Social media is continuing to evolve, and it’s changing the way we view and react to what we see online. When your favorite social creator’s newest outfit is on display, you instantly tap, click, and find the brand. When you scroll through your social timeline and see an item on sale from a brand you love, you quickly hit “buy.” Similarly, when you see a pair of glasses that you like, you are able to use an AR (Augmented Reality) filter to see how the glasses would fit and look on you. Today, it’s all about instant gratification.
While social media and e-commerce used to operate independently, they are now becoming one, hence the birth of social commerce. According to Investopedia, social commerce is the use of networking websites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as vehicles to promote and sell products and services. The success of a social commerce campaign is measured by the degree to which consumers interact with the company's marketing through retweets, likes, and shares. Marketing tactics may include: inviting users to vote on their favorite product, offering promotions or giveaways, and even using celebrity endorsements of the product line.
Where is social commerce headed?
With the speed of growth across social media platforms, we can expect social commerce to continue playing a large role in the online shopping experience in 2021 and beyond. Social commerce is making shopping online a more user-friendly experience due to the use of chatbots and easy auto-fill payments. Businesses can also provide their customers with real-time shopping recommendations from real users. This makes for a much more personable experience, and who doesn’t want to share their excitement about a purchase with their friends and family on social media?
What are the trends?
According to a recent Hootsuite survey, Magento and Econsultancy found 6 out of 10 consumers saying that a quarter of all of their online shopping is influenced by social media, proving that social commerce is most certainly here to stay. Some of the most common trends include:
- Live streaming: Allows influencers to show off sponsored products, and allows real-time communication between viewers and streamers
- Chatbots: Give customers a more conversational experience with the use of AI (“Artificial Intelligence”) which is more cost-effective for many brands
- Voice technology: Allows customers to make purchasing decisions through voice speakers such as Alexa and Google Home
- Augmented reality: Allows the user’s phone camera to see what products would look like in real life in the user’s surroundings
Stand out Imagery: Knowing the type of visual(s) that will resonate with social media users and your specific target audience