Shopping can be a very difficult task at times, especially during the holidays. This holiday season I went to the mall for a simple gift that I knew I wanted. My first mistake was going on a weekend. I spent a good 15 minutes driving around trying to find a spot. After no success, I decided to try another day. When I got home I checked out the store’s website. I found exactly what I wanted, was able to have it shipped for free and received it in less than 3 days. Only a couple of the many reasons why online shopping is becoming a much better option for all of us lazy people.
According to a report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, sales on the web reached $394.9 billion in 2016 which is a 15.6% increase from 2015. An upward trend shows that we could reach $500 billion by 2018. Now early in 2017, we are also starting to see an increase in social commerce and more of an integrated shopping experience with our social media.
What is Social Commerce?
If you already have ecommerce set up on your website, then social commerce would be the next step in selling online to your customers. Social commerce is the act of selling your products directly through social media or through a third-party app.
We are now able to buy from Facebook without ever having to leave the app. This has led to a whole new integrated customer buying experience that takes away a step in the buying process. A very popular company using this method of selling is MVMT Watches. They have grown from a crowdfund campaign to being a major player in the watch industry targeting millennials by using social media to help sell their product.
Shown in the example above, the Facebook Shop has been the biggest competitor so far in social commerce. The process is fairly simple and very intuitive. there are a couple of different ways that you can set this up. First if you already have an ecommerce shop set up through a platform such as Shopify, they make it very easy to integrate your current products over to your Facebook account. If not, then that is okay. With Facebook Shop you can add your products and start selling right away within Facebook.
Back in 2015, Pinterest initiated a new “Buy it” button. Ever since, we have seen more and more companies using Pinterest to sell their product right within the app. Pinterest is a great place to gather visual collections of birthday ideas, wedding gifts, etc. This year for Christmas, I made my family’s shopping very easy by making a collection of gifts that I would like. These “Buy It” buttons eliminate a step in the buying process and help increase that impulse buy. Unfortunately to use the “Buy It” button feature, you have to have an ecommerce store set up with Shopify, Demandware or BigCommerce.
Ever since Facebook bought Instagram, we knew it would only be a matter of time before they started selling products through Instagram. With a new ‘Shop Now’ button and over 600 million users, this will be a great way going forward for companies to sell products. It is still in test phase, but you can see an example of Kate Spade utilizing the feature in the picture below.
This is still a very new process and companies are still learning how to use social commerce. It will take a little more time before consumers get completely used to using their social media as a shopping platform. With the increase in online shopping and a more integrated online community, we will only see more example of companies effectively using social commerce for their business. Roundpeg is marketing strategy company and can help you plan an effective online strategy for your social commerce.
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