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The Benefits of Integrating Social Commerce Into Your eCommerce Platform

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Approximately 29% of internet users between the ages of 16 and 64 admit their primary motivation for using social media is to seek inspiration for things to do or buy.

The phenomenon known as social commerce is already revolutionizing the shopping experience. Only a few years ago, social networks were primarily used for personal connections: meeting new people, engaging with friends, and sharing glimpses of one’s private life.

However, today, nearly 53% of people who use social channels globally have access to a more comprehensive experience. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok now allow users to make purchases through them without being redirected to a brand’s website or physical store.

The social commerce boom is reshaping the customer journey as innovative customer experiences emerge, delighting connected consumers.

But, what does the landscape of social commerce entail? What are the benefits for brands? And which social platforms should you focus on for developing connected commerce? We answer these and other questions in the following article.

What is social commerce?

Social commerce involves selling products and services directly through social media platforms. The entire shopping experience occurs within the social media ecosystem, from discovering and researching products to completing the checkout process. With more than half of Gen Z using social as their search engines, it’s vital for brands to be able to attract, engage, and close sales all within social. Currently, social apps that feature integrated native social commerce capabilities include Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok.

Imagine coming across a pair of must-have summer slides on your Instagram feed. With social commerce, you can simply tap “shop now,” add the item to your cart, and complete the purchase within the app.

Similarly, while scrolling through TikTok, you might spot an affordable crewneck and click the “Buy” button. Once your purchase is finalized, you can effortlessly return to your regular TikTok viewing, enjoying duet videos of your favorite artist without interruption.

These shopping opportunities are readily available on the digital platforms your target audience frequents. It’s essential to capitalize on these avenues to enhance your business prospects.

Interested in learning more about social commerce? Check out The psychology behind social commerce (and why it works).

Types of social commerce

  • Shoppable posts are social media posts with embedded “Buy” buttons or shopping tags, which allow customers to purchase products directly from the post without leaving the platform. This type of social commerce is prevalent on Instagram and Facebook.
  • With social storefronts, you can set up a fully functioning store within a social media platform, such as Facebook Shops. This allows customers to browse and purchase products without leaving the social media site, creating a seamless shopping experience.
  • Influencer marketing involves partnering with influential individuals who have a significant social media following to promote your products. This type of social commerce is effective because it leverages the trust and authority of influencers to build your brand and drive sales.
  • Peer-to-peer selling entails individuals selling products directly to other consumers via social media platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Instagram’s direct messaging feature. This option is popular among small businesses and individual sellers.

Social commerce vs. eCommerce vs. mCommerce

For businesses, social commerce entails selling products or services via social networks. In marketing vernacular, the term “sCommerce” is also used (not to be confused with “eCommerce” or “mCommerce”).

eCommerce, or electronic commerce, encompasses all remote transactions conducted through computers, smartphones, or tablets. In recent years — particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic — eCommerce has experienced tremendous growth.

Meanwhile, mCommerce, or mobile commerce, refers to sales and purchases made using mobile phones. mCommerce offers unparalleled flexibility so shoppers can make purchases while on the move.

While eCommerce, mCommerce, and sCommerce each have distinct characteristics, their ultimate goal is the same: to create more immediate, streamlined customer journeys while delivering exceptional digital experiences.

Benefits of integrating social commerce

Still unsure if investing in a platform that integrates with social commerce is a wise decision? Here are five compelling reasons to give it a try.

1. Greater reach and visibility

By incorporating social commerce into your broader eCommerce strategy, you can tap into the vast user base of various social media platforms and significantly expand your brand’s reach. This multi-platform approach boosts your visibility and attracts potential customers who otherwise might not have discovered your products or services.

As more users engage with your brand through likes, shares, and comments on social media, these interactions grow your online presence, which leads to increased brand awareness and, consequently, higher sales potential.

2. Increased engagement

Social commerce fosters a more interactive environment for customers to connect with your brand.

By enabling buyers to comment on, rate, and share products with their friends, you create a two-way communication channel that deepens customer relationships and encourages brand loyalty. This rich engagement enhances the overall consumer experience and provides valuable insights into their preferences and opinions.

3. Deeper customer insights and brand loyalty

Tangential to the above point, incorporating social commerce into your eCommerce platform offers a wealth of data on customer behavior, trends, and preferences.

Each time buyers interact with your brand on social media, they generate information you can accumulate and analyze to better understand their needs and desires. That, then, enables you to produce more targeted marketing campaigns, develop products or services that resonate with their preferences, and personalize offers to maximize their appeal.

Plus, the real-time nature of social media allows you to monitor and respond to emerging trends and customer feedback promptly, ensuring your brand remains agile and adaptive in a rapidly changing market landscape.

By leveraging these insights, you continuously improve the customer experience, build stronger relationships with your audience, and drive sustained growth for your business.

When customers are invested in your company, they’re more likely to become brand advocates, share their positive experiences with their social networks, leave glowing reviews, and recommend your products or services to others.

This word-of-mouth marketing strengthens your brand’s credibility and attracts new customers, both of which serve to drive organic growth and amplify the impact of your marketing efforts.

4. Higher conversion rates

By streamlining the shopping process and reducing friction, such as through the navigation between websites or apps, you craft a seamless and user-friendly experience that encourages customers to make a purchase.

The ease of use combined with the power of social proof through user-generated content, reviews, and recommendations, yields higher conversion rates and boosts revenue for your business.

5. More sales and revenue

Social commerce can significantly contribute to your business’s growth by expanding your customer base and fostering repeat purchases.

When you tap into the vast audience of social media, you draw in new customers who failed to discover your brand through traditional channels. Plus, engaging and nurturing relationships with existing buyers encourages loyalty, which leads to repeat purchases and greater lifetime value.

Best platforms for integrating social commerce

As social commerce continues to gain traction in online retail, numerous platforms have begun to facilitate seamless shopping experiences for consumers. With so many options available, we’ve listed some of the best platforms for integrating social commerce into your eCommerce strategy:

  • Instagram: Instagram has become a powerhouse for social commerce thanks to features like Instagram Shopping and Shoppable Posts, which allow users to explore, learn about, and purchase products without leaving the app. With its visually driven interface and extensive user base, Instagram is an ideal platform for businesses looking to showcase their products and attract new customers.
  • Facebook: Being the world’s largest social network, Facebook offers a range of social commerce tools, including Facebook Shops and the Marketplace, that enable businesses to sell products directly on the platform. The extensive targeting options available through Facebook Ads also make it an excellent choice for companies that want to reach specific audiences and drive sales.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is a visually oriented platform that drives product discovery and inspiration. With features like Buyable Pins and the Shop tab, users can easily browse and purchase items on the platform. Pinterest is especially suitable for businesses in fashion, home decor, and DIY industries, where visual appeal plays a crucial role in generating sales.
  • TikTok: TikTok has rapidly become a popular avenue for social commerce, with its short-form video format providing a unique and engaging way to showcase goods. Features like TikTok Shopping and shoppable live streams offer users the ability to buy directly through the app. It’s an attractive option for businesses looking to tap into the platform’s younger demographic and viral potential.
  • Snapchat: Primarily used among younger audiences, Snapchat hosts social commerce features like shoppable ads and the Snap Store, where businesses can create and manage their product catalogs. The platform’s unique, ephemeral content and AR capabilities provide opportunities for creative and immersive shopping experiences that drive engagement and sales.

The right platform for your social commerce strategy depends on your target audience, industry, and overall business objectives. Select one that best aligns with your brand and audience to leverage the power of social commerce to grow your business and drive sales.

Wrapping up — Drive more sales with social commerce

Integrating social commerce into your eCommerce platform offers a wealth of benefits for your business. From increased brand exposure and customer engagement to streamlined purchasing processes and more, social commerce is an essential strategy for online retailers to stay competitive.

By embracing this innovative approach to online shopping, you can build a more interactive, personalized, and successful eCommerce experience for your customers.