The eCommerce industry has been constantly evolving. In fact, it is one of the fastest-growing industries of today. With the advancement of technology along with the ongoing pandemic, merchants are moving their businesses online where the consumers are. The last year was one full year of ever-changing trends in an attempt to follow consumer demands as well as to adapt to the changes that the world is currently facing in the face of the new normal. And it’s not just in 2020 but it will for sure continue to progress in the years to come.
As the world goes into quarantine, the surge of online activities has been remarkable that people spend most of their time online be it for recreational, education, commercial and more, more than ever before. People spend more time on their social media profiles doing more than just socializing. This paved the way for a more socialized and interactive platform that has also adapted to the evolution of eCommerce.
As traditional retailers and e-commerce shoppers continue to adapt to the digital habits along with their purchasing decisions influenced by the idea of buying things online is more convenient and safe, growth in Social Commerce can be seen in 2021 as everyone quickly adapts to the post-COVID-19 environment.
Social Media is a market in itself. Facebook alone accounts for 1.47 billion active users. About 84% of Instagram users find new products and brands on Instagram and 90% of people on Instagram follow businesses. 43% of global shoppers research products online via social networks.
Social media platforms today offer various eCommerce features that brands and retailers can use to create campaigns that are interactive and more immersive that can help promote products and services through shareable content that can go viral.
With what social media has to offer, it makes complete sense to also sell and offer goods and services on social media platforms.
What is Social Commerce?
eCommerce today has evolved into a more competitive landscape and it doesn’t just happen on websites. It is now present in some of the most saturated places on the web— in social media.
Social media shopping is also known as Social Commerce is a channel that is growing significantly helping brands that leverage it increase their profits in the market.
While this channel of e-commerce uses the advantages of social media platforms and helps businesses in the digital market, it is different from social media marketing. It differs from SMM which uses content to drive traffic to the websites. Social commerce on the other hand leverages social media platforms as an omnichannel in which the shopping experience occurs.
Social Commerce: The Latest Digital Marketing Buzzword
Social Commerce is not a new concept. In fact, it’s been tested and refined for quite a while by most of the large social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.
The recent launch of Facebook Shops is blending e-commerce with its platform. This update that the social media giant is just perfect time as many consumers are homebound due to the pandemic which made brick-and-mortar shops and local businesses shift to digital due to the surge of consumers online. With the sudden change in the flow of the market having been affected by the pandemic, Facebook wanted to inspire people to shop and make buying and selling online easier.
According to Facebook, its goal in launching the Facebook Shops is to encourage businesses from small to big enterprises to use the apps in order to connect more to their audience, as well as facilitate a shopping experience that is seamless for the consumers and empowering to the business owners.
Instagram and Facebook Shopping
Two platforms that have been leading social commerce are Instagram and Facebook. For Instagram, it’s the Instagram Checkout that makes the platform engaging for businesses. With more than half of its users following business profiles and users discovering new brands for different sorts of products through images and video content, it has become one of the must-have platforms for almost all sorts of brands especially on social forward products such as fashion items, arts, beauty, entertainment and more. With the Instagram Checkout feature, purchases happen right in the app which makes it easier and more convenient for both buyers and sellers.
For Facebook, the most used tools are Facebook Page Shops and Messenger. These features provide brands an instant online shop of their own which they can use to display and promote their products across various social media platforms. As a digital store itself, brands can sell directly on the page and manage transactions from managing orders to shipping, and promotion. With the messenger, each page is partnered with AI-powered chatbots that cater to a customer inquiry in real-time. They can easily answer programmed questions about your business or brand providing your brand an efficient customer service available 24/7.
Why should your brand care about social commerce?
Combining eCommerce with social media is powerful for brands in today’s global market. As more and more people today engage in social media, such platforms as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and more become a huge marketplace where brands can meet their audience and consumers directly. It allows customers to find products people normally wouldn’t search for on an e-commerce platform.
The social element of social media platforms helps people discover brands through social content which is beneficial especially for emerging or smaller brands that may not have a lot of advertising budget to promote their brand or perhaps an eCommerce platform where they can place their products in the digital space. With social media continuing to offer brands opportunities to connect them to consumers in new and interesting ways, across various platforms, brands will be able to create a unique shopping experience for their customers so they’ll get to know more about their brand.
Throughout the years, eCommerce has been growing quite significantly as an industry that seeks new opportunities on the horizon. As the world requires more advancement, particularly demanding ways to make purchasing easier and more convenient, new eCommerce trends will continue to arise. And social commerce will be one of those that will continue to accelerate in growth in the years to come. As this becomes a trend, which almost all businesses are bound to adapt, business owners must know how to exploit these trends and learn how they can differentiate their brand from their competitors and boost sales.