How Social Commerce Will Reform Shopping Habits
The online world, which has given rise to social commerce, has drastically changed the way buyers had been shopping in traditional times. Social commerce sells the products directly on the social media platforms, such as Instagram/Facebook shops. Through these platforms, businesses can easily host product pages and manage sales.
The primary advantage of social commerce has been to help customers discover various brands, browse through and make purchases without leaving the app time and again.
Social Commerce is All Set to Boom
As per the latest reports, the social commerce industry is poised to touch $50 billion within the next two years. Big social media giants like Facebook, Snap Inc, and Twitter are all spending on shopping features with a view to increasing their revenues. This is excellent news for retailers who are reeling under the impact of the pandemic and subsequent restrictions and have been suffering losses, being unable to open their physical establishments.
Even if social commerce is happening on a small scale, experts believe it will grow exponentially in the coming years. Top social media platforms are banking on the data they receive from the users’ browsing and shopping habits and use them for their targeted marketing campaigns. Sources say that Facebook is currently the leader in generating maximum sales on their site, with Instagram in second place. Top analysts say that even if the pandemic situation came to normal, people would prefer to continue shopping online.
How Social Commerce Revolves Around Our Lives
Let us take an everyday example, which we are sure you must have witnessed plenty of times. When browsing through Instagram, an advertisement about your favourite dress comes your way, which is on sale. So, without wasting much time pondering, you hit the ‘Buy’ button on the Instagram advertisement.
With just a click, a purchase gets made without you having to visit the bank or the merchant’s site. After you make the purchase, you go back to scrolling on Instagram or other social media websites, and this cycle continues. This scenario is an excellent opportunity for the buyers and the sellers who are not leaving a single stone unturned in reaping the benefits out of social commerce.
The Advent of Social Commerce
It had all started with the introduction of Facebook’s Shops feature in 2020 Later on, other social media websites, such as Instagram, also started offering this feature to their users.
These online marketplaces have been a huge boon to marketers in helping them create personalized posts to sell their products. These moves have especially helped plenty of small businesses function during tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
eCommerce Vs. Social Commerce
Undoubtedly, people do have an idea about eCommerce or social commerce, but they are not very sure of the core relevance and mix the two. eCommerce is the word that refers to shopping through either a dedicated website or an app. On the other hand, social commerce is how customers help make the right purchasing choices within their circle of using social media. So both social commerce and eCommerce are related terms but are not the same. In the case of social commerce, the whole experience of shopping right from the discovery of the product, research, and finally buying the product takes place on the social media platform itself.
When we talk about the target audience of social commerce, the list is never-ending, including influencers, millennials, Gen Z, social media users, etc. As per a report stated by Instagram, 70% of online buyers first glance at Instagram to check out and discover the brand and the products. The increased popularity of social media stores and social commerce signifies that today’s platforms are quite concerned about evolving themselves as per the marketers’ needs.
Instead of restricting themselves to being a product gallery, which does draw attention and redirects these customers to the seller’s website, social media platforms now want to have a larger share by transforming into a marketplace. In the current times, social commerce providers have been equipped with hosting and managing the customers’ shopping experience on their dedicated platforms. Therefore, it is not necessary for customers to leave the website or visit the seller’s apps or website or other eCommerce websites, such as Amazon, to shop. This exponentially helps in saving the time of the customers.
With the pandemic, people have been forced to be locked up in their homes for months and follow the social distancing norms. The social media platforms have helped users stay connected to their loved ones and pass their excess time by being active on these platforms. Online shopping has significantly grown now, as people have got used to ordering things with a click of a button. Customers are over satisfied with the integration of social media, the discovery of products, payments, and shopping experiences all coming together under one platform. As per the insights, by the end of 2027, the global social commerce market will be seen expanding by 32%.
Providing Customers with an Enhanced & New Experience
Today, globally, the social commerce players might seem to be different from each other, but there is some monopoly. Social media platforms cover almost one-third to half of all the eCommerce transactions taking place around the globe. In China, the usage of Little Red Book and WeChat has been very successful. There are higher chances of social commerce taking over in the US and APAC region than in any other region globally.
The Big Players in the Arena
When we talk about the marquee players, then Instagram and Facebook are the most prominent names.
Facebook shops are quite customizable. The Facebook for Business page has been helping marketers to connect with the existing and potential customers, where businesses can share news about discounts, new product launches, availability of products, or contests.
Instagram shops allow the users to buy the featured products in the stories and posts from anywhere in the app. There are Instagram shopping tags, which would enable businesses to get their products on the posts or stories. Every product receives a detailed page, which features media, pricing, and a detailed description.
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