What Social Selling Means for Your Ecommerce Business
Oct 06 2020
Social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are uniquely positioned to reach massive audiences while streamlining the conversion process in a relatively new advertising channel dubbed simply “social commerce.” These shoppable social platforms aim to utilize the millions (sometimes billions) of eyeballs skimming their products each day to become a top converter for online businesses, perhaps even above brand websites.
With more businesses pouring digital marketing budgets into social selling, here’s why these platforms can’t be ignored.
How Social Selling Helps Your Brand
Virtually every brand’s audience uses at least one social media site or app every day, particularly now while outside entertainment is limited.. Facebook’s daily active user count has reached nearly 1.79 billion in 2020, with Instagram tallying a cool 500 million and Snapchat adding another 238 million.
More importantly, the behavior of this audience has grown more accustomed to shoppable content and a new willingness to purchase products online directly from these platforms. A GlobalWebIndex study found that nearly 30% of users cite researching/finding products online as a main reason for using social media. By easing the path of conversion, social commerce has made it possible for brands to skip the website experience entirely and focus on shortening the conversion funnel to a handful of touches. By forging a new, streamlined buying process that is more social- and mobile-friendly, users are now making retail purchases from their mobile devices at record rates.
Many of these social capabilities are still in their infancy, but considering that audience behavior is adapting favorably to the idea of shopping on social platforms, ecommerce is expected to accelerate at record rates.
Why Facebook Shops Are a Big Deal
Facebook Shops debuted in May of 2020 as a response to both coronavirus unexpectedly shuttering small and medium businesses, and to support Facebook’s ongoing battle with Amazon to get ahead of trends and flatten sales funnels for advertisers.
Facebook Shops allow brands to set up a digital storefront and display entire catalogs of items. These shops can also be customized and include a featured collection function, giving brands a chance to personalize the style of their page and feature specific collections or products. Shops leverages the platform’s massive userbase to help businesses get in front of the right users at the right time.
Instagram Makes Shopping Easy
Like Facebook, Instagram is also leveraging its growing audience base to boost ecommerce efforts. Presently, half a billion users regularly use the photo-sharing app with 50% of those users following at least one business making it a prime space to reach eager shoppers.
Instagram Shops lets brands set up a storefront on the platform and complete purchases without leaving the app. It can be easily accessed through the “Shop” tab on the businesses’ profiles. The tab leads to a product catalog page, which operates as one of two main avenues to get shoppable products in front of users who were merely browsing organic posts seconds before.
The second tool Instagram provides businesses makes use of the platform’s visual nature through product tagging. This works just like tagging another person in a photo, only with products users will see a shopping icon and be able to view and purchase tagged products in the image by tapping on the image. The simplicity of product tagging in promoted posts has led to 60% of users saying they discover new products on the platform.
How Snapchat is Keeping Up with Stories
Snapchat has been upping its ecommerce presence by injecting dynamic shoppable ads between users’ stories, enabling advertisers to form product stories unique to the app’s slideshow-style visuals. The app also has a Discover section displaying paid and organic content for users to skim through. The goal is similar to Instagram’s, but with the added bonus of forcing an increased engagement rate by including brand stories and user stories alongside one another.
Snapchat has been running a closed beta test leveraging brand profiles which would allow users to connect and purchase without leaving the app, creating a more seamless shopping experience.
The brand profiles offer a permanent home for brands within Snapchat, creating authentic relationships and marketing opportunities that are customized. Brands will have the ability to utilize Branded AR Lenses, highlights, story posts, and an optional native store experience for browsing products and completing purchases.
These and other continued enhancements to social platforms for advertisers show the continued focus on shopping accessibility. They not only allow for more flexibility with ad content but give users a more personalized experience, driving purchase decisions faster.