Written by – Ranuli at OmeBiz
E-commerce has grown immensely over the last few years or so, it has evolved, changed shape and spawned numerous offshoots. One of those offshoots of the big e-commerce revolution is social commerce — and it’s making a big splash! It’s the point where social media and e-commerce merges. This means that it’s high time your retail business gets in on the action.
Here are some of the most popular social commerce features across the largest social media platforms.
One of the first and most popular ways that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest have transformed social media platforms into a sales channel is through the “buy now” button. The “buy” button serves as a call-to-action on a brand’s social media ads or posts and it typically links users to the brand’s website to complete the sale.
In addition to this, Facebook has recently introduced a new feature ‘products in the video/image’ which directly links to the brand’s e-commerce store and makes it easy for people to buy, share, ask for a recommendation from friends and save for later.
Shoppable Posts and Stories
Instagram and Snapchat both launched their own versions of shoppable posts and stories which has taken off quite quickly.
The new Instagram shopping feature, launched in March 2018 and allows brands to tag up to five products in a post. Then, when users click on the tags they can see additional information about the product. This includes an image, product description, and price information.
Most importantly, shoppers are given a direct link to the company’s website where they can finalize the purchase. This feature enables brands to provide a seamless experience for customers as the entire shopping experience remains on the social media application itself.
Snapchat recently introduced their shoppable AR experience which includes Website, Video, and Install feature on their company’s AR lens. Through the video feature, users can click and watch how-to videos. The install feature enables users to download and install the application and finally, the website feature directs the user to the company’s website.
Furthermore, Snapchat has been used a platform for retailers looking to incorporate social shopping as an add-on to events happening in stores. This is due to their effective location-based marketing and short-lived nature of their content that makes it ideal for building exclusivity and urgency. For an instance, Nike’s Jordan partnered with Snapchat earlier this year to exploit on the NBA All-Star game. Consumers within a certain radius of the arena where the game was played were able to gain access via a special “Snapcode” to an exclusive launch sale of the special edition Air Jordan III ‘Tinker’ shoe.
In addition to this, Snapchat is rolling out another new feature in collaboration with Amazon where users can simply take a snap of the photo and it redirects them to the Amazon page where they can purchase the product.
Facebook is taking yet another page out of Snapchat’s playbook by bringing augmented reality commerce ads to the platform. They first tried it out with Michael Kors by creating an AR ad that let Facebook users try on sunglasses. Also, they have three ways to shop—from the Facebook post, the AR moment or the shared sticker which redirects to the product page. This functionality is rolling out to a few other brands, like Sephora and Wayfair, later this year.
Social Commerce for Retail
By now, you might be wondering why we’re talking about social commerce when many brands still make the majority of their sales out of a storefront or pop-up shop.
But social shopping can help grow your offline sales as well. For one, certain social media networks give you access to an audience that is actually interested in your products and have a high purchasing intent. When customers are actively researching on social media about a certain product it means that they are getting ready to make a real purchase. This implies that if you invest in your social media networks it is likely to have a big impact on your foot traffic and sales as well.
Although social commerce is a relatively new concept and is in its early stages, the technology is still out there. This makes it the perfect opportunity for retailers of all stripes to jump right in and experiment with social shopping and emerge with a competitive advantage on their hands.