2020 The Year Of Social Commerce
Social media has evolved massively in its relatively young existence. At its earliest stages, social media had us creating profiles and searching out old and new friends on Six Degrees (1997). As technology advanced, 100 million of us moved on to Myspace before we jumped ship to Facebook, where 1.7 billion users connect and consume content daily and 2.5 billion users have active accounts. And we haven't even touched on the six other major social media platforms of current popularity.
In 2020, social media is experiencing the next stage of its evolution, social commerce. We can expect to see this trend grow as social media platforms continue to streamline the sales funnel and more brands turn to social media to counteract the impact of Covid-19 on their business.
What is Social Commerce?
Simply put, social commerce is the selling of products directly on a social media platform by a business or brand.
Unlike social media marketing which directs consumers from social media platforms to purchase goods from a website, social commerce completes the whole sales function within the social media site.
What Does Social Commerce Look Like?
In May 2020, Facebook announced the global launch of Facebook Shops. A free tool for businesses, Shops is designed to make it easy for businesses to literally set up shop on facebook and sell their products to their social media community.
Where previously businesses were able to sell through Facebook using the Shopify app, they are now able to set up directly within the Facebook platform itself. When users visit a brands page, they will see in the menu on the left a 'shop' option from which they are able to view and purchase products.
On Instagram, things look a little bit different. Instead of a storefront, businesses can upload product pictures and choose which ones they want to promote. You might notice this on your favorite clothing apparel's Instagram, where you can tap an image to shop the look. With photos a business can tag up to 5 products. Alternatively, they can use the carousel feature which allows them to tag even more products.
Rich Pins are Pinterest's answer to social commerce. Free for businesses to set up. Rich Pins let you display a little more context about a product and lets Pinterest users click and purchase the product with ease. "Rich Pins aren't overly pushy of commercialized but instead honor the aesthetic of Pinterest which is why consumers love them." Says, Shona Dean a journalist at Academized and Essay Services.
How to Get Started With Social Commerce in 2020
With any business venture or step, the starting pace is always the same - planning. Social commerce may be intuitive and quick to set up but done without forethought it could end up causing more damage to your brand than good. Before setting up your social commerce channels plan ahead to consider stock volumes, shipping, and your business's capacity to cope with large sales volumes. Equally important is research, know where your customers are before setting up shop on a social media site. For the best sales success, out your energy into meeting your customers at their favorite spot and sell there.
To sell your products via social media is relatively simple:
To list your products via a Facebook Shop you must:
- Sell in a Facebook supported currency
- Have a Facebook Business Page
- Have a valid customer email setup in General Settings
To list your products on Instagram:
- An Instagram Business profile
- A Facebook business page to create the above (Facebook own Instagram)
- Quality images of your products
"Keep your Instagram sales posts simple and not crowded with product links", says, Paige Gregory a lifestyle blogger at Academadvisor and Grammarix. "Customers rarely like a busy shop window. They want a simple purchasing journey".
When setting up or considering a move to social commerce keep in mind that, though it is simple to set up and already proven to be popular with consumers, there is still competition. Aside from using advertising and influencer campaigns to compete, what will set you apart is the authenticity of your brand, the quality of your products, and the customer experience. Get these right first and
This guest article was written by Katherine Rundell, a social media writer and editor at Student Writing Services and Resume Writing Services. In her spare time, she likes to read up on awesome technologies and advancements in the computer and gaming industry.