There is a new way of shopping that is spreading rapidly around the world, creating new opportunities to push sales and boost e-commerce. The trend, already established in countries such as China and the US, is also growing in Italy. Let’s talk about Social Commerce: what does it consist of?
The “virtual marketplaces” that we inhabit every day and in which we are already accustomed to interacting, sharing and developing friendships are evolving and becoming real places of purchase. We can imagine them as large virtual shopping malls where we can shop together with friends and be advised in real time by experts.
What is Social Commerce?
Social commerce is the ability to make a purchase directly from major social platforms. It is a natural evolution of online purchasing and has as its primary condition the non-interruption of the Customer Journey within Social Networks.
The user, without leaving the channel, has the opportunity to finalize a purchase quickly and easily. Just think of Facebook’s Shop, which allows companies to create their own product catalog, manage orders, and thanks to Messenger offers the ability to interact with consumers (both pre-purchase and post-purchase). Or, Instagram Shopping, whereby users have the ability to tap images and stories to view featured products and land directly on the product page.
In addition, META is looking to give another boost to its eCommerce ambitions by launching payments between users and businesses within Messenger chat, providing another way to facilitate transactions in its apps.
YouTube has partnered with Shopify, and through YouTube Shopping, Shopify merchants have the ability to sell their full range of products in live streaming, within videos and through the store tab.
As we can see some of the major Social Networks, such as. Facebook, Instagram e Pinterest – which introduced shoppable Pins in 2015-already have ways within their platforms to encourage in-app shopping, and other platforms, such as TikTok and YouTube, are enhancing these features to incentivize online purchases on their channel.
Today, however, Social Commerce is no longer limited to just in-app purchases, but is focused on theuser experience.
Why Social Commerce is the future of online shopping?
Numerous reports highlight how users are oriented toward mobile shopping and how users in recent years, also driven by the pandemic period, have adopted Social Commerce-oriented behaviors, such as discovering, purchasing, and finding support directly from social apps.
According to NielsenIQ Global online trading market study data, purchases via social networks are on the rise, with the 60 percent of online consumers who say they made at least one purchase via a social platform in 2020. While a study by Accenture, estimates that by 2025, social commerce will have more than doubled to a $1.2 trillion market worldwide.
Today’s consumers are mostly composed of millennials and Gen Z, the so-called “digital natives,” people who have been accustomed to using digital devices since childhood and have grown up hand in hand with the development of major social platforms.
Social Shopping then becomes part of their daily digital routine. In fact, it guarantees the user a smooth and seamless, easy and convenient path to purchase, where in just a few clicks one can buy without making registrations, having to type in login passwords or remember credit card details.
The importance of Social Commerce
Social Commerce allows consumers to be intercepted in a space they are familiar with and is a valuable online sales boosting tool that integrates seamlessly into marketing strategies. In fact, the customer journey is facilitated by social media stores, which reduce friction in the process from product/service discovery to purchase.
The community can, through the initiatives that can be put in place, finalize purchases with one click, then quickly. In addition, Social Commerce makes it possible to recover the social and collective component of “shopping,” offering the possibility of sharing with friends and/or followers one’s moment of purchase, letting them advise and interact directly with the brand… Just as one would do in a physical store!
Live streaming purchases, already widely in use in China, are a prime example of this phenomenon.
In summary, the looming scenario shows brands an opportunity not to be missed, both for the expected revenue at the commercial level and for the great communication possibilities that this mode of shopping makes available.