Nowadays, nearly every social network offers its users an opportunity to make in-app purchases. This type of shopping is gaining popularity fast - 98% of consumers are planning to place at least one order using social media in 2022, a giant leap compared to 68% from the year before1.
Thus, social shopping is already far more than just a trend - it’s an integral part of global eCommerce that has everything it takes to get the biggest slice of the pie in the foreseeable future. Read this guide to find out how direct sales over social media platforms work and how your business can make the most out of them!
Understanding the Potential of Social Commerce
Social commerce enables merchants to offer their products directly through platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter. This shopping method is forecasted to reach a market size of $2.9 trillion by 20262
One of the biggest pros of social commerce for consumers is that they don’t have to search for the vendor’s website manually to make a purchase - the checkout option is available right in the network through which they are browsing. However, it’s not the only benefit it offers - other pros of social shopping include:
- Better customer engagement. Social commerce makes interacting with a brand easier than ever for clients. This means that they are more likely to leave comments and reviews for the products and will probably browse through a larger amount of items.
- Higher average order value. The seamless shopping experience, interactive lookbooks, targeted ads, and direct checkout are perfect ways to motivate potential clients to shop more.
- Consistent audience growth. The shopping option on social media helps brands attract new audiences and build a loyal customer base.
- Higher ranking in search results. Social shopping increases the flow of traffic to your website, promotes link build-up, and helps your store receive feedback. Such organic actions increase your digital footprint, which, in turn, results in a higher search engine ranking.
- Advanced customer insights. Measuring KPIs and evaluating your business insights through social platforms is very convenient, as these channels have built-in tracking for metrics like impressions, engagement, and reach.
As you can see, social commerce has plenty to offer when it comes to building a winning retail strategy. However, simply being present across social media channels isn’t enough - merchants must understand the main trends driving social commerce to harness it to its full potential.
Top 3 Trends Shaping Social Shopping in 2022
Social commerce is evolving fast, with new trends arising continuously. Implementing these fresh tendencies into your eCommerce strategy will help you boost conversions and sales revenue.
Some of the latest social shopping trends are:
- Collaborating with influencers. 45% of online shoppers globally say they want to buy products promoted by creators directly on social media3.
- Exploring the metaverse. AR and live commerce are bringing merchants and consumers one step closer to a fully virtual shopping experience, so it’s about time to hop on this trend if you still haven’t. Check out our detailed guide to payments in the metaverse for more information!
- Having strong brand values. 56% of consumers worldwide admit that brand values play a critical role in their decision to purchase goods4.
These trends are prominent across all social media networks, so implementing them will be beneficial regardless of the primary sales channel you’re using. If you still haven’t established a presence on any social media platform and are wondering where to start, read ahead for valuable insights!
Best Social Commerce Platforms
You are sure to benefit from setting up a store profile on any social media platform. However, the networks that are currently offering the biggest potential for merchants are:
- Instagram - According to the latest data, 70% of online shoppers use Instagram for product discovery. This social network with approximately 1 billion active users is perfect for promoting your products through eye-catching photos and videos to people aged 18-34 (61.6% of the platform’s users)5.
- Facebook - With 3.45 billion monthly active users in 2021, Facebook is one of the oldest global social networks with excellent opportunities for merchants. Once your potential clients discover your business page, Facebook will promote the products to them based on their unique preferences and search history. This provides users with a personalized shopping experience and increases the likelihood of purchase.
- TikTok - Even before the launch of the TikTok For Business feature in 2020, the trend called “TikTok made me buy it” has already been a big hit. Nowadays, this social network features shoppable posts, live stream commerce, and influencer marketing opportunities, making it the perfect engine to help your products go viral.
Other platforms that offer social commerce include:
- Amazon Live
And many more!
Remember that your product types, target audience, and brand image are the factors that will ultimately determine which social media channels are the most beneficial for your business.
How to Accept Payments Through Social Media Platforms?
It is typically a fast and straightforward process to begin accepting payments through social media. The algorithm of actions is similar from one platform to another and usually follows a sequence like this:
- The merchant sets up a business account on a social media platform of choice.
- The seller then receives access to such features as inventory, orders, checkout, and payouts.
- After all the necessary information is filled up, and the social media storefront is up and running, the platform will charge a commission for every item sold.
Simple as that!
After setting up your shopping outlet, all you have to do is adopt a clever promotion strategy that blends great content with the latest social commerce trends, and the sales are sure to follow.
1 - Sproutsocial - Social Shopping in 2022: Consumer Behaviors in the Social Shopping Cart
2 - BusinessWire - Social Commerce Global Market Report 2022
3, 4 - Meta - Trends Shaping Social Commerce in 2022
5 - Hootsuite - The Global State of Digital 2022