In ecommerce, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. In this blog, we’re exploring trends in social commerce and live shopping to keep you updated.
Social commerce is the use of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to market and sell products. It allows customers to make purchases directly from their social media apps, without needing to visit your website.
Social commerce is fast and easy. For example, whilst scrolling through Instagram, you could see a set of skin care products, tap Shop Now, add it to your shopping cart and checkout within the app.
Social shopping is becoming hugely popular for ecommerce stores. Let's dive in to see how you could use it for your store.
Why is it so popular?
Social commerce provides your customers with a convenient and interactive shopping experience. It is fueled by their desire to ‘see now, buy now’. This is why its popularity is continuing to rise. In fact, it’s expected to keep growing over the next three years, to reach $2.9 trillion by 2026.
One of the benefits of social commerce is that it can be used at any stage of the sales funnel, from building awareness, through to driving sales.
For example, customers can use social commerce to:
- Discover brands
- Research products
- Interact with customer support
- Make purchases
As a seller, you can use social commerce to:
- Streamline the buying process
- Establish social proof
- Reach your audience where they are
- Gather data on your audience
Which platforms offer social commerce?
Currently, there are four apps that have inbuilt social commerce features: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest. Each platform has its own tools to help you create virtual storefronts and make sales.
Almost 71% of global Facebook users purchase from the platform at least once. That’s 59.4 million buyers you could reach by opening a Facebook Shop. So, if you’re a small brand looking to start social commerce, then it makes sense to start with Facebook.
Here’s a brief breakdown of what each platform offers:
- Facebook: On Facebook, you can set up a Facebook shop, a completely customizable online storefront. Then create a product catalogue and you’ll be ready to go. Customers can ask questions through Facebook Messenger and can purchase items through Facebook Checkout. It also has a Shopify integration, so you can connect your Shopify Store and create shoppable posts and ads.
- Instagram: Around 44% of people use Instagram to shop weekly. Its strengths are in building brand awareness, driving brand identity, and creating an enjoyable shopping experience. Similar to Facebook, you can use Instagram to set up a virtual shop, and create shoppable posts and ads. Customers can also shop directly through messages.
- TikTok: Believe it or not, you can now shop on TikTok! TikTok partnered with Shopify to launch in-app social shopping in 2021. This means you can create a virtual storefront and allow your customers to shop directly in the app.
- Pinterest: On Pinterest, you can share images with shoppable products. These shoppable pins are optimised for brand name and product type, so that your customers can find them.
Now that you have a solid understanding of the basics, let’s take a closer look at a new trend in social commerce: live shopping.
What is live shopping?
Live Shopping is like TV Home Shopping reinvented in the digital era. Simply replace the TV with a social media livestream and the ‘Call Now’ with a ‘Click Here’ button.
Live shopping is a form of social commerce that gives consumers an interactive experience. They can watch people try on or demonstrate products in real-time and add their own comments. The livestream often features an influencer to give personality to the brand.
What are the benefits of live shopping?
Live shopping is growing in popularity. According to Shopify, the number of sellers installing live shopping apps grew by 61% in 2021. This growth is expected to continue. Here are some potential benefits of live shopping:
- Higher conversion rates
- Higher engagement
- Increased customer satisfaction (and fewer returns)
- The ability to demonstrate your products and educate your customers
How to host a live shopping event:
Now is the time to try it for yourself! Follow these quick tips to set up and host your own live shopping event:
- Choose platform (eg. Instagram or Facebook)
- Consider your format (eg. product demo, workshop, tutorial, DIY, interviews, Q&A, behind the scenes)
- Make sure it’s entertaining and concise
- Choose the right ‘face’ - a successful event is driven by having the right host, they need to be genuine and to connect with your audience
- Keep it personal
Is this the future of ecommerce?
Ecommerce shopping is fast and convenient, but the need for human interaction has been missing. Live shopping brings the human element back into the buying experience. This is why it's such an exciting new opportunity.
Looking to level up your ecommerce store?
Whether you need help setting up your Shopify Store, hitting your sales targets, or reaching your customers, we can help.
At Margin, we are a full stack ecommerce agency with an in-house team of paid search specialists, designers, developers and online marketers. We can help you gain a clear direction for your marketing efforts and take your ecommerce store to the next level.
Talk to us today.