Social Commerce: An Ultimate Guide for Online Brands & eCommerce Owners
“Social commerce has been the biggest revolution of the eCommerce and online shopping industry in recent years.”
Customers are now looking for the easiest, engaging, and most meaningful shopping experiences that provide maximum value with minimum or no challenges.
And it is rightly said that “Customers are the king.” They define a brand’s success, growth, and market value.
The evolution of eCommerce to social commerce came into reality as brands discovered a solution that can drive brand sales, success, and growth and deliver valuable customer shopping experiences.
Since its inception, Social commerce has been trending among global brands selling products/services online. And now, marketers have predicted the Global Social Commerce Market to Reach $604.5 Billion by 2027.
This blog is a social commerce guide that will explain everything and much more about the social commerce strategies, benefits, platforms, and examples.
Let’s get started with the blog.
What Is Social Commerce?
Before we move any further, let’s put this out straight for you. Social commerce is buying & selling products online while staying within the social media platform.
The idea was to blend eCommerce into social platforms to improve the online purchasing experience for users. It has resulted in increased conversion rates for brands, like never before.
Brands and businesses have started using social commerce to drive sales, boost traffic and revenue, while their marketing strategies have started focusing primarily on social media.
Social Commerce is here to stay, and the conversions keep increasing. The number of US social commerce buyers accelerated 25.2% to 80.1 million in 2020 and will grow another 12.9% to 90.4 million in 2021.
Allow us to give you an overview of how social commerce is different from eCommerce so that you get a better understanding of the concept.
The Social Commerce definition by Taggshop – Using social media networks by brands and businesses to drive sales, traffic, and revenue by allowing users to shop the products/services directly on social media platforms.
Difference B/W Social Commerce And Ecommerce
As of January 2021, out of the total number of Internet users worldwide, 92.6 percent (4.32 billion) accessed the internet via mobile devices.
The number of increasing mobile users has resulted in the ultimate success of social commerce over eCommerce, as not every eCommerce platform is mobile-friendly. Social media platforms are built to be mobile-friendly, making social commerce accessible and easy to use for almost everyone.
With eCommerce, brands have to influence the users and direct them towards their website through various marketing and advertising strategies. Whereas, with social commerce, brands don’t have to worry about any of that. It allows brands to reach their target audience by dwelling on their usual social media activities.
The dissimilarities don’t just end here. With eCommerce, users had to go through overwhelming product searching and exploring. Then, even when they’d find something worth buying, they would have to face the never-ending purchase journey of filling in the lengthy address and contact details forms.
The procedure took so long that most customers would get distracted before even reaching the checkout page, affecting the brands’ conversion rates. 21% of US shoppers abandon carts due to a complicated checkout process.
That’s when social commerce came as the ultimate breakthrough. It brought seamless shopping with socializing into the commerce scene and took the potential customers to the purchase page within a few easy steps, without even leaving the social media platform.
Social commerce makes the entire discovery till purchasing so fun and engaging that brands have started focusing entirely on social media to amp up their social media game, as that’s where the utmost sales are happening.
But the real question is, how did something so astonishing happen within a few years and repainted the picture of online shopping? Let’s read and find out.
The History Of Social Commerce & Its Evolution
How It Started:
Turning the users’ social engagement into social purchasing led to the rise of Social Commerce.
While the term social commerce was coined in 2005 by Yahoo, it was only until 2007 when Facebook started talking about it, and boom! So we were in the year 2014 making purchases directly from Facebook using their buy button.
By 2018, Facebook introduced its Marketplace within the platform that stood beside the leading eCommerce brands like Amazon and eBay, giving them tough competition.
The real evolution of social commerce happened when Instagram added the in-app checkout feature on their platform in 2019. Brands like Nike & Zara were among the foremost who provided a shoppable storefront for Instagram’s users. As a result, these users could explore and purchase the products while staying within the app.
How’s It Going:
Today, over 125 million Instagram users tap on shoppable posts to learn more about products every month. Every business, big or small, has switched from a business social media account to a shoppable storefront to drive sales along with engagement.
Social media trends keep changing, but the end goal is to provide a seamless shopping experience to the customers and turn them into loyal ones; all this has become possible with social commerce.
The wave of the Covid-19 pandemic turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the global market of Social Commerce as it is estimated at US$89.4 billion in 2020.
In 2021, businesses with social shops have evolved in the best way possible, as the average buyer spends more than $300 annually with social commerce.
All you need for Instagram social commerce is to have a business profile, a connected Facebook page, product catalog set up on Facebook, and that’s it.
These shoppable posts have been successful and popular among users, allowing brands to turn their Instagram feed into a shoppable Instagram feed where users can explore and instantly buy the tagged products in the posts.
Instagram provides shoppable features in more than 70 countries and even provides in-app checkout functionality to key brands like Kylie Cosmetics, Nike, etc.
Social Commerce Platform Examples
It is safe to assume that by now, you have a better understanding of social commerce. So, it’s time to scrutinize some of the best social commerce platforms widely loved by brands and their users.
Instagram business accounts see an average of 1.46% monthly follower growth, making Instagram the perfect social commerce platform for effective brand growth.
To sum it up, Shoppable Instagram has various features spread across Instagram to tap into the social behavior of the users without interrupting their social activities.
Brands can turn their business accounts into shoppable storefronts, and users can engage with their posts and buy the products in them by clicking on the product tags. Brands on Instagram focus primarily on visuals, and with the shoppable features, they can use these visuals to increase their conversions.
- Shops: Business accounts utilized as shoppable storefronts
- Product Tags: Tappable product tags used to highlight products on posts & stories
- Instagram Shop: In-app explore feature to discover new brands
- Product Launch: For brands to effectively launch their products
- Live Shopping: Allowing users to make purchases during live-streams
Successful Brand Story
Barbour is a 125-years-old clothing brand from England. Shoppable Instagram has turned out to be quite effective for them to connect with the right audience.
The shoppable tags made it easy for their potential customers to identify and purchase their unique products in a surprisingly new manner. As a result, their sales boosted up to 42%, and Barbour witnessed a 98% increased website traffic from Instagram.
“Since we started using this feature, our sales from Instagram have increased by 42% and traffic from Instagram to our website has increased by 98%. – Laura Dover, Barbour Key manager
Facebook is 17 years old, and people find it more reliable than any other social media platform. 85% of the orders on social media are coming from Facebook. The Facebook shop is the ultimate mobile-friendly social shopping experience. It is user-friendly as brands can create their social storefront following a few easy steps, that too for free.
You get a vast catalog of product categories to choose the one that’s suitable for your business. Not just that, you can also customize your store so that more people can identify your brand.
The Facebook shop also delivers perfect customer relationship possibilities by allowing your customers to contact you directly from Facebook messenger.
- Personalized Shop: Colors, fonts, and themes to customize storefronts
- Easy Brand Discovery: Enables Facebook and Instagram users to discover new brands
- Shopping With Messenger: Users can connect with brands through Facebook Messenger
- Valuable Insights: Analytics to read consumers’ behavior and improve accordingly
Successful Brand Story
HomeHuk is a home product brand in Southeast Asia. HomeHuk aims to sell high-quality and affordable products. Home furnishing products. They decided to use Facebook shop & Messenger to reach their online target audience from Thailand.
The results were massive; HomeHuk saw an increase of 47% in their conversion rate, 7X return on ad spend, over 39,000 sales conversions on Messenger (monthly), and over 19,000 orders placed purely through the experience (monthly).
“Messenger has become an important new sales channel for us. In just a little over a year, we were able to sell to over half a million customers across Thailand purely through chatting on Messenger.” – Jed Charungcharoenvejj, CMO at HomeHuk
Taggshop allows you to utilize your content and effectively turn it into conversions. It is a comprehensive social commerce platform for brands to leverage social content and build shoppable galleries ready to use on websites and increase conversions, brand growth, and revenue instantly.
Taggshop lets you publish your Shoppable Instagram feed, UGC galleries, Social shopping galleries, visual commerce galleries, product reviews, and shoppable galleries on your website.
These features have allowed brands to engage their website visitors and let them shop from shoppable galleries by tapping on the shoppable hotspots without having to search around the entire website.
- Visual Galleries: Shoppable galleries to engage visitors
- Product Hotspots: Tag products to make your social galleries shoppable
- Shoppable UGC: Aggregate & publish UGC galleries on the website
- Powerful Analytics: Track & optimize your content performance
Successful Brand Story
Mum & Daughter, an eCommerce startup, is a premium clothing brand for women. They wanted a solution to capture maximum User-generated content from social media and utilize them to drive sales with Shoppable UGC galleries.
Taggshop made it possible for them. They collected UGC posts from Instagram, tagged products with Shoppable tags, and published the Shoppable UGC on their website. Six months later, Mum & Daughter experienced a 186% increase in conversions and a 58% higher average order value, making Taggshop the ultimate ROI for them.
“I really like the Taggshop Shoppable galleries. It provides easy product tagging, customization options, seamless integration, & the best shopping experience.” – K. Mahar, CEO &Founder of Mum & Daughter
Pinterest Buyable Pins
The Pinterest buyable pins are a feature on Pinterest that can be identified with the price written in blue color, along with an “Add to bag” button.
As a social platform, Pinterest works and engages its users with visuals. Pinterest buyable pins enable users to make purchases with these visuals. Users love discovering and getting inspired on Pinterest.
In fact, 77% of Pinterest users say they have discovered a new brand or product while browsing on Pinterest. This means having a store on Pinterest can expose your brand to a new audience that isn’t afraid to do experiments with new brands.
- Catalogs: Scaled way to upload a data source of products
- Rich Pins: Saved to Pinterest directly from a product page on an advertiser’s website
- Product Groups: The best way to filter and organize product Pins
- Promote Products: Seamlessly create shopping ads to promote product Pins
- Insights & Optimization: To measure brand’s success and make improvements
Successful Brand Story
Scotch & Soda is a famous clothing brand based in Amsterdam. Pinterest focuses on individuality and self-expression, and so does Scotch & Soda. They couldn’t have found a better match for their fashion-oriented content.
Their prominent factor was shoppable ads, and Pinterest delivered a 7x higher return on ad spend than their previous campaigns. Not just that, the brand got discovered by 800K unique users, leading to increased conversions.
“I was over the moon to learn we had driven over 800k new users from Pinterest, a platform that shares our belief in freedom of expression and individuality.” – Leon Wharton Hallen, Paid Media Manager at Scotch & Soda
6 Key Benefits of Social Commerce
The benefits of social commerce are endless but here we have listed the 6 best social commerce benefits that will motivate you to leverage the social commerce trends.
1. Shopping Along With Socializing
People’s love for social media is growing stronger, as the dwell time of the leading social media platforms keeps increasing. Users refuse to leave their favorite apps to go to an external eCommerce website only to explore its products.
Social commerce has arrived as a breakthrough and turned out exactly what the users and brands needed. Brands no longer have to push the users to visit their website as they have brought their storefronts on social media.
Now users can shop easily without forging their social experience. It connects users’ shopping activities with their social communities, leveraging social network data for brands to boost sales of their products and services.
2. No More Cart Abandonment With Friction-free Purchase Journey
35% of consumers abandon carts because the shop asks them to create an account, while 27% think the checkout process takes too long or is too complicated. Cart abandonment is the biggest fear for every commerce business. As people’s attention span is decreasing, cart abandonment rates are increasing. With social commerce, you can lose this fear.
Social commerce provides seamless product browsing options with an easy purchase journey and quick checkout options. Users can provide their basic details on their preferred social media platform once and make purchases with as many brands as they want, without any distractions.
Social Commerce has eliminated the cart abandonment behavior of the users, boosting the conversion rates for brands like never before.
3. Magnifies Social Media Presence And Brand Awareness
A brand must focus on increasing its social media followers as 89% of consumers will buy from a brand they follow on social media. Although with eCommerce, managing the website and social media was overwhelming. With social commerce, marketing strategies focus primarily on brands’ social storefronts.
Social commerce has emerged as a derivative of eCommerce, where users communicate with the brands by writing reviews, commenting, rating products, and share the experience while they shop.
Shopping in a socially interactive environment enabled by social media provides a unique experience. As many people talk about the brand, it reaches as many people, creating brand awareness with the increasing social presence.
4. Focuses Directly On The Target Audience
Social commerce enables brands to reach users exactly where they are and eliminates the extra e-commerce techniques that they acquire to influence users to reach them instead. Social commerce lets brands tap into users’ social behavior without any interruptions.
Unlike eCommerce platforms, social commerce platforms come well-equipped with analytics that studies your target audiences’ social behavior closely and informs you about what works best for them so that you can improve your social store’s content.
A recent study showed that Shoppers are almost 5 times more likely to respond to a sale offer on mobile than on a desktop. Social commerce platforms are designed to work smoothly on smartphones, and users find it more convenient to access online shops on them. This way, it is easier for brands to reach their target audience.
5. User-friendly Features Increase Conversion Rates
Social commerce platforms are mobile-friendly and user-friendly. They make shopping a social experience by tapping into the users’ social behavior without interrupting their social activities. These user-friendly features have resulted in a rapid increase in eCommerce conversion rates.
91% of all social media users access social channels via mobile devices. While people are already familiar with social media and how to use it, social commerce brings add-on features that only enhance the entire experience. Consumers can discover brands by searching for product-related keywords.
Later, they can easily add the product to the cart, and once they click on buy now, they get quick mobile wallet payment options that make their purchase journey seamless. Gen Z shoppers are twice as likely to complete an online purchase using a mobile wallet like Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, or Google Pay than the average consumer.
6. Get Discovered By A New Audience
The brands grow and witness increasing user engagement on social media. 43.8% of internet users claim that social networks are a primary source of information for researching brands.
Social commerce is the perfect stage for brands. Consumers love to explore and try new products from various brands on social media, ensuring a new audience almost every day.
When a brand uses the right keywords and hashtags for its shoppable posts, it gets easier for users to find them when looking for something similar to their product.
Best Social Commerce Strategies For 2022 & Future
Consumer behavior is rapidly shifting from eCommerce to social commerce, bringing the brands closer to their existing and potential consumers. All this calls for result-driven social commerce strategies that are more users’ social media behavior-oriented.
Here is how social commerce has changed marketing strategies for brands:
Meaningful & Engaging Marketing Campaign Creation
Remember all those intense advertising days when every promotional campaign started and ended with, “click on the link” or “visit our website”. In 2022, we rarely see any of those. That’s because of the emerging social commerce.
Brands can now cut the chase of increasing eCommerce website visits and focus entirely upon social store visits, which is a lot easier to do when their target audience is already there.
Now, social commerce strategies focus on uplifting the social media game for brands and seamlessly reach their target audience to increase their engagement and conversion rate, all within the parameters of social media.
More Importance To Visual Marketing On Social Media
Humans have always been visual creatures, and marketers have identified that. 70% of marketers believe that content adorned with visuals will reap better business results in 2021. Users explore aesthetic social media content to get inspired.
Before social commerce, brands would create visually appealing content to promote their products on social media. But that only helped them increase social media followers and didn’t add much to their website visits.
With social commerce, when brands create and post aesthetic and buyable products. It inspires the users and increases the brands’ social storefront visits. Not just that, when users realize that along with getting inspired, they can even buy the products without even leaving the platform, visual content marketing improves brand sales.
Utilizing UGC Unconventionally
79% of people say User-generated highly impacts their purchasing decisions. That’s because, with so many brands out there, users need a reliable source that would help them trust a brand.
User-generated content influences users’ purchase decisions positively, and it will continue the same with social commerce reaching the commerce scene. In one survey, 54% of respondents said they trust information from online reviews and recommendations from their peers.
To add to that, when brands use this rich Shoppable UGC, it cuts the review seeking chase for the consumers and helps them make quicker purchase decisions.
Influencer Marketing Has A New Direction Now
49% of Consumers Depend on Influencer Recommendations. Influencer marketing is not new. Brands have been collaborating with influencers for years. Brands aim to create awareness among the target audience and influence them to explore their products on their eCommerce website.
With social commerce, brands can take influencer marketing to the next level. Brands can post Influencer created content on their shoppable storefronts and add product tags to them.
When your target audience comes across these shoppable posts and identifies the content creator, they immediately get influenced to explore your social store, engage with it and most certainly contribute to your conversion rate.
Direct Messages That Improve Customer Relations
Social commerce brings brands closer to their target audience. It makes communication smoother and allowing users to directly interact with the brand via the direct message feature available on social media platforms.
56% of people would rather message a business via chat than pick up the phone and call them. That’s because they feel hesitant, and there is a third person involved.
Similarly, eCommerce websites have lengthy customer support forms that don’t have a personalized touch. Users think twice before sending a customer support query. They feel more confident with direct messaging.
Create Your Social Commerce Campaign Now
We have a perfect solution for you to leverage the social commerce trends for your brand. It can help to increase your sales, build brand trust & credibility along the way, and generate maximum social revenue.
Taggshop is a Social Commerce platform that offers you the solutions to turn your social visual content into Shoppable galleries that you can publish on your eCommerce site/online store.
Also, you can publish shoppable posts in email, in-store displays, social ads, and more.
Even you can turn UGC into shoppable UGC, allowing users to shop the complete look as shown in UGC posts. It will help you deliver a more complete & fulfilling shopping experience.
The Future of Social Commerce
Social commerce trends are gaining popularity continuously, with even the world’s biggest brands acknowledging its importance. As a result, it will become more useful & powerful in the coming times.
Instagram has started experimenting with live-stream shopping, where people make purchases during live streams. Interactive video platforms like Tiktok and features like Instagram Reels have enabled brands to expose their products to a larger audience.
YouTube has also introduced its live-streaming feature that focuses primarily on commerce. Brands can collaborate with celebrities and influencers who would promote their products on the YouTube live stream. Viewers can make purchases on YouTube as the video continues to play in the background.
A youth-oriented social platform like Snapchat has also managed to participate. They utilize their AI filters for brands, who can create filters with their products for users. This helps users to try on and buy them using the embedded link that comes along with it.
Marketing strategies are shifting towards using analytics and data insights to understand users’ social behavior and produce relevant content accordingly.
User-generated content will benefit businesses and remain the most reliable source for users and social commerce brands.
A study has suggested that millennials trust UGC 50% more than original content generated by the brands. Brands are going to invest more in user-generated content platforms to build brand trust with this word-of-mouth marketing.