Social shopping is a phenomenon that merges the ease of ecommerce with the sociability of social media platforms. It allows consumers to peruse, research, and acquire products directly from their preferred social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This modality of shopping has gained increasing popularity in recent years, with the social commerce market in the United States projected to increase from $29.3 billion in 2020 to $84.2 billion in 2024, at an annual rate of 47%.
One of the foremost advantages of social shopping is its convenience. Instead of having to search for a brand’s website and navigate to the correct page to make a purchase, consumers can simply click on a link within a social media post to be directed directly to the product page. This streamlines the shopping process and makes it easier for consumers to make purchases on the spot.
Another advantage of social shopping is that it allows businesses to reach their target audience where they are already spending a considerable amount of time – on social media. In the United States, the average user spends over two hours per day on social media, making it an ideal location for online retailers to connect with potential customers and make sales. By establishing a presence on popular social media platforms and effectively utilizing the unique features offered by each platform, businesses can tap into the enormous user bases of these platforms and bring their products directly to consumers.
Social shopping is distinct from traditional ecommerce in that it brings the business to the consumer rather than the other way around. Ecommerce refers to dedicated apps or websites owned by businesses through which customers can purchase goods. Social shopping, on the other hand, allows businesses to establish a presence on social media platforms and sell their products directly to consumers through those platforms. This can be accomplished through specialized posts with links to product pages, or through shop pages that provide access to ecommerce tools.
Another key distinction between social shopping and ecommerce is that social shopping allows products to be more integrated into the social media experience. When consumers share, like, or recommend products on social media platforms, it helps to increase brand awareness and drive sales. This is especially true on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, which are known for their focus on visuals and have a strong emphasis on product discovery and recommendation.
Each social media platform offers its own unique features for social shopping. Facebook, for example, provides a built-in shopping experience that allows businesses to highlight their products, share posts about them, and directly engage with their audience. It also offers easy customer engagement through Facebook Messenger, which allows businesses to chat with interested consumers and help them find specific products or answer any questions they might have. Twitter, on the other hand, allows businesses to showcase their products and drive traffic to their ecommerce sites, but it lacks some of the more advanced features offered by other platforms.
Instagram and Pinterest are both well-suited for social shopping due to their focus on visuals and emphasis on product discovery and recommendation. Both platforms allow businesses to share shoppable posts and drive traffic to their ecommerce sites. Instagram also offers a range of features for businesses, including the ability to create shop pages and access ecommerce tools.
In addition to the convenience and reach provided by social shopping, it also offers businesses the opportunity to build stronger relationships with their customers. By engaging with customers on social media and responding to their inquiries and concerns, businesses can create a sense of community and foster loyalty among their customers.
Overall, social shopping is a necessity for businesses seeking to boost sales and maintain a strong online presence. By establishing a digital storefront on popular social media platforms and effectively utilizing the unique features offered by each platform, businesses can tap into the enormous user bases of these platforms and bring their products directly to consumers. In addition to the convenience and reach provided by social shopping, it also offers businesses the opportunity to build stronger relationships with their customers by engaging with them on social media and responding to their inquiries and concerns. With the social commerce market in the United States expected to continue growing at a rapid pace, now is the time for businesses to partake in the social shopping trend and begin boosting their online sales.