Whilst we have seen a rapid rise in ecommerce activity over the last two years, social media platforms have been emerging as a popular avenue for consumers to conduct not only their online shopping, but to also engage with online sellers and retailers.
According to research conducted by software company, Bazaarvoice, featuring data from 11,500 retailers and brands, 23% of UK-based shoppers are using social media to discover new products to buy. The same report revealed 33% of UK consumers are purchasing through social media, compared to 28% in France and 30% in Germany.
With more consumers heading to social media channels to browse, purchase and review items, brands are taking the opportunity to offer seamless ecommerce experience within social apps. These also happen to be the most popular online destinations for consumers – Instagram and Facebook, to name two.
As this trend grows, there are three reasons why we’ll see more brands invest in social commerce:
Reach customers in one place
The use of social media has certainly evolved over time. Not only is it an effective channel for communication between family and friends, consumers can now discover items on there, whilst rating, reviewing and making purchases directly from the app. As more people are spending time on social media – it makes sense for retailers to target and reach all of their customers in one place.
Create easy shopping experiences
Whilst social media marketing directs consumers to their website, being able to identify your favourite pair of earrings or trainers and purchase them directly through Instagram, where you spotted them, seems like a more convenient option. One-click purchasing boosts consumers’ confidence and leads to more sales.
Take advantage of e-commerce boom
As the channels to purchase products online increase, this gives marketers and retailers different options to generate sales. Online purchasing can be conducted through virtually every device: phone, laptops, tablets – you name it. It’s a great time for businesses to take advantage of the e-commerce boom.
As brands ponder the benefits of investing in social commerce, we take a look at three social commerce trends that businesses are using successfully to grow their e-commerce presence through social media.
Instagram shopping creating a visual storefront
As of February 2022, there is an estimated 33.5 million Instagram users currently in the UK; according to Statista. As millions of users visit the platform daily, this has given retailers and individual sellers great initiative to not only advertise their products on Instagram, but you can now purchase goods directly through Instagram shop. We are also seeing the rise of Instagram influencers who promoting and reviewing products on their clients’ behalf.
According to Instagram, 60% of users discover new products on their platform. As users find new products on the platform, they take steps to purchase the product straight away. Retailers are able to add shopping tags to products they advertise in their catalogue via stories and the news feed. Users can then find out more information about the product and how they can purchase.
This proves very effective when retail brands go through seasonal offers such as Black Friday and Boxing Day sales. Rather than heading to the official website for deals, consumers will save time with one click purchases on Instagram.
Alongside Instagram Shop, Facebook Shop, are another option for an online storefront.
Chatbot and chat commerce providing personalised experiences
According to StartupBonsai, 67% of global consumers had an interaction with a chatbot over the last 12 months.
Due to consumers’ preferences and habits continuously changing, tackling personalisation is an ongoing battle for many brands. One of the ways which personalisation is by the use of chatbots. Although chatbots have limitations with what they can provide a user, they can provide consumers with quick and easy answers to queries. As brands operate across various online channels, chatbots provide great business benefits too. These including saving time and money, whilst building trust and customer satisfaction.
Domino’s is a good example of an effective chatbot system. ‘Dom’, is their friendly chatbot who helps customers place orders through the Facebook Messenger app. Customers can do this in four steps:
· Setting up an Easy Order Account on the Domino’s website
· Pair it with a Facebook account
· Head over to Messenger
· Beginning the order by messaging Dom: ‘PIZZA’
The introduction of this chatbot works well for both restaurant and it’s customers. Consumers do not have to call or visit the restaurant to place an order, they can configure the process quickly via an app. This also saves the restaurant time when it comes to processing orders. According to Dominos, digital accounted for 80 per cent of all UK deliveries.
Micro influencers are a viable option!
Whilst digital innovations are spearheading the social commerce movement, the impact of influencers, micro influencers to be exact, cannot be ignored. Influencers are widely recognised for their presence on social media, and there are benefits to working with them. They aid businesses of any size expand their reach, whilst the business can also be exposed to the influencers’ following/audience. A partnership could open many doors.
Now, whilst this depends on the budget, a partnership with an influencer does not have to be expensive. Once brands’ have established their existing an intended audience, creativity with the influencer can begin. There have been a few examples of effective partnerships between influencer and brand:
Mattel partners with Mom Blogger
Mattel reintroduced a popular toy from the 90’s, Polly Pocket, in late 2019 and partnered with Peace Love and Mommy (Heather), an influencer who remembered playing with the original toy. This nostalgic partnership proved to be effective because the campaign was focused on reliving your childhood – something her followers could relate to. Her daughter was featured playing with the toy all these years later.
Social media continues to evolve and provide users with new experiences; ecommerce’s growth in social media will provide additional opportunities for brands to create social commerce experiences. Whilst chatbots have been around for some time now, new functionalities bringing the customer closer to the brand are set to continue. Facebook and Instagram are currently leading the way for social app shopping experiences, could we see other social apps follow suit?