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    Social Shopping

    A Digital Shelf Guide

    Apps that were once dedicated to posting pictures and short-form dance videos have become fruitful grounds for brands to promote their products and services, driving customer engagement and sales through the roof.

    Social shopping, also referred to as social commerce and social media shopping, is the marriage of ecommerce and social media. It’s become wildly popular with the rise of social media, with sales projected to reach $2.9 trillion by 2026, according to Statista.

    Salsify global consumer research lists social media as the top method of product discovery, highlighting that 42% of surveyed consumers buy products directly through social media.

    If you want to explore social shopping but don’t have the know-how, here are actionable insights to execute a social shopping strategy.


    What Is Social Shopping?

    Social shopping, also called social commerce, is the act of purchasing goods or services directly through a social media website without ever leaving the app. 

    What’s the difference between social shopping and commerce? It’s often confused with ecommerce, which makes sense because they both fall under the commerce umbrella — but ecommerce purchases take place outside of a social media app (on a retailer’s site, for example). 

    Social shopping allows brands to connect with a whole new audience in a fun, engaging way. Reaching them, however, requires knowledge of the ins and outs of social media, an understanding of each app’s demographics, and a killer social shopping strategy. 

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    What Are the Benefits of Social Shopping?

    Consumers won’t buy from just any brand. They need to trust in the brand’s quality and believe in the brand’s mission, which can be difficult to achieve with a static web page. 

    Research backs this up: 54% of shoppers point to bad product reviews as a reason why they won’t purchase a product online, according to Salsify’s global consumer research, and 32% won’t purchase from an unfamiliar or disreputable brand.

    So how do you win over customers while emphasizing the high quality of your products? By word of mouth.

    Media research company Nielsen reports that 88% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know over any other channel.

    Social shopping allows you to harness the power of word of mouth to increase: 

    • Brand awareness
    • Consumer trust
    • Engagement
    • Sales

    Consumers can share your products with their friends in-app. Influencers can promote your products to all of their followers while increasing your brand awareness and trust. Your products could potentially go viral and sell out. 

    Social shopping allows you to create a golden brick road that leads consumers down the path to purchase.

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    What Are Some Examples of Social Shopping?

    Check out these social commerce examples to learn more about how social shopping works across social media platforms.


    One of the best social shopping examples is TikTok Shop. The ecommerce solution is integrated into the app, allowing sellers, creators, partners, and affiliates to sell products in three native ways: live streaming, shoppable videos, and product showcases

    Sellers are given access to beneficial features such as campaign and promotion tools, direct creator collaboration, and performance analysis. 

    Consumers no longer have to hunt for the products they’ve been influenced to buy. Instead, they can purchase items immediately, removing the friction that lowers conversion rates.

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    TikTok shop native ways to buyImage Source: TikTok Shop


    Instagram Shopping offers a similar experience, allowing consumers to purchase items in-app (made even easier by the autofill and checkout options). Sellers can create product tags that consumers can tap in videos, images, or ads to learn more information.

    U.S. businesses that have the checkout feature on Instagram can also promote an upcoming product launch with a countdown that users can set a reminder for.

    These are just two examples out of many. Play around with each social shopping app to learn more about how you can take advantage of features to appeal to your desired audience.


    Image Source: Instagram

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    How To Appeal to Social Shoppers

    Consumers expect a seamless shopping experience across every touch point, and social shopping is no exception. If anything goes wrong in their shopping experience, consumers aren’t afraid to abandon their carts.

    Salsify global consumer research report shows that 55% of consumers won’t purchase a product online if it has bad product content. Using a product experience management (PXM) solution will ensure that you have all of the correct data displayed across your digital touch points, and will prevent customers from abandoning their carts.

    Dedicating a role at your company to managing your social media presence will also allow you to keep a finger on the pulse of the latest social media trends. This role can handle advantageous influencer and brand ambassador relationships that will help you achieve your company goals.

    Create a strike plan, execute your social shopping strategy, and watch as sales skyrocket.

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