Social commerce, gaining more attention and share

By 2nd quarter of 2017, Social commerce accounted for 17% of the total global online shopping orders.  In a study done by Marketing Week in 2016, around 60% respondents claimed that images on social media channels directly inspired/influenced their purchase decisions – across categories.  Not surprisingly, it’s the younger demographic driving this trend with 33% between 18-24yo saying they would like to purchase directly from Facebook, 27% on Instagram, 20% on Twitter, 17% on Pinterest and 15% on Snapchat.  With global retail eCommerce sales predicted to reach $4.5trillion by 2021, these numbers become too significant to be ignored.  It’s reported that Social commerce will reach $165billion by 2021.  All major social channels have ‘commerce’ features like ‘shop now’ stores on Facebook, ‘buyable’ pins on Pinterest or ‘product tags’ on Instagram.  Social commerce is not just about B2C or B2B, it’s also peer-to-peer commerce.  Facebook Marketplace, the leader in this space is providing users with a convenient and safe way to buy/sell personal items.  There are few considerations while developing social commerce tactics for brands:

  1. ‘Social home base’:  The ‘best practice’ is to have an ‘owned’ platform that integrates all the online marketing channels including social.  An ideal way to ensure businesses have complete control over its customers and valuable behaviour data.  Offering a convenient way for customers to complete their purchases without leaving the social channels needs to be balanced with managing the risks associated with ‘rented’ platforms.  
  2. Look and feel: The primary purpose for users to go to their preferred set of social channels will continue to be for connection and inspiration.  It’s therefore important for brands to ensure the ‘shopping experience’ is not disruptive and blends in with the overall ‘brand experience’ on the channel
  3. Platforms and tools:  Adweek has listed 5 ‘best’ platforms and tools to manage social commerce.  BigCommerce – allows integration of inventories across all social channels; Amazon Spark – allows users to see and shop on posts from others with common interests; Beetailer – allows integration of webstore with Facebook and comes with built in analytics.  Facebook Messenger bots:  enables brands to converse with users and lead them through the purchase cycle.  

With social commerce rising, brands need to rethink their goals for social media channels – not just engagement or lead generation metrics but setting targets for direct sales.

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Mohammed Ajawi

About the Author Mohammed Ajawi

Mohammad Ajawi is the General Manager of Centric. He has got 11 years in advertising and the digital business management experience. Believes in Marketing science and driven by data. Expert in multiple sectors as FMCG, Real estate, Automotive, Telco, Entertainment, Luxury, Beauty, Retail, Banking and E-commerce. His mission is to convert the brands traditional activities to digital business and follow the market trends. He can be reached on mohammed.ajawi@centric.ae

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