The rise of social media has revolutionized the way we connect and has had a significant impact on the way we shop. Social commerce, integrating social media and e-commerce, has emerged as a powerful force in the retail industry, transforming how consumers interact with brands and make purchase decisions.
The importance of this evolution in online shopping cannot be overstated. 30% of online shoppers will likely purchase from a social media platform, with Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest currently being the primary outlets for social commerce.
One of the key drivers of social commerce is influencer marketing, which involves partnering with influential individuals on social media to promote products and services. Influencer marketing has become integral to social commerce since 1 in 2 customers rely on influencer recommendations for their purchases.
Influencer marketing has proven highly effective in promoting brands and products.
A survey conducted by Mediakix found that 89% of marketers believe that influencer marketing ROI is comparable to or better than other marketing channels. As such, influencer marketing has become a significant focus for brands looking to tap into the power of social commerce.
This article will explore social commerce and how it shapes online shopping. We will also delve into the role of influencer marketing in social commerce and examine its impact on how consumers interact with brands and make purchasing decisions.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce is the fusion of social media and e-commerce, allowing consumers to shop and purchase within social media feeds. It involves leveraging social media platforms to promote and sell products, provide customer support, and build brand awareness.
It differs from traditional e-commerce because it integrates social media platforms and networks into the shopping experience. Customers can browse products, receive recommendations, and purchase without leaving their social media feeds.
The growth of social commerce
According to a study done by McKinsey, the worldwide social commerce market is expected to reach $80 billion in the US and $2 Trillion worldwide in 2025.
In 2022 63.5 million US shoppers made a purchase through Facebook, crowning it as the most popular platform in the US. By 2025 they are projected to be 69 million shoppers on the platform.
In China, live streaming shopping has become a $171 billion market in just three years.
Along with the growth of social commerce we can see AR and VR growing hand in hand, with AR being expected to pass 100 million users by 2024.
Along with sales and users social commerce is also carrying the growth of live streaming and AR/VR by them being fundamental parts of the trend. In the future, we will see new components that allow brand and user to interact and get closer.
Social commerce platforms
Many social media are introducing social commerce features.
For example, Instagram’s shopping feature allows brands to tag products in their posts, making it easy for users to click through to purchase pages and complete transactions.
But also TikTok and Facebook are moving in a similar direction, implementing ways for brands to sell from their feed directly. While established e-commerce websites like Amazon and Shopee are introducing social features to capture momentum and improve time on the platform.
TikTok is leading the charge in organic trends with #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, a viral hashtag that gathered over 50 billion views and combined social proof and FOMO to encourage customers to try out new products.
Social commerce VS e-commerce
Social commerce provides a range of benefits for brands and consumers alike. It allows brands to build stronger customer relationships, increase brand visibility, and drive sales.
Another advantage is that it enhances trust and credibility. By leveraging the power of social proof and user-generated content, brands can build trust and credibility with customers. Social proof and trust are critical in an era where consumers are increasingly skeptical of traditional marketing tactics and demand brand authenticity and transparency.
Finally, customers partake in a more engaging and interactive shopping experience. By leveraging the power of social media, brands can interact with customers in real time, provide customer support, and build stronger relationships.
Personalized and interactive connections enhance the shopping experience and increase customer loyalty and retention.
Social commerce represents a significant shift in how consumers shop and interact with brands. Integrating social media and e-commerce provides a more personalized, engaging, and convenient shopping experience that meets the needs and expectations of modern consumers.
How social commerce is shaping online shopping
Social commerce is having a profound impact on online shopping behavior, driving increased sales and customer loyalty. Here are some of the key ways is shaping online shopping:
Increased conversion rates
One of the primary reasons is that social commerce allows customers to shop in a more relaxed and social environment, where they can connect with friends, family, and other shoppers—not feeling the pressure of deciding and allowing them to ask for familiar people’s opinions easily.
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest offer a range of features that enable customers to browse and buy products directly from their feeds. These platforms also provide social proof through likes, comments, and shares, which can influence customers’ buying decisions.
For example, when a customer sees that a product has been liked and shared by many people, they are likelier to trust and buy it themselves.
Another way leads to increased conversion rates is by providing customers with a more personalized shopping experience. Social media platforms collect data on users’ browsing and purchasing habits, allowing them to show customers products and ads more relevant to their interests and preferences. Social commerce can significantly increase conversion rates and drive sales by offering customers products they are more likely to buy.
Higher customer retention rates
Social media platforms offer numerous opportunities for businesses to interact and engage with their customers, which can lead to stronger relationships and increased customer loyalty.
By leveraging social commerce, companies can create a more personalized and interactive shopping experience for their customers, improving their overall satisfaction and likelihood of returning to make future purchases.
One way that helps in customer retention is through social media marketing campaigns that focus on building brand awareness and engagement.
By consistently providing valuable content and responding to customer inquiries and feedback, businesses can foster community and trust with their audience. This, in turn, can lead to increased customer loyalty and retention.
Additionally, social commerce allows businesses to collect valuable data about their customers’ shopping behavior and preferences.
By analyzing this data, companies can gain insights into their customers’ needs and want and tailor their marketing and sales strategies accordingly. This can help create a more personalized shopping experience for each customer, increasing their loyalty and likelihood of returning to make future purchases.
Improved customer engagement
Social commerce can also enhance customer engagement, vital for building long-lasting customer relationships.
Businesses can interact with customers in real-time by leveraging social media platforms and creating a two-way communication channel. This allows businesses to address customer concerns and queries, offer personalized product recommendations, and respond to feedback promptly.
Additionally, social commerce allows customers to share their purchase experiences and product reviews on social media, which can increase brand visibility and credibility.
Social media platforms also effectively create a sense of community among customers.
Businesses can build a loyal customer base invested in their brand.
They can create exclusive social media groups or pages for customers to share their experiences and connect with other like-minded individuals.
Furthermore, businesses can use social media to run contests, quizzes, and other interactive campaigns to keep customers engaged and interested in their brand. These efforts can lead to higher engagement rates, stronger customer relationships, and increased sales.
Emergence of new sales channels
Social commerce has given rise to new sales channels, such as live streaming and shoppable videos, which are becoming increasingly popular among consumers.
Live streaming enables retailers to showcase their products in real-time and interact with customers through live chat. This creates a sense of urgency and excitement, encouraging customers to purchase.
Live streaming also allows retailers to build a deeper connection with their audience, which can increase brand loyalty and drive repeat purchases.
Shoppable videos, on the other hand, allow customers to shop directly from the video they are watching.
This creates a seamless and engaging shopping experience where customers can discover products while watching their favorite content. This type of content is highly shareable on social media platforms, which can help drive brand awareness and attract new customers.
By leveraging these new sales channels, retailers can increase their reach and revenue while providing an innovative shopping experience for their customers.
Use of augmented reality and virtual reality
Social commerce has also paved the way for using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in commerce.
AR and VR are technologies that can provide customers with an immersive shopping experience, allowing them to virtually try on products and see how they would look or fit before making a purchase. This creates a more engaging and interactive experience for customers, which can increase their likelihood of making a purchase.
AR and VR technology can also be used to enhance product descriptions and give customers a better understanding of the product they are interested in.
For example, a furniture store could use AR to show customers how a particular piece of furniture would look in their home, while a fashion retailer could use VR to create a virtual fitting room where customers can see how different outfits would look on them.
This technology provides customers with a more personalized shopping experience and increases the likelihood of a successful purchase. As a result, more and more retailers are incorporating AR and VR into their social commerce strategies to stay ahead of the curve and provide a unique shopping experience for their customers.
Rise of social media marketplaces
Social commerce has also led to the rise of social media marketplaces. With the popularity of social media platforms, users increasingly want to use these platforms to discover and purchase products. Social media marketplaces provide consumers with a convenient and seamless shopping experience, enabling them to browse and purchase products directly on the platform without leaving the app.
Social media marketplaces provide businesses with a new avenue for reaching their target audience and driving sales.
By listing their products on social media marketplaces, businesses can tap into these platforms’ massive user base and leverage social media advertising’s targeting capabilities to reach their ideal customers.
Moreover, social media marketplaces often offer built-in tools for businesses to manage their inventory, track sales, and handle customer service, making it easier for them to manage their online presence and grow their business.
Overall, the rise of social media marketplaces represents a significant opportunity for both businesses and consumers in the social commerce landscape.
Influencer marketing and social commerce
Influencer marketing is a crucial driver of social commerce, as it involves partnering with influential individuals on social media to promote products and services. Influencers are typically individuals with large followings on social media platforms, such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
By leveraging their influence and reach, brands can reach new audiences and build brand awareness more authentically and engagingly.
One of the critical advantages of influencer marketing is that it allows brands to tap into the power of social proof. By partnering with influencers who have established trust and credibility with their followers, brands can leverage their influence to promote products and services more authentically and engagingly.
This can increase brand visibility, higher engagement, and more sales.
Another advantage of influencer marketing is that it allows brands to reach niche audiences that may need help to target through traditional advertising channels.
By partnering with influencers who have established themselves as experts in a particular niche or industry, brands can reach highly engaged audiences more likely to be interested in their products or services.
In addition, influencer marketing allows brands to create more engaging and shareable content. By partnering with influencers with a strong creative vision and a deep understanding of their audience, brands can create content that resonates with their target audience and encourages sharing and engagement.
Overall, influencer marketing is critical in social commerce, providing brands with an effective way to reach new audiences, build trust and credibility, and drive sales. However, it is important for brands to approach influencer marketing with a strategic mindset and to choose which creators to partner with carefully.
How to find the right influencer with CreatorDB
Head to the CreatorDB app and on the main page select “Advanced Search”.
On the left of the search page, you can customize all the parameters you need to find the perfect influencer. Most commonly you may want to narrow done the geography and language of a the creators shown as well as their content category.
After hitting search you will obtain a list of all the creators fitting your criteria. You can click on each one of them to see their page, there you will find detailed analytics, historical trends, and their content sentiment analysis among many other useful information.
Once you found an influencer that fits your brand you can save it in a group and go ahead and look for more to contact and pitch your campaign to.
In conclusion, social commerce transforms how we shop and interact with brands. Provides customers with a more personalized, engaging, and convenient shopping experience while offering numerous benefits for brands, including increased customer loyalty and retention, improved conversion rates, and new sales channels.
Influencer marketing is a crucial component of social commerce, allowing brands to tap into the power of social proof and user-generated content to build trust and credibility with customers. As this trend continues to grow, brands that successfully leverage the power of influencer marketing will be well-positioned to succeed in the modern retail landscape.