Social Commerce: How and When to Social Sell
Updated: Dec 21, 2021
Do you know how much time you spend on social media a day? I don’t, but if I have to guess I would say 2-3 hours a day. Yet, when I asked my boyfriend he said 5 hours, which is making me want to really time it out. (And yes, I will put my findings in the comments when completed.)
According to Statista, as of 2019 and 2020, the average daily social media usage worldwide is 145 minutes per day, that's 2 hours and 42 minutes a day.
If this is the case, I hope my boyfriend is incorrect about the amount of time I’m on social media. But, back to the point of this blog.
The amount of time we spend on social media explains 100 percent why businesses are turning to social media to market to their audiences. Taking this one step further - because marketing is just one aspect of the buyer’s journey – what about sales? Can you sell on social media?
Yes, it’s called Social Commerce.
Social commerce is the ability to purchase a product or service naturally from within a social media platform, i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest,or website, i.e. Poshmark, Shopee, etc. Any business that sells a physical product online should leverage social commerce if they are not already. It simply allows you to drive sales and revenue to your business and users are already custom to the purchasing experience and prefer a quick and seamless process within the platform they are on.
Examples of Social Commerce:
Social media checkout capabilities – allows the users the ability to click a product and checkout right from within the social media site.
Social commerce plugin and apps - easy ways of sharing content with other people via social media platforms. Common plugins are Mashshare, Sumo, AddtoAny and WP Social Sharing to name a few.
Shoppable ads – allow businesses to tag products in an Instagram or Snapchat sponsored post creating a more efficient ad-to-purchase experience while allowing the business to collect valuable data on which ads convert immediately.
Chatbot checkout – allows the user to find and purchase a product by chatting with a chatbot within a social platform.
Let me guess, you now want to incorporate social commerce into your marketing and sales plans, but you don’t know where to start. Here are three things to think about when creating a Social Commerce Strategy:
Align the brand experience – before you even start you need to consider your brand experience and target market.
What is your customers normal shopping process? Are they visiting multiple pages on your website. Do they have questions and require more information prior to purchasing? Do they need assistance from a customer service representative prior to purchasing? Do they compare multiple products prior to making a decision?
If so, then your brand experience might not be suited for social commerce. However, if your users have quick sale turnarounds then continue on.
Bottom line, make sure you brand experience is consistent with the users experience that is required for a successful social commerce campaign.
Consider your target market and social commerce platforms – what are your customers social habits, i.e. what sites are they on? Simply put, only focus on the sites your users are on. Just because X Company customers are on Pinterest, and yours are not, does not mean you have to be on Pinterest. Listen to your customers and provide sales assistance to where they go.
Decide which products you want to sell on social media – you don’t have to sell all of your products on social media. In fact, it's better to take the stance of which products are best suited to be sold on social commerce sites.
Focus on the products that have a quick sales decision instead of those that require more time, research and thinking prior to making a purchase.
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