Social Commerce is a new term that brand builders have started using as a daily addition to their vocabulary. If you haven't yet heard of it, it's a subset of electronic commerce (ecommerce), involving various social media platforms that have become a big part of our everyday lives.
Over a number of years, as new social media platforms have emerged and ecommerce platforms have become bigger and better, we’ve been seeing them attempt to integrate with one another. Ecommerce marketers have recognized the power that social media offers when it comes to communicating with appropriate audiences, and they’ve decided to take advantage of this benefit.
For example, Facebook has begun displaying eBay's daily promotions and deals. Maybe you've already noticed advertisements appearing in your feed. This is a new feature called Marketplace, introduced by Zuckerberg to mimic the success of ecommerce giants.
As we see more and more content from our favourite ecommerce platforms appearing in our social feeds, Pinterest has also started giving us the option of shopping on its platform with shoppable pins, whilst Instagram has created its own spin on the same idea with shoppable Instagram feeds.
In addition, Tumblr has decided to follow suit with a smaller change. It simply decided to introduce the ‘Buy Now’ button, so its users can easily shop for anything that appears on their dashboard.
Furthermore, Twitter is now showing its users discount codes and promoting various ongoing sales. After discovering this feature was resulting in significant profits, Twitter also introduced a ‘Buy Now’ button. Since its users are very engaged with the platform and one another, those users can quickly and easily make purchases without having to leave the platform.
The biggest social commerce innovation has to be the one developed by Amazon. The ecommerce giant has created its own social media platform, called Spark, to add to the various benefits and features offered by existing platforms.
The idea behind Spark is to improve new product discovery on Amazon. Its design seems to have been inspired by Instagram’s feed, giving users the ability to post stories and ideas about products they love.
Amazon also plans to introduce a feature that will allow users to shop by pressing a single button, which means that Spark may become Pinterest's biggest competitor. It’s a great way to promote a variety of products by displaying all sorts of advertisements that can benefit every seller.
If you’re a seller, looking to take advantage of the aforementioned features and points, you've got plenty of perks to look forward to. But aside from the features and benefits, there are some important principles that you should remember when using social media to promote your products -- whether those products are physical or digital.
For starters, the best way to connect with your audience is to communicate with them via social media. Give them answers to their questions, and reply to their reviews of your products or services. In order to gain positive feedback on all fronts, it’s important to maintain great communication and deliver top-notch customer service. Then, when buyers decide to post a review, whether on your ecommerce page or your social media profile, they are going to shower you with compliments, which will help you to attract a bigger audience and even more buyers!
Nowadays, ecommerce platforms also have the added benefit of free or low-cost shipping. And thanks to shopping days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday (the former two growing to include internet shopping), users have been more eager than ever to follow all their favourite brands and ecommerce websites through various social media platforms, to snatch the best discounts.
Whether you’re a person who owns his or her own brand, or you’re simply a seller of products, your top priority should be earning plenty of positive reviews. If you want to increase conversion rates, displaying positive reviews can boost mobile shopper conversions by 133%. Additionally, responding to every review and comment will improve the public's perceptions of your brand by a whopping 71% (because you're setting yourself apart from the rest, proving that you care about both your brand and your buyers).
If you are unsure about how to create a strategy for your social media accounts, look for inspiration in popular brands and their profiles. Take note of what they're doing and saying. Don't copy their strategies, but learn from them.
There are plenty of ways to incorporate social media platforms into your ecommerce business for a spectacular social commerce result. All you'll need is the drive to reach your goals, along with a bit of creative thinking.