How social commerce can leverage your e-commerce (with examples)
Forget Beyonce and Jay-Z, social media and eCommerce is the new power couple.
These two are scaling up small to big businesses today giving them an opportunity to become iconic brands. How? Social media is designed to connect people and create engagement between people. When the user base of those social media platforms grew, brands began to create accounts and reach their customers through social media.
This is especially important for eCommerce brands. By having a social media presence, online brands can engage with their customers, create one-to-one relationships and build trust. Today, 33% of consumers in the UK are purchasing through social media.
As experts in this field, we know how social media technologies changed eCommerce and, in this blog, we’ll show you how you can leverage your eCommerce business using some social media tools and will provide you with some of the best social commerce examples. But first, let’s go through the definition of social commerce.
Social commerce is the method of selling products or services directly on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
Today, the future of social commerce is looking brighter than ever!
By 2027, it’s projected that social commerce will drive $604 billion in sales. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are delivering new updates and technologies to continue to grow tremendously.
Now let’s go through the examples and how social media tools can help you leverage your eCommerce business.
1. Enhancing your online presence
Over 3.6 billion people around the world use social media, and it keeps growing. The number is projected to increase to 4.41 billion by 2025, as more and more people keep creating an account every day.
Since half of the world’s population is active on social media, it is also marketers and advertisers favourite place. Facebook boasts 9 million active advertisers in Q2 2020 and claims that mobile accounted for 92% of its total revenue. So if you’re not using social media effectively, you might be neglecting to reach millions of customers that other brands are.
However, keep in mind that each social media platform has a different audience, tone of voice and purpose. That’s why it’s critical to choose the right platform for your business to increase your reach and boost sales.
First, we recommend you set your business objectives. Then, based on those objectives you can choose the social media platform that can help you achieve them. For instance, if you’re an online fashion brand, and you want to grow your online presence, we’d highly suggest using Instagram and Facebook. Instagram”s shopping tab offers various ways to get your brand noticed. It allows customers to discover new brands, products and editor”s picks, personalised to them.
Let’s take Missoma as an example. As an online accessories brand, Missoma doesn’t have any brick-and-mortar stores. Therefore, social media was essential for them to build an online presence. To achieve this, they implemented an influencer marketing strategy. For example, using Instagram’s IGTV they started series called “Missoma meets” and collaborated with many artists. This allowed them to create engagement, increase their brand’s visibility, and enhance their brand identity. In a few years, Missoma has become an iconic brand, and even worn by Megan Markle, Kate Middleton and Gigi Hadid.
Now we’ll go deeper into such examples and strategies.
2. Boosting more and more engagement
62% of millennials say are motivated to become loyal to the brands that are engaging with them on social media. This means that being present isn’t enough, customers want the brands to engage with them on social. So how can you engage with your customers and boost sales on social media?
One answer to this question is to start a conversation with them. You can start talking to them through:
- Direct messages
- Live stream
- Polls and more.
The most common types of engagement on social media are likes and comments. Yet, you might think it’s a bit time-consuming to reply to each comment. Working with various clients, we can give you a hint about this. Facebook and Instagram want you to engage with the followers, meaning that if you reply to comments, you get a better chance of visibility on your other followers’ home feed. So we recommend you to reply to your followers with emojis or one-word responses such as “Thank you!” or “Lovely”. If you don’t want to spend time on this at all, then you can just like the comments to show that you’re there for your followers.
Direct messages (DMs)
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the most known platforms for direct messaging. Instagram even allows you to create several saved responses for frequently asked questions via DMs. As a result, you won’t be making any of your followers wait for a response. You can also engage with your customers about their inquiries and provide personalised recommendations through Facebook and Instagram Messenger. This method is also called conversational marketing. By implementing a conversational marketing strategy, you can increase your sales conversations by 10 times, and generate 70%more marketing qualified leads.
82% of users would rather watch a live stream than see a social media post. In these live streams, you can launch a new collection or hold Q+A’s to engage with your customers in real-time. For instance, Averr Glow, an online beauty and skincare brand, regularly holds Q+As to demonstrate their knowledge about skincare and engage with their brand community. This method can help you to enhance your brand identity and build trust further.
Polls offer a unique two-for-one value for us marketers. It’s just like doing market research without spending any money on it. You receive quality feedback and see which products, collections or services your customers are looking for. Plus, since it”s interactive content, it creates greater engagement and your followers feel more involved in your business decisions.
3. Creating a visual storefront and product catalogue
Social media platforms are at different levels of ‘readiness’ when it comes to social commerce, and visual content is key. For instance, on Instagram and Snapchat, you can add a “Buy now” button. This allows customers to easily discover and buy products – right in that moment without going to any other page. However, if you want to drive further traffic to your site, you can also add “View products” which enables you to direct customers to your website.
With Covid-19, many small businesses began to struggle, and even many big brick-and-mortar stores closed. This led small to big businesses to go online. To help businesses, Facebook created Facebook Shops that supports businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access on both Facebook and Instagram.
On the other side, Pinterest can turn your entire product catalogue into browsable product Pins. You can also add tag the Pins to your site to measure conversions and to optimise ads for shopping campaigns or retargeting.
Twitter also announced a new Shop Module as a new e-commerce feature. With this Shop Module, users can scroll and tap through products to learn more about and shop for products on the business” landing page without leaving the app.
4. Increasing customer acquisition more cost-effectively
According to Nielsen, people are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend. And, those referred customers has a 16% higher customer lifetime value than customers acquired by other means. This shows how powerful word-of-mouth and referral marketing can be.
To encourage customers to refer a friend or advocate about your brand, you can create simple campaigns on social media. You’ve probably seen social media posts from brands like “Tag your besties” – well, this is a simple example of encouraging referrals. By motivating your followers to tag their friends on your post, you can get higher brand visibility and potential customers. We recommend offering them a prize or a discount to motivate your customers.
To enhance brand advocacy further, you can also implement an influencer marketing strategy. Sponsored posts are available on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough budget for sponsored posts or ads.
You can always collaborate with micro-influencers on social media to create a more organic traffic to your site and boost engagement. We suggest allocating a budget and some of your products for influencers. The influencers can then share a post with your products, tag your brand or add the link of your site to their stories or in their bios.
5. Building trust and brand community
People trust people more than brands and user-generated content is content created by the people. Not only is this type of content more realistic in the eyes of consumers and create social proof, in some cases, it’s actually preferred. 88% of shoppers sought out UGC whilst they’re in the process of a purchasing decision. So how you can create UGC to build trust and enhance your brand community?
First, let’s explain what UGC can be considered as. These “users” can be customers, employees, volunteers, or engaged members of your community, and the “content” they generate can be photos, videos, reviews, social media posts, you name it.
There are a few, simple steps that you can follow to generate more UGC. The first step is to encourage customers to leave a review or share a photo of themselves with your brand on social media. To do this, you can set an automated email after each purchase about leaving a review or sharing a post.
For instance, Ruby Jack, an online accessories brand, shares one of their earrings on Instagram and on the caption, it says “send me a piccie of you wearing them angels! Ruby x”. Here you can see that the brand encourages customers to generate UGC but by calling them as “angels”, the brand also creates a community feeling. And, in the end, by providing a signature (Ruby x), the brand makes it more personal and sincere. As a result, customers can feel more connected to the brand, and thus, become more loyal.
Once you’ve UGC, you can then share them on your social media. For instance, you can share it as a post, and tag the relevant person. This can be done on every social media platform. If you’re using Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, you can then add them to your stories as well. Here’s a small hint: on Instagram, you can create a story highlight for those UGC and name it as “Reviews”, “Community” or anything else that represents your brand. This will allow visitors to access your UGC all the time and enhance the community feeling.
6. Get real-time insights and make data-based decisions
Today we’ve more data about our existing and potential customers than ever before. Each online interaction allows us to collect data and gain insights about our consumers’ preferences and individual buying behaviour. That’s why data-driven strategies drive 5 to 8 times higher ROI.
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok all allow you to use their analytics and insights section to get a better understanding of your audience. We recommend regularly checking your analytics and insights section to make data-driven decisions and redefine your marketing efforts accordingly. Another big reason to love social commerce right?
Boost your revenue with social commerce
Social commerce can be the future of shopping but actually it’s more than that. With social commerce, you can provide customer support, engage with your customers, build longer-lasting relationships, build trust, create a brand community, increase advocacy, and more. By using social commerce effectively, you can both increase your customer acquisition and retention rates. As a result, you’ll be able to boost your revenue.