No matter your target audience demographics, your customers are spending their time on social channels like Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook. And not just to socialize, either. They’re also rapidly adopting social commerce shopping. According to Insider Intelligence, U.S. social commerce sales are expected to top $45 billion in 2022 on the way to over $79 billion by 2025, and saw over 50% of all adults make a purchase on a social media website in 2021.
But social channels aren’t just encouraging more consumers to embrace online shopping. They’re also fundamentally changing the eCommerce shopping experience.
In this post, we explore four ways social commerce is increasing sales and improving the online shopping experience for customers, as well as highlight a few strategies to help you take advantage of the rising tide of social commerce during the 2022 peak season.
What is Social Commerce?
Social commerce is a form of eCommerce shopping that occurs on social media channels. Businesses can promote product ads and exclusive deals. Consumers can browse product catalogs and purchase items directly from posts and images. And customer service agents can message shoppers to help them with their purchases.
Here are just a few social commerce examples you’ve likely seen at some point:
- Business chat options on Facebook
- Shopping bubbles popping up on product images on Instagram
- Augmented reality (AR) shopping on Snapchat
But how, exactly, are social commerce sales changing the eCommerce landscape?
Exclusive Deals for Social Channels
Social media channels have become a popular place to entice shoppers with deals. Now, in addition to targeted ads, businesses are creating featured posts, direct messages, and stories with limited-time offers for followers and loyal customers.
In some cases, these can be flash sales with a time limit clearly listed on the post. In others, accessing the discount may be connected to a series of customer engagement activities (such as liking, sharing, and commenting on the post). Regardless, this new mode of social media marketing is creating an incredible opportunity for retailers and eCommerce businesses.
By taking a page out of influencers’ playbooks and using Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok to promote exclusive deals, you can reach a wider audience and boost engagement. Your marketing team can also make your deals more appealing to prospective customers by adding countdowns, video, and stickers to stories and posts.
Managing Inventory on Social Channels
Letting customers shop your catalog from your social media profile is great for business, but it can bring a myriad of problems to retail and eCommerce companies. Besides keeping track of orders as they roll in, fulfillment teams also need to make sure that everything is shipped out smoothly and cost-effectively.
Luckily, managing your inventory on multiple social media channels (in addition to your eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores) is much easier than you might think—as long as you’re using the right software.
Leveraging an omnichannel order management system (OMS) enables you to collect and process customer orders in a single space—regardless of where the purchase originated. And you don’t have to move any of the data by hand, either. The omnichannel OMS automatically logs purchases in the system and notifies your fulfillment team to pick, pack, and ship the products to customers according to their preferred order fulfillment method.
Improving Social Commerce Sales with Video Content
Reporting on research conducted by Adweek and Google, a leading eCommerce platform provider reports that videos will comprise 82% of all online traffic this year, that 50% of consumers watch brands’ videos to help them determine what product to purchase, and that 55% of consumers watch videos while shopping in-store.
As a result, it’s no surprise that video consumption also heavily influences consumers’ purchasing decisions. If your business is behind the eight-ball on a social commerce strategy to increase sales this peak season, now is the time to devise and produce videos to engage the many consumers researching and reviewing products online.
Communicating Across Channels
Customers expect to have a seamless shopping experience, no matter how many channels they use to connect with your brand. This is especially true when it comes to customer service.
You can successfully provide customer support on social channels without burning out or losing track of valuable shoppers, though. All you have to do is hand-off your customer service operations to an outsourced customer care provider like Radial. With a full suite of social media communication options built into our omnichannel customer care approach—including chat, direct messaging, and comment monitoring and response—we have the systems and processes in place to provide your customers with world-class customer care for you so you can focus on your core business.
Realizing the success that top social commerce companies achieve isn’t easy. In fact, it requires a complete rethinking of your eCommerce strategy and the adoption of many new tactics. However, as you prepare for the 2022 peak season, social commerce should be on your priority list. In addition to enabling you to connect with millions of potential customers, it can also improve your interactions with younger generations who prefer shopping on social media.
And, armed with the strategies above, you’ll be in great shape to communicate with customers, manage your inventory, and successfully promote your deals on social media to take your social commerce sales to a new level during the 2022 peak shopping season.
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