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How social commerce is driving online shopping Share via

Social commerce refers to selling products and services on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. In other words, shoppers can discover the brand, explore the products, and complete the transaction, all without leaving the social media channel. This channel has been seeing an upward growth trajectory as more and more brands are working towards leveraging social commerce to reach a wider audience and generate more sales. According to a report, China’s retail social commerce sale is expected to reach over $350 billion in 2021. The second biggest market for social commerce, the United States, will see the numbers touching around $36 billion during the same period. As social commerce grows in popularity across the globe, we will look at some of the benefits this channel provides, which makes it an irresistible bet for online brands.

Access to a vast audience base

Hundreds of thousands of new users join one or the other social media platforms every day to be connected to their friends, families, and the outside world. Smartphone penetration is high, and easy access to mobile internet across the globe has resulted in the rapid adoption of these platforms. According to Statista, Facebook has over a billion active users, and it adds hundreds of new users to its fold every day. Some reports suggest that over 50 percent of the world’s population is on social media. So, a huge audience is spread across the social media platforms for brands, which they can effectively target and turn into their customers with the right products, messaging, and pricing. Rather than waiting for the shopper to come to them, brands can directly reach potential customers who hang out and spend most of their time on social media. Social commerce also provides an opportunity to buy a product quickly and conveniently for regular social media users.

Frictionless shopping experience

Social commerce provides the shoppers an opportunity to conclude the deal in a few clicks while browsing their favorite social media platform. Since the consumer discovers the product on social media and can close the deal relatively faster, the chances of abandoning the cart, the most prominent problem with e-commerce shopping websites, reduces drastically, as there is less room to change the purchase decision. Furthermore, since the consumer is completing the shopping without even leaving the social media, it is lucrative for brands to capture the audience there. Therefore, it will be safe to suggest that social commerce significantly helps the brands accelerate the timeline between lead nurture and purchase.

Direct engagement with the customer

One of the most vital benefits of social commerce is the channel’s ability to provide shoppers an easy way to communicate with the brands they are interested in knowing more about. Unlike e-commerce shopping websites, companies selling through social commerce can chat with the customers, collect feedback in real-time, and answer any questions or clarifications a shopper might have. This feature creates better engagement between the social commerce brand and the customer, missing in a traditional e-commerce setup. Social commerce also works as an efficient customer service channel for brands, and it allows them to solve the consumer’s problem quickly. Moreover, word-of-mouth on social media can greatly help brands build their audience base, which will help in increasing engagement and website traffic.

Increase customer loyalty

Brands promoting their products and services through social commerce are also looking to build a solid relationship with their customers, which will convert them into loyal users and keep the user retention rate higher. Moreover, since the channel facilitates two-way communication and a faster and convenient purchase cycle, shoppers tend to incline more towards the brands operating in the social commerce space and like to repeat their shopping experience with the business, provided the service, and the product was good. Therefore, marketers should be mindful of servicing first-time shoppers the same way they would treat their loyal customers, as both are crucial.

Better SEO Ranking

Apart from helping the businesses with increased transactions and engagement, social commerce can also help the brands improve their search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. As social media increases the traffic on the company’s website through brand-generated content and various listings about the products, it eventually influences the SEO rankings.

Easy to measure performance

For businesses to run any campaign or devise any new marketing strategies to reach out to new users, they need to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. If one cannot comprehend the results, the whole exercise can become futile. It is easier for brands to evaluate the performance of social commerce as most platforms like Facebook or Instagram have in-built metrics for impressions, engagement, and reach, providing a fair idea if the campaign is on the right track. In addition, brand marketers can easily assess the engagement and traffic from social media to the website. Hence, determining the ROI becomes much easier for brands.

Social commerce has provided a new dimension to the online shopping space and will play a crucial role in the uptake of e-commerce in the coming times. For brands, it is important to design their social commerce strategy meticulously to reap the benefits of this channel and reach out to newer consumers across geographies.

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