brands must look at their existing channels, both direct and indirect, to see how they might complement one other to prepare for a future where social commerce thrives as a critical function of e-commerce. Not in competition with one another. More significant investment in social media now will increase consumer interaction and provide fertile ground for social commerce to thrive, which will appeal to both old and new customers.
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