Shoppable Social Media is the Future of E-commerce
The e-commerce industry is one of the fastest-growing marketplaces, bustling with new funding and M&A news. Social Commerce is enabling e-commerce businesses to make meaningful connections with consumers. Businesses are finding it extremely difficult to stay on top of e-commerce trends, and the kind of impact these trends have on customer behavior, social media communication, and branding. Customers, in particular, are attracted to user-generated content, especially Influencers and video blogging that have been co-created with specific brands and products in mind. According to BigCommerce, customers respond to video.
According to a recent report, the US retail social commerce sales will grow by nearly 35 percent, raking in $36.09 billion in sales. This represents 4.3% of all retail e-commerce sales.
Who would have thought one year ago that popular high-street stores would now be closing their doors for good? Or, that some of the country’s biggest brands would decide to focus solely on e-commerce?
Well, neither did we. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, that is exactly what has happened for many businesses, particularly within the fashion industry.
Now, we are living in a world completely dominated by social media and e-commerce, but what exactly does the future hold?
Here, we speak to Amelia Neate, Senior Manager at influencer marketing agency, Influencer Matchmaker, where she shares her predictions for the future of shoppable social media and social commerce.
The Rise of E-commerce
As we have seen throughout the last 12 months or so, there has been a huge influx in the number of e-commerce businesses coming to the forefront of their respective industries. And this probably wouldn’t have happened without Covid-19. In fact, it definitely wouldn’t have.
Extended use of Voice, AR VR and Live Streaming videos have put e-commerce businesses in a commanding position.
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have had a tremendous impact on several industries and sectors, many of which have been negative. However, it has accelerated the growth of e-commerce by approximately four to six years.
And, following the closure of numerous brands within Arcadia Group and physical stores in the form of Debenhams, it is proof that brands must ensure they stay relevant and adapt to the ever-changing needs of their consumers.
Social Commerce: Why Is It So Important?
Not only has e-commerce taken a front seat recently, but we have now welcomed a new industry trend aboard. A similar concept to e-commerce, social commerce consists of the buying and selling of a product or service within a social media platform.
With the number of social media users continuing to rise, and with 53 million active social media users in the UK alone, it is no surprise that brands and businesses have implemented a brand-new strategy to help boost sales.
And, with 75% of businesses intending to dedicate an entire budget to influencer marketing throughout 2021, it makes perfect sense for them to be targeting their consumers more directly – which is exactly what social commerce does.
Social commerce was well on its way to success in 2019, way before the pandemic had even hit, having generated an impressive $22 billion in the US alone. Social media is no longer simply a place to be confronted with tailored and personalized ads, but is a destination to shop and make purchases, too.
Currently, Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) have a shoppable feature within their apps. This allows brands, businesses, and anyone else with a business account to link directly to a product within their image, taking consumers straight to the product page of their website.
What’s more, they are able to do all of that without even leaving the app they were originally on! Brands such as Zara and John Lewis are just two of the huge names that are utilizing the apps and their new shoppable features.
In doing so, this allows consumers to shop and purchase products without having to sacrifice their time on social media.
We are all familiar with the likes of Instagram Stories and their popular swipe-up links. Well, this is taking it just that little bit further, and I don’t think it is going to stop there.
The Future of Social Commerce
Shoppable social media is only going to become more widely used, and before we know it, we will be able to purchase an item with just one click – making it even more streamlined than it is currently.
With features such as IGTV, Guides and Reels becoming increasingly popular on Instagram, it won’t be long before we are replacing hyperlinks with direct purchase links here, too.
It comes as no surprise that currently, video is the preferred way to consume content, so just how long will it be until such features are integrated into the likes of YouTube and TikTok?
My thoughts? It will happen sooner than we think.
Brands are continuing to steer away from traditional marketing methods and are working hard to build relationships with social media influencers to focus their budgets and campaigns on influencer marketing.
This is just the beginning for shoppable content and social commerce, and I for one, can’t wait to see where it takes us.