It’s a weeknight, and you’re scrolling on social media. That’s a nice jumper from a brand you’ve… never heard of. And yes! Here are ads of the homewares you’ve had your eye on for weeks! Maybe you, like me, added to basket hoping to be served with a discount (to no avail). Wait, weren’t you here to see what your friends and non-friends were up to? Now all you can think about is spending money. And, actually spending money.
With the closure of non-essential shops and deserted city centres, social media has become the new shop window. We’re no longer walking past on our lunch break or in the evening after a post-work drink. Longingly looking in through the glass.
This shop window is open 24 hours and is ready for us to purchase. No returning tomorrow. No one to convince you to keep walking because it’s cold. Or because you’ll miss your next meeting or ride home.
We’re relaxed. We’re in what Facebook calls the ‘lean back’ moment.
What is social commerce?
To put simply, social commerce is the process of selling products on social media.
According to a study carried out by Facebook, 54% of social media users say that they have made a purchase either in the moment or after seeing a product or service on Instagram.
Even highlighting product information on Instagram encourages users to engage further; 87% said that they took action after seeing product information. Actions which included following a brand, visiting their website or making a purchase online.
Why is social commerce important now?
More customers are shopping online due to the Covid-19 pandemic: Social media has become a lifeline for small to medium-sized businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic who previously relied on footfall in stores. Cake deliveries and ‘comment to buys’ are everywhere. With the risk of transmission and the closure of non-essential shops, more of us buying online. And more frequently.
It simplifies the purchase cycle: Social commerce makes it easier for potential customers to purchase – there are less touchpoints. You simply see a product you like on your social media feed and click to the product page. No visiting a website, selecting product type and scrolling thousands of products. It’s quicker and easier to buy, which benefits both customers and businesses.
Many brands are already doing it: Social commerce is a world away from the first version of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg created all those years ago, and it’s becoming the future for ecommerce businesses. Businesses that launched on Google. Businesses that were unsure whether social media would ever generate a good return on investment. Just look at your own Facebook and Instagram feeds.
Launching social commerce campaigns on social media
With the introduction of Catalogue campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest, it’s becoming easier for ecommerce businesses to run social media activity promoting all of their inventory. As well as this, the data available on these channels (as we know from those Netflix privacy docu-films) had made it easier to also target potential customers that are interested in those products; customers that are more likely to buy.
In our next blog, we’ll be discussing catalogue campaigns in more detail and share what we’ve learnt from our own activity.