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Social commerce: A Guide to Selling Through Social Media

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Looking for an innovative, modern way to reach your customers online? Or noticed a drop in conversions and looking to improve your marketing strategy? 88% of 13 to 34-year-olds are using social media to find new products online, meaning there is a new demand for in-app purchasing and social-based ecommerce. If your customers are looking for a product through socials, why not enable them to complete that transaction too?

What is social commerce?

Social commerce utilises social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok to market and sell products. This means that customers can complete their purchases without having to leave the app or tab, resulting in an efficient purchasing process that is straightforward and direct. From the customer’s point of view, social commerce enables them to discover brands, research products, interact with customer support, find reviews and feedback and pay on the same platform that they’re already active on. 

Social commerce vs ecommerce

Although social commerce is considered a form of ecommerce, there are several features which make them different to one another. One of the major differences is the way the store is built. A traditional ecommerce store will be available through a website or branded app using platforms such as WordPress or Shopify whereas social commerce takes place exclusively on social media apps and can be done entirely from a mobile device. 

Have a read through our guide on Shopify to find out more. 

Social commerce is also super easy to set up and doesn’t require a business to already have a website, taking away that added expense and labour of running and maintaining a site. 

Interested in setting up an ecommerce store or need someone to design your website? Get in touch with the Imaginaire team and reach your customers in a modern, efficient way.

Benefits of social commerce

From expanding your customer base to analysing more specific data, social commerce offers an abundance of benefits. When thinking about implementing a social commerce channel, it’s important to consider how this will impact your business and what benefits you should be focusing on. Here are some of the key benefits that social commerce has to offer.

Increased reach

Considering how popular social media is and how easy it is to access, it’s a great way to boost sales and reach a larger target audience. Not only is social media a worldwide platform which can be viewed by billions of people across the globe, it also comes with several features which help boost posts and get products noticed but a wider demographic. 

Simple checkout process

When operating through traditional ecommerce, customers are typically required to create an account, input their data and choose payment methods, however, social commerce brings complete simplicity when it comes to the buying process. Because customers will already be logged into their accounts, there is no need for more information and all the data work is already done. Although they might still need to enter payment details, there is also now the option of digital payments such as Apple Pay. 

Behavioural insights

Social media platforms such as Instagram and Tiktok come with a whole new opportunity when it comes to collecting customer data and insights. When tracking your campaign or account, you can easily use the insight tools to find out information such as behaviours, habits, personal information, regional preferences and the age of a customer. By finding out these details, you can adapt your strategies and find ways to appeal to your ideal customer. 

Customer engagement

Social media is all about being social, so when it comes to customer engagement, being online is ideal for retaining customers and building relationships. Social media is one of the easiest ways to stay connected with your customers and also for customers to engage directly and indirectly with your brand. 

Customers can, share and comment on posts, send them to friends, participate in polls and interactive stories, tag you in their own content and create UGC content. Future customers may also find reviews, feedback and queries to help them along their customer journey.

The most popular platforms to use for social commerce

Instagram: In September 2022, Instagram had around 32 million users in the UK, so it’s a must-have channel for businesses looking to get involved in social media marketing.

Facebook: This is the most popular social media network due to the force of numbers.

Tiktok: Tiktoks come with several innovative features which can help to promote brands. These include tags, shopping features, live streams and ads. 

Twitter: The network is experimenting with social commerce features which may come to light in the near future.

Snapchat: Although it doesnt have a social commerce reputation, it does include things such as branded filters and shoppable ads.

Ecommerce solutions by Imaginaire

Choose Imaginaire as your ecommerce website design agency and gain access to our team of specialist designers, developers and digital marketers. We have over 15 years of experience when it comes to ecommerce, we know what works. You’ll benefit from an agency that doesn’t just think about design when it comes to your store, we also think about how to build it effectively to maximise its SEO potential.

Get in touch with Imaginaire, the human ecommerce agency to upgrade and market your online store

Annie is imaginaire's Digital Marketing Executive and covers topics such as social media, web design, SEO and content.

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