Unlike in the past, when social media was only used to connect with friends, today, people can do much more. From getting purchasing inspiration to researching products and buying them, there is no limit on what you can do.
In fact, 85% of men and 86% of women agree that social media drives their purchasing decisions. Another Forbes study indicates that customers who are influenced by social media are more likely to buy a product. In this article, we will take you through social commerce to help you understand how to use it to drive sales.
What is Social Commerce?
As the name suggests, social commerce blends ecommerce with social media. It involves brands promoting and selling their products and services on social media. The entire buying process occurs on social media, from awareness to comparing options and conversions. This is due to the current features of social media that enable users to complete the buying process without leaving social media.
How Social Media Can Influence Customer-Buying Decisions
Why is social media becoming popular as a marketing tool? Here are ways in which it’s affecting the buying decision.
Lower Stages of the Sales Funnel
According to a study by Deloitte, 39% of social media users are likely to buy a product the same day they see it. Rather than waiting to go shopping, they simply click the link and purchase the product. Besides, the same study notes that customer’s decisions are influenced by social media.
Today, social media sites have added features like the buy button and in-app checkout. Social commerce removes any unnecessary steps in the buying process. With a less social commerce process, you can minimize the risk of cart abandonment.
Providing a Social Proof
When people see a post by a product user describing its effectiveness, they are likely to try it out, too. In fact, a study by Forbes shows that 81% of consumers’ purchasing decisions on social media are influenced by their friends. By working with influencers, brands can provide their customers with the social proof.
How to Drive Sales Through Social Commerce
So, how can you use social media to influence buying decisions? Here are several ways:
Determine The Right Channel
The first step should be to determine where your customers are and focus on those channels. You can do that by researching your customer demographics. According to a Sprout Social survey:
- People between 18 and 24 make online purchases on Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.
- People between 24 and 40 mostly use WhatsApp and Reddit to make purchases.
- The most popular platform among people aged between 41 and 56 is Pinterest.
- Facebook was the most popular platform for buying among those aged between 77 and 65.
Remember that this may not apply to all products, so you should determine which platform your customers are on.
The main reason why people buy on social media is for convenience. One way of optimizing your sales on social media is by getting rid of unnecessary steps of the buying process. You should ensure that you have a straightforward buying process and without any barriers.
Create helpful social media content that enables shoppers to complete the whole buying without leaving the platform. For instance, you can have a shoppable post with product tags that includes information such as buying price and features. They, therefore, would not need to visit your website to find this information.
Leverage User-Generated Content
According to a Sprout Social study, the main reason why people buy on social media is because of recommendations by others. User-generated content can help you gain customer trust. People trust the experiences and opinions of others, which can be in the form of reviews, videos, and photos. The reason is that they view this as an unbiased review.
Collaborate with influencers
People trust the influencers they follow, so collaboration with influencers is a major win for social e-commerce. You can have influencers tag your products or services in their posts, allowing users to buy directly from them.
Key Elements of Social Commerce
To get the most out of social commerce, ensure that you have the following:
- Professional photographs. Include photos that are clean and crisp and showcase your products very well.
- Plan. Determine the products to be featured in your feed. Ensure you have a product catalog, but avoid overusing social commerce, as only 20% of your posts should be promotional.
- Multiple tagging. To cross-sell, you can tag several products in a post.
Social commerce has emerged as a powerful tool for driving sales. Your brand is missing a lot if you are not using it. Following the above tips can easily grow your brand through social commerce.