Social commerce is a subset of the ecommerce business model that involves social media platforms to facilitate the buying and selling of products and services. Social commerce gives buyers the complete shopping experience from browsing products to completing their purchases within the social media app. Social commerce makes shopping more convenient and uses social connections and recommendations to influence purchasing decisions.
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Although social commerce is confused with ecommerce, social commerce and ecommerce are completely different ways of how a business operates.
Social commerce is the online business where a business sells products through a social media platform. The buyers discover businesses through advertisements or marketplaces that feature in social media apps.
On the other hand, ecommerce means the selling of products and services through an online ecommerce store or website or a dedicated ecommerce app. Are you looking to start an ecommerce business? With Yourstore, you can build your ecommerce website and start selling online.
If you are wondering if setting up an online store using social commerce is a viable idea, read through and know it yourself.
Social commerce is easier now with Yourstore Ecommerce, share a single checkout link and let your customers complete payments with ease. You can also integrate your social media accounts with your ecommerce website.
Everybody loves to shop for things and in today’s ecommerce business scenario customer experience can make or break a business. With a lot of options available in every industry, consumers choose a brand or product and are likely to shop or buy again based on their first shopping experience. Social commerce makes shopping much more fun with options to know the product better by interacting with the sellers rather than going through unreliable reviews or waiting forever to get your questions answered.
Not a day passes by without using social media for countless reasons, among which, is sometimes stalking a brand that sells a product that one has their eyes on. Now, imagine if the whole process from researching to buying a product happens on a social media app, you should be kidding if you would not consider shopping in this method.
Social commerce is a boon for small businesses that can’t invest a huge sum in setting up a business. Small businesses can easily identify their audience and get feedback faster than other ecommerce models which helps them to scale their business quicker.
Gathering customer data is easy on social media and it makes targeting your potential audience even easier, using the data like age, gender, and geographical location. You can use the data insights from social media apps to run targeted ad campaigns. It helps you sell products by putting them in front of your audience which traditional ecommerce can’t do.
The statistics of social commerce growth in China reveal the incredible amount of money this space of commerce holds. In 2021, Chinese consumers spent 13% of total ecommerce on social commerce which lead to the expansion of the social commerce market size to $374 billion. Reports show adoption of social commerce is also growing in the US but the evolution of social commerce may or may not be as rapid as in China. Nevertheless, social commerce is expected to grow as there is a paradigm shift in the way consumers are shopping.
Some social media platforms offer social commerce capabilities and with the rise of Gen Z and Millennials preferring the flexibility of shopping on social media apps it is expected that the number of social media apps integrating commerce will increase.
Here’s the list of the best social media platforms that support social commerce:
Facebook continues to stay on top of the list of best social media platforms and statistics show that 71% of Facebook users purchase from the platform at least once. Sellers can display the products on Facebook using the marketplace feature and customers can see all the details of the products you have added. Customers can reach out to sellers using messenger and complete the purchase without leaving the Facebook app.
Instagram stands next to Facebook in the social commerce arena. Instagram tells that its users use their platform to discover products and brands. Instagram allows multiple ways for businesses to sell products: by adding shopping tags on posts, a dedicated shopping tab to display the catalogue of products, ads that will redirect users to the shop or the shopping tab where the product is listed, and through DMs where the users can get the needed details of the product to make the purchase.
Pinterest, although a pioneer in the world of social commerce is not completely a social commerce platform. Users use this platform to research products which works more like a search engine to give its users the best results which also makes Pinterest a goldmine for not-so-big brands.
Interesting as it sounds Pinterest still does not have all the features that let buyers complete purchases within the app if the seller and the customer are not within the geographical region. In this case, it takes the buyer outside the app to a commerce site to complete the purchase.
Next on our list is TikTok which is another popular social media app that has introduced in-app social shopping recently and has seen rapid growth in social commerce because of its popularity among today’s generation and factually speaking even generation X.
On TikTok you can sell in 3 ways:
1. Product display tab
2. In-feed videos
3. Shopping LIVEs
In 2020 Snapchat jumped into the trend of social commerce and announced the launch of an AR feature that enabled users to virtually try out products. There are a huge number of users that use this feature in Snapchat, however, sometimes leads to a website to complete a purchase.
You may be wondering why is Twitter, one of the largest social media platforms in the world is not on this list. In 2014, Twitter allowed some brands to add products with a buy now option to sell through tweets. However, later in 2017 for some reason, Twitter didn’t continue with social commerce. However, it supports the marketing of products on its platform.
Social commerce is a booming business because of the rapid increase in the use of social media across the world which is why despite the endless possibilities that ecommerce offers, social commerce is growing and it also makes shopping simpler and fun.
China’s social commerce market has seen its brightest days in 2022, to be precise, the growth has doubled in just 4 years. Almost 50% of internet users shop through social commerce. China’s retail ecommerce was at $2.9 trillion in 2022 making it the global leader in social commerce.
Next to China, the US, although has a slower penetration rate, has the fastest-growing social commerce. The US brands are learning the strategies of social commerce from China and are on a mission to grow. A survey by McKinsey shows that 75% of people who have shopped live on social media platforms are likely to buy again using live shopping. The US has a social commerce market of $36 billion which is an opportunity too big for them to not make use of.
Social commerce is selling products through social media apps where users can buy products without leaving the social media app.
2. Huda Beauty Shop
3. Titan Watches
Social commerce capitalises on the number of people using social media around the world. As social media users increase, the potential target audience for brands is increasing. Social commerce enables users to shop through social media apps in 2 ways:
1. Native social commerce like Instagram shops and Facebook marketplaces
2. Integrating social media apps with ecommerce stores
Social commerce has simplified shopping for consumers. With its capability to search and shop without leaving the app, it influences the decision-making of consumers and accelerates the journey from attention to action.
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Sumaya Sheik, Yourstore
8th February 2023