Social media is changing how we communicate, learn, and now shop. The consumer shopping experience is slowly shifting from e-commerce to social commerce. So, what does this mean for the future of commerce in general? A recent study conducted by Sprout Social indicates that social shopping is not slowing down any time soon if anything it is increasing. Influencing Consumer Behaviors Consumers enjoy making purchases best when they feel a sense of validation. This is why the majority of consumers do their research and familiarize themselves with a brand before purchasing a product. In fact, 80% of consumers say that brand familiarity makes them more likely to buy on social (Sprout Social, 2021). Is the brand well known? Does the product have valuable reviews from previous buyers or influencers you trust? These are the types of questions consumers ask themselves during their shopping journey. Finding the perfect purchase isn’t instantaneous. There are a lot of factors that impact the buyer’s journey. How a brand presents their content is important! Consumers gravitate towards high-quality photo and video content that they can relate to. For example, a clothing ad that utilizes models may not get as much engagement as an ad that utilizes real people. Consumers are looking for a realistic idea of how the product wears or looks on all body types because many people cannot relate to the “perfect” image models provide. Get Noticed Through Social Commerce There are many ways to gain the buyer’s attention through social commerce. Products can be discovered through in-feed ads, discovery pages, story ads, live streams, hashtags, and posts from influencers and creators. The most common method of finding new products to purchase through social commerce were in-feed ads and closely followed by story ads and discovery pages (Sprout Social, 2021). E.L.F. Cosmetics has done an outstanding job leveraging TikTok to promote their products. E.L.F. worked with Movers and Shakers to create an original song and created a hashtag #eyeslipsface for creators to use while creating videos with their products. The most common popular product that was used with the hashtag was their poreless putty primer which claims to give a blurring airbrush effect. The campaign took off and hit over 1 billion views in six days and generated over 5 million user-created videos. This hashtag also curated over 5 million views. The campaign became the first piece of organic content that made it to TikTok’s #1 trends (Campaign Live, 2020). The Future of Social Commerce Social commerce has just begun to blossom into a successful component of social media marketing. As more and more consumers rely on social media content for reviews and tutorials, of a product or service, the future of social commerce is further solidified. While it has rapidly grown in popularity, the need for e-commerce options as well still exist. Providing the opportunity for consumers to purchase directly through social media, as well as navigating them to an e-commerce website is extremely important. This ensures that you are not alienating an entire subset of your audience that may not trust the nuances of the social commerce world. Social commerce is only going to become increasingly popular as more and more consumers find value in it. As a result, brands will need to begin incorporating social commerce in their marketing strategies to ensure they are meeting consumers where they are.
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