We live in the digital age and with smartphones and access to the internet becoming increasingly accessible, consumer behavior has significantly shifted and continues to evolve. With more users purchasing online every day, it’s clear that the eCommerce space is booming. Just about every major retailer now has an online store, and new online-only shops are being launched daily.
This empowers the consumer and gives them more options than ever before. However, with an increasing number of stores turning to the online space, the industry is becoming increasingly competitive and social media platforms have picked up on this.
Now platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok offer social media eCommerce options and this is a valuable investment for retailers around the world. While marketing strategies such as Pay-Per-Click and SEO definitely improve your online visibility and help you reach new consumers, social media eCommerce helps you grow brand awareness and make more sales.
Below, we outline how you can use social media eCommerce to grow your business and improve your bottom line.
What is Social Media eCommerce?
Social media eCommerce is the act of using social media platforms to sell products and services. eCommerce stores are able to use social media to not only achieve brand awareness but today, online stores are able to sell their products directly through these platforms.
So, which social media platforms make for the best online shops. Let’s take a look.
Social Media Shopping Platforms
In August 2020, Facebook launched Facebook shopping. The app doubled down on its eCommerce ability and now offers a tab in the main Facebook app where people are able to find products and make an immediate purchase within the app itself. Sellers will also be able to communicate with buyers through Messenger and sellers are even able to host Live Shopping events to show off products that customers are able to buy directly through the platform.
As Instagram is owned by Facebook its shopping feature also continues to evolve. Instagram Checkout allows brands and businesses to complete full transactions through the app and buyers are able to effortlessly communicate with brands via Instagram DMs. This is incredibly powerful for businesses as Instagram is a visual app and has the power to encourage users to make impulse purchases.
With Instagram and Facebook shopping expanding it is clear that Facebook has taken its online shopping features seriously. The app also owns WhatsApp and now offers WhatsApp for business where users are able to shop for products through the WhatsApp app too. What makes WhatsApp for shopping so powerful is that you are meeting the consumer where they are at. It also offers easy communication and instant gratification to a digitally-savvy audience that expects personalized communication from a brand at any time of the day.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in 2019 that he expected “commerce and payments to be the future of the company” and he’s sticking to that promise.
Following Facebook and other competitive apps, TikTok has also taken the leap and is moving into the online shopping space. On August 24th 2021(a year after Facebook's announcement), the company stated that it had expanded its partnership with eCommerce powerhouse, Shopify. Essentially, Shopify merchants will be able to create, manage and fully optimize their TikTok marketing directly from the Shopify dashboard and new integrations within TikTok Ads Manager are being rolled out.
But as the deal expanded, the app will be taking even greater steps and soon, merchants with a TikTok for Business account will be able to add a shopping tab to their profile. The tab will sync with their product catalogs and create online storefronts through their TikTok profiles.
Just like all of the above, Snapchat has gone all-in on its commerce features. The app has actually offered this service since 2018 and created branded AR filters that come with purchase links when users try them out.
Business profiles were then introduced on the app and with this introduction, Snap is on its way to becoming one of the most important retail opportunities for businesses and brands.
All of the above social media platforms offer a new-age shopping experience but it is important you target the right platform for your business. You want to meet your customers where they are “at” in the online space. This is why strategy is vital when it comes to social media eCommerce. Let’s take a look at some social media eCommerce tips for your business.
Social Media eCommerce Tips
As stated above, social media eCommerce requires strategy and precision targeting. If you dedicate time to eCommerce social media marketing, you want to make sure it comes with a return on your investment. Below we outline 5 top tips for your social media eCommerce and social media eCommerce marketing strategy.
- Understand your audience and discover which social media apps they frequently use.
- Make sure to respond to comments and reviews left on your social media platform. This increases engagement and shows your audience that you are a reliable and trusted shop.
- Keep your social media business pages active in order to increase brand awareness and to nurture potential customers.
- Work alongside an experienced social media agency that is able to help you create paid campaigns for your social media audience.
- Reach out to influencers that have the same target audience as your brand. When partnering with an influencer, do your research and track your return on investment and engagement. Influencers are the way of the future and offer a cost-effective solution when it comes to marketing your brand and online shop.
The Wrap Up
Social media continues to evolve at rapid speed, heavily influencing how businesses communicate and engage with their customers. When used correctly, it can positively affect your brand's perceptions and be the driver of generating more revenue. If you are looking to market your business through social media, and are interested in setting up shop, contact the Nexa team today.
At Nexa, we offer a full range of social media services with a proven track record spanning 15 years, which marked the start of these pivotal platforms.