Social media was a massive turn in how eCommerce companies did business. Being able to market directly to users where they spend their time online was huge! Today more than ever, it’s a huge bolster to companies.
Now, companies are starting to have the opportunity to sell to consumers directly through social media channels. Customers can go from discovering your product to securely purchasing directly within the social media app they are on. This is called social media commerce.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, and Facebook are all in the process of growing their in-app commerce functions. As we see them continue to grow, it is expected that we’ll see new features like AR try on’s for clothing or makeup (making in-person try on’s nearly obsolete) become the new norm. For eCommerce retailers, this is a huge deal and could change the way customers purchase from brands.
By 2024, the social media shopping market is projected to be worth over $2 trillion. This may have you wondering if it is a good fit for your business?
The Perks of Social Media Commerce
Retailers are flocking to social media channels to set up in-app shops for a multitude of reasons. For one, small businesses have found that setting up shop within a social media platform allows them to gain more exposure. With functions like the explore page that tailors a user’s experience, they’re more likely to be seen.
It also allows brands to interact with their customers answering questions and the like, all in one space.
We all know that the fewer steps a customer has to take to purchase something, the more likely they are to buy from a business. Social media commerce takes away the need to leave the social media platform to go to another website.
The Cons of Social Media Commerce
Trust is a major issue when it comes to online shopping. Since a customer has to enter their card information, they want to ensure that it is safe and secure. Companies like Facebook that have had negative publicity don’t always command people’s trust. This ends up pushing customers to convert on the business’ website or not at all.
Social media commerce doesn’t allow for a brand to personalize the shopping experience either. Business owners and marketers know that creating trust with customers and building your brand identity occurs when you can show your brand’s identity. This is where a website comes in handy and wins over social media commerce. A website is so customizable and can achieve all these personalized things that social media platforms cannot.
Is Social Media Commerce Right for You?
Right now, social media commerce is best suited to products and brands that sell smaller ticket items. Think of things that are less likely to be returned. Clothing companies, makeup brands, and similar businesses are thriving with this type of eCommerce.
While some companies, like furniture companies, are doing well in this arena, it is undoubtedly not suited for every company. If the products you sell lend themselves to people wanting to experience the quality in person, then social media commerce is likely not for you.
One Key to Social Media Commerce
It’s so crucial that you remember it should only be one piece of your strategy if you’re planning to use social media commerce. It’s still important to maintain your website, market across multiple platforms, and stay engaged with your audience. Social media commerce is just one tool in your arsenal for making sales and should be treated as such.
Small businesses need to make sure to not “keep all their eggs in one basket.” If a particular social media platform went down or became unpopular today, would your business still make it? Social media platforms would like nothing more than for users to stay on their app or site and only their app or site if possible. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best thing for your small business, so it’s great to keep this in mind as you use social media in any way for your business.
Social media commerce can be a fabulous tool to add to your toolkit. While it’s not for every business, it is an excellent option for many retailers. Since it makes purchases take less time, increases brand exposure, and provides a more direct purchasing experience, customers love it. Just make sure that it’s not the only eCommerce strategy you have in place.