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Ecommerce Guide: How Social Media Shopping is Driving Growth

The huge growth of social media platforms over the recent years has brought more and more added features to them, including the ability to now purchase products on these social platforms. The social media boom has also been a large aid in brand discovery and growth for the past few years, but now there is the capability to give the customer a seamless purchasing experience without ever having to leave the social media platform, which minimises the customers online movements prior to making a purchase. Over 90% of social media users in the UK who follow a brand or influencer will make at least one purchase on a social media platform this year.

What is Social Media Commerce?

Social media commerce is an ever-developing sales channel, that is effectively a subset of eCommerce that means the transaction solely takes place within a social media platform. Social media shopping’s aim was to basically streamline the shopping experience for the customer, by not only allowing them to not only discover products through social media advertising, but also to purchase the product on the social media platform.

Social commerce also refers to other purchases which aren’t completed in-app, but are composed of purchases on the retailers or brands website from direct social media platform links.

Selling on Social Media Platforms

Nearly all of the main social media platforms like TikTok, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Meta as a whole have social commerce capabilities in place, which are all looking to evolve and grow.

Shopping on Facebook & Instagram (Meta)

Facebook and Instagram both have the capabilities of creating an online shop on their platforms and are free to create. However, fees will be charged when the checkout is used.

Both now have a separate shop tab, which makes the customer journey for the consumer much more streamlined. With Instagram allowing brands to sell products directly from their posts and stories. Facebook allows not only eCommerce businesses but also local sellers to sell and make purchases through Facebook Marketplace, which is now the equivalent of Gumtree.

Shopping on TikTok

Tiktok's integration is straightforward, products can be uploaded and managed covering all aspects of online commerce. Brands can highlight links to their products, leading to product detail pages from a TikTok video. TikTok are even developing a live stream shopping service, which basically brings the lucrative tele-shopping model onto a social platform.

Shopping on Pinterest

Pinterest is an app to allow its users to discover new things, ideas and products. Users have stated the app actually inspires them to make a purchase, even when they are not looking for anything. As far as paid social campaigns go on Pinterest, they have a number of ad options for brands from shop-able product pins, to dedicated shop tab for your brand’s profile along with the ability to promote pins and a number of other options.

In order for brands to be able to sell on Pinterest, they must set-up a Catalog, which is an avenue designed for businesses to sell products on their websites.

Utilising Influencers to Promote your Brand

In today’s world of social media, many brands are using influencers to assist in not only providing customised content, that will help drive sales from their targeted audiences, but also help in reposting and boosting your own marketing content to their audiences. Depending on the influencer, they tend to have large followings of social media users who not only follow them, but also trust their view on the products they display, and are available in a variety of specific categories for your business to target, such as fitness, beauty, fashion etc.

Why Social Media Commerce is Becoming So Popular

Social Media platforms have been growing at an uncontrollable rate, which was fuelled even more through the pandemic, as customers could no longer shop in stores, which drove nearly all demand online. This led to accelerated growth to social media commerce, which was already in place, and boosted both business and customer adoption of this avenue. With social media platforms growing at an exponential rate, we can expect a similar growth of social media commerce, now that it is well established on all main social media platforms. Social media commerce benefits both brands, as it makes the customer journey and shopping experience easier for customers, as well as users, who benefit by being able to buy ‘new’ or interesting products or services which were marketed specifically to them all in the same platform. The social platforms benefit too through keeping users within their platforms, and increasing time spent on them as well as benefitting from the purchase itself.

Allows Brands to Target Exact Audiences and Markets

Social media platforms have allowed the advertising to be more targeted than ever, allowing a big opportunities for brands to target their specific customer demographics. Depending on the product or service your brand offers, you can either have a wider casting pool for brand awareness campaigns, or a more targeted approach to target interests, locations and ages etc. In 2020 70% of online shoppers will look to Instagram for their next purchase, which shows that there is a huge opportunity for brands to capitalise on this.

How To Get Started Selling on Social Media

1. One of the most important factors on selling on a social media platform, is finding your target audience. This not only involves finding the your audiences demographics like age, gender, location interests but also which social platforms your audiences are using most frequently.

2. Once you have identified a platform to sell on you will want to check on the engagement and interaction from your audiences on this platform, you may get a larger audience on Facebook, but other social media platforms may show a higher return from a smaller audience, sales wise.

3. With regards to a strategy, it will be composed of a number of considerations from your budget to your marketing strategy and your target goals, which will all need to be aligned to have a successful strategy.

4. When scaling your eCommerce business, social media had allowed the scaling opportunities to be greater than ever. Building a social media presence on main social media platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, is key if you are just starting out marketing and growing your brand.

If you are just starting out, or already are an established eCommerce business using social media commerce to grow your brand and are looking for a fulfilment partner to manage your distribution, whilst your focus on growth, get in touch with UK Fulfilment for a free quote here.



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