Social Commerce is the future of sales

Business, Virtual Assistant | 0

Is it wise to sell products and services directly on social media platforms? The ever increasing number of impulsive buyers, changing shopping behaviors and convenience factors will lead to the popularity of social commerce in the near future. What if the other ways of sales vanish soon? So, haven’t you switched to social commerce yet? If not, don’t panic; strategize and roll out the plan soon.

Well, on reading this blog, you will get to know what social commerce is all about and how it will boost your business sales. Read on.    

THE DEFINITION

Social commerce is nothing but selling products and services on networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

For sure, you would have seen shoppable posts and stories at least once. These posts are not the one that directs you to a website but something that provides an opportunity to purchase on the social platforms and usually, this comes with a ‘buy’ button.  May be you were casually browsing your personal Instagram page and you saw a beautiful apparel at the cost lesser than you expected, won’t you buy it? That is what social commerce does. Allure you when you are least expected, with stunning images, offers and quick purchase options.

Examples are the product pins that you would have seen in Pinterest, Facebook Marketplace, featured product links that you would have noticed on Instagram, forums and groups that sell local items online, Google shopping ads, etc.

IMPORTANT TIMELINES

Timelines of social commerce is dissimilar for different platforms.

Facebook:

In the year 2007, Facebook launched ‘virtual gift’ test sale.

Instagram:

 In 2017, Instagram ‘shop now’ feature was initiated.

Pinterest:

In 2015, buyable pins got launched.

Google+:

Start of ‘Google offers’ in the year 2011

Well, all of these were huge hits. The reasons can be attributed to the deep psychological elements of social commerce. Advent of social media platforms made it easy for shoppers to gain information and opinions from the comfort zones. Also, reaching out to the brands and buying a product has become a cake walk. In fact, it is cost-effective. Imagine how much we used to spend on transportation to reach our favorite stores or find time amid a busy schedule exclusively for the purpose of shopping. Yeah, to a larger extend, social media is all about social science and not technology. It’s the nature of human beings to check what others are doing when they are uncertain. So, where else one would get free advices rather than on social media and this is exactly why shoppers tend to follow the trends online.

But then there are so many checks to be done before rolling out a social commerce project. There should be many images incorporated, sites should load faster, and no unexpected charges while checking out a shopping cart. Design buyable posts keeping in mind how you would enjoy buying a product or avail a service online.

SOCIAL COMMERCE STRATEGIES

To win over consumer hearts, it is important to strike a perfect balance between creativity and innovation. Channeling your marketing efforts in the right platform post, knowing the consumer behavior would be the right way to increase sales. For instance, if you are into lifestyle products, the shoppable posts can be shared on popular spaces such as Facebook, Instagram or TIK TOK. However, this strategy will fail you, if yours is a B2B service or a product. Always do a proper market research to find where your audience exists. World live digital and know what they want. It’s the same old wine, pour it into digital bottles. Here is a list of factors to keep in mind before creating social shopping opportunities.

Shorten the consumer journey: Lesser the steps that a shopper need to follow to get a product or service, the better. Frictionless checkout process, secure gateways, smooth mobile outlook, vivid payment options and personalized messages; all of these will bring in brand loyalty in the social commerce space.

Promote organic influencer content: Paid influencer marketing strategies won’t work anymore as online shoppers are getting smarter.

Offer reward programs: Offline or online; shoppers like discounts, offers and cash back policies.

Get Personal: Customize experiences for the shoppers by giving product recommendations and reminders. An interesting study conducted by Segment, titled, ‘The 2017 state of personalization report’ indicated that 49% of shoppers decided to buy a product post seeing a personalized report.

WHY BUSINESSESS SHOULD CONSIDER SOCIAL COMMERCE?

Getting your products and services online will lead to faster sales closures. There are around 3.80 billion social media users as of January 2020 and it is easier to find the prospects on various social platforms than anywhere else. What added value can social commerce bring in business; here are a few major ones:

  • Brands are able to create a seamless shopping experiences worldwide though faster and safe checkout options.
  • Customer connections are made possible by incorporating interactive stories. 
  • Trust can be earned easily with the help of positive comments and reviews.
  •  Hook the mobile shoppers. Most people use smart phones to make purchases than any other device. A shoppable post optimized for mobile devices will lead to sales hikes.
  • Get popular at a lightning speed. With like, share, comment and subscribe options, any brand can become an overnight star. But for this, one needs a right social media strategy in place.

Well, as a start-up or as a medium sized organization, you might not have the resources and people to dedicatedly contemplate and roll out social commerce plan of action. In such situations, one can always depend on virtual social media strategists or eminent professionals at an agency such as in Ossisto. Truly, it is much cost and time effective than hiring a full-time employee for the purpose.

The social commerce boom is inevitable with the ongoing economic crisis and pandemic lockdowns. However, not all brands are exploring it due to unawareness. Getting on to online is important and more than that using social media for sales is crucial.

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