Social commerce is not a buzzword any longer. Brands are trying to make the most of it and if they do not invest in it already, then they soon will. It does not come as a surprise that brands want to invest in social media, since we spend five years of our lives online. And it simply means up to five years of being covered with marketing communication. Needless to say that this number is still growing, too. No matter what we personally think about it, social commerce is a big opportunity for each online store and they see a chance to sparkle, using even more ways of drawing some attention to their offers.
Buying via social media platforms is still something new to customers, but they are becoming increasingly more convinced to do so and more often require having the opportunity to buy from brands via social. During the second quarter of 2019, the average value of online shopping orders via social media platforms was $79. Of course, this number will continue to grow with the development of social media platforms — and they are fully aware of the money flowing.
What is social commerce and why are brands getting more involved in providing it to their customers? Why, in 2020, you simply cannot ignore this trend? Read on to find out.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce, as the name indicates, is a combination of two terms: social media and e-commerce. As you can guess, it means selling or buying through social media platforms. However, the methods used for social media platforms do vary from one another. While we focus on Facebook in this article, you need to know that Instagram and Pinterest are also getting strong at this game, offering brands various methods of reaching their audiences with shoppable content.
The chart above speaks loudly about Facebook’s potential in the area of social commerce — both for users being lured in by attractive forms of content, and for brands who simply want to sell more.
Why do you need to invest in social commerce?
Long story short: your customers do not want to jump between platforms. If they see something, they want to be able to purchase it on the same platform, with the customer journey shortened as much as possible. Redirecting customers from one source to another can bring the same results as it would in terms of customer service: your clients — or potential clients — may be put off enough to never purchase nor come back to your brand.
Using social commerce can help you grow your audience. You can also access exclusive feedback that you would have never gotten before. You are also able to get to know your audience better by grabbing some insights about their needs, requirements and expectations.
Needless to say that you can boost your sales.
That sounds like a series of benefits to us.
What’s more, implementing social commerce step by step is not reserved for big brands only. With native features of Facebook and opportunities provided by various tools, you can provide a flawless social commerce experience to your customers and unclog another sales channel.
How can you do it? We’ve prepared a few examples you can follow and easily apply to your strategy, with some actionable tips to try out even today. We also have a real cherry on top for you — using chatbots for social commerce on Facebook.
Social commerce on Facebook: examples
Making the most of Facebook Store
When it comes to Facebook, Facebook Store is one of the most effective ways for introducing social commerce and connecting your content with sales.
Facebook Store plays the role of a connector between your e-commerce store and your Facebook profile. With such a tab, you can present your products directly on Facebook and redirect your customers to your shop so that they can finalize a purchase. While in the past you only had the option to click through a link post or on a link in your post, now your audience is already one step closer to clicking “buy now”. Shoppable posts, both on desktops and mobiles (on mobile, the Canvas (Gallery) format is often used by brands — see above), shorten the customer journey for potential clients and give them the opportunity to purchase an exact product right here and right now.
Can shopping be any easier? Take a look at an example from Cluse. You can browse their shop directly on Facebook, and Cluse can also tag these products in their social media posts. You can find that Shop in a tab on their Facebook Page, and shop through it even if shoppable posts are not being published at all.
Collaborating with social media influencers
Social media influencers gain a huge following around them and can visibly impact shopping decisions. It does not come as a surprise that brands are getting increasingly more willing to cooperate with influencers whose followers make up that top-notch target group. While some brands simply buy reviews and publications on a particular social media influencer’s channels, others go a step further and involve influencers in some promotional activities, such as contests or exclusive collections.
It’s a classic win-win-win situation. Brands can show off their products via an influencer, thus increasing reach and sales opportunities. Influencers can be introduced to a wider audience, and therefore gain extra visibility and money for themselves. Followers are provided with special, exclusive material involving a brand and influencers that they know and like.
Boosting user-generated content
Your followers are your best billboard, and your brand ambassadors are your best business card.
It is more likely that customers will trust user-generated content than some published by influencers. Do you know that for 90% of consumers, authenticity is an important factorin determining which brands they like and support? Nothing is more authentic than another client or user who is basically a walking recommendation of a particular product or brand.
User-generated content can be one of the most affordable ways of implementing social commerce in your company, but you need to get prepared for it. Invest in social media monitoring to keep an eye on possible mentions and react to them accordingly.
Why would you do that? To identify some of your early brand ambassadors and involve them in further activities. Some of them can collaborate with you for a long time and tag you in their posts just to be reposted. They can be real gems for you, so do not underestimate their power and potential. You can then ask them for permission to use these digital assets in any further promotion.
To make it easier for your brand, you can come up with a dedicated, unique hashtag that will help you recognize brand ambassadors as early as possible. #WheresWellington is one of them, while for instance Zalando uses #ZalandoStyle.
And yes, hashtags also work on Facebook.
Your customers can upload pictures of your product with the dedicated hashtag and everybody who follows that hashtag will see how satisfied your customers are with their purchases, and what products they use.
What’s also significant is that user-generated content plays an important role of being social proof. Your future customers can see that your products are for “regular people”, not only for influencers. They can imagine themselves interacting with your product — wearing or eating it — more easily.
Social commerce with chatbots
You do not create a chatbot — you create an experience that your customers may never forget.
Your impression about chatbots may be that they are annoying, pushy and deliver zero value.
The truth is: you probably encountered some “bad” chatbots, while the power of conversational marketing in the world of e-commerce is still underrated.
Do you know that 1 in 5 consumers would think of purchasing products or services directly from a chatbot? While many brands use chatbots mainly for customer service, there are other great ways of benefiting from them when it comes to social commerce.
Chatbots can be used in many cases. They can be used for increasing engagement, interaction and bonding with a brand, and therefore growing sales through relations. Look at an example from Tommy Hilfiger:
Another example comes from ASOS — according to Facebook statistics, their chatbots produce a 3x increase in orders and 2.5x increase in ROAS.
Both brands used chatbots to grab attention, generate interest and, in the end, to drive some additional sales through a new channel. For many marketers, it became an integrated part of the sales funnel.
However, you can also use chatbots for more situations within social commerce:
- as an email substitute / replacement — offers can be presented there
- gamification, contests and special offers — extra interaction with your followers and a chance to gain some new ones
- building strong relationships and receiving feedback on the attractiveness of your offer
- hard lead generation or content distribution (e.g. if you send special discount codes and want to redistribute them via a chatbot)
- for up-selling and cross-selling to increase sales
- playing the role of personal shopping assistants
Of course, you need to adjust your offer, prepare some creative copy and work on creating the chatbot itself. While we can’t help you directly with all of these elements, we can help you with the latter.
With Chatbotize, you can build your fully functional chatbot in minutes. With dozens of ready-to-use plugins, and without technical knowledge or coding skills, you can have your chatbots up and running in a heartbeat.
If you run an e-commerce business, investing in social commerce will sooner or later cross your mind. To connect social media with your e-commerce hassle-free, you should remember about a few factors that can impact your success.
Make your social media sites accessible and mobile-friendly, visually-driven and trustworthy. Make them look consistent and complex, with all of the necessary information available to ease a purchase instead of making the customer journey longer.
Make it a real customer experience, not a quick deal. Social commerce is a great weapon in the fight for clients and their loyalty. No matter where you start: what matters is that you have started. Good luck with social commerce on Facebook!
Originally published at https://chatbotize.com.