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    Social Commerce Benefits for Businesses

    August 11, 2023
    7 minute read
    Social Commerce Benefits for Businesses

    Expanding your pool of prospects is one way to gain market share and grow sales. With social commerce, also known as social shopping, the size of the pool is unprecedented — in both size and range. This pool is also highly targetable.

    Social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and others, have billions of active daily users who spend hours scrolling through their feeds. For your customers, social media is a place to engage with entertaining content. For your brand, it’s a built-in captive audience.

    As social commerce continues to grow, brands must understand the value of using these channels to expand brand presence while testing and experimenting with these new commerce capabilities — without compromising your strategic investments in other proven channels — using the tools and resources you already have.

    Your brand has the opportunity to tap into these spaces to fully take advantage of social commerce benefits, like deepening emotional connections with your audience through the delivery of personalized product content. You can also leverage some of the greatest assets these platforms provide: robust user data and the native shopping experience.

    A Brief History of Social Commerce

    The term social commerce was first used by Yahoo! in 2005 to describe a set of collaborative shopping tools. Social commerce has morphed into a strategic opportunity for brands to expand their presence on the digital shelf, enabling shoppers to engage with brands by discovering, researching, and purchasing products.

    The sheer volume of engaged users makes social media an essential channel for brands. Statista reports that global users spend an average of 151 minutes per day on social media channels.

    The number of brands already selling directly to consumers via social channels is growing every year, and its influence must not be ignored.

    Social Commerce Is Already Influencing Your Customers

    Global social commerce sales are expected to hit $2.6 trillion by 2026, according to Statista. If your brand isn’t considering social commerce, you may be missing out on an enormous opportunity.

    In light of all the challenges brands encounter online — including maintaining brand loyalty when price drives buying decisions — brands must find a way to rapidly expand the pool of highly targeted prospects, without adding significant capital investment or taking resources away from proven channels.

    One way to do that is to leverage two of social media’s greatest assets: data and native functionality. Brands can use robust user data from social media to target ads to prospects and followers.

    With social commerce, they can also target product content in a way that makes an even stronger connection with their audience. Brands can also leverage native chat and shopping capabilities on select platforms.

    The Seamless Social Shopping Experience

    As consumers continue to become more comfortable with shopping on mobile devices and through social media, the shopping experience has also become more seamless.

    Imagine this: Your customer may be in the market for a coat, which your brand happens to sell. They start their research online, scrolling through several blogs and retailer websites — a few of which mention your brand.

    Later, while scrolling through their Instagram feed, they see an image of one of their favorite influencers wearing one of your best-selling coats. They may also see an ad for your coat within their feed that highlights the active, dog-friendly lifestyle they hope to adopt.

    They then tap on a product tag, review the product details, ask a simple question about the coat using the chat feature, and decide to make a purchase. 

    This final social shopping journey can happen at any time of day — without leaving the app. 

    Once their sale is confirmed, they then effortlessly return to scrolling through her Instagram feed.LL Bean Instagram social commerce posts Image Source: L.L. Bean

    Deeper Customer Connections for Your Brand

    This customer made a connection between the influencer and your product — and it’s deeper than seeing a stock image of the same coat on a traditional ecommerce site. 

    Brands can leverage these authentic images to connect with shoppers at the point of discovery and inspiration.

    Take Advantage of Social Commerce Benefits

    As social commerce expands, brands are in the perfect position to test and learn. It’s possible to consistently present product content across all social platforms, customized for every unique channel. Brands can test product content and user data in countless ways until they are ready to make the big leap into direct sales — and a big part of the future of commerce.

    Written by: Salsify

    Salsify drives results for customers worldwide, empowering them to win on the digital shelf.

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