If you've been on social media and scrolled through your various feeds, you have most likely seen social commerce at work. Social commerce is when brands advertise and promote their products through social media platforms. For example, if you follow any celebrities or influencers, you've probably seen them promote a brand's product, typically one they use.
Social commerce is the newest branch of traditional eCommerce. Rather than relying exclusively on advertising, search engines, or their website, social commerce brings the brand's product directly to the social media user's feed. Below, we'll dive more into social commerce and what you need to know about it.
Understanding Social Commerce
Social commerce is buying and selling products or services on social media or networking platforms. Typically, it's common on platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Social commerce allows customers to purchase their products while browsing social media apps.
Here are some statistics provided by the consulting firm Accenture to help you understand just how quickly social commerce is growing:
- By 2025, social commerce expects to grow to $1.2 trillion.
- Social commerce is growing three times faster than traditional commerce.
- Roughly 62% of its growth is from millennials and Gen-Z.
Social Commerce vs. eCommerce
Now, it's easy to mix up social commerce and eCommerce; however, social commerce is simply a part of eCommerce. eCommerce encompasses all online shopping. Before social commerce, companies would promote and sell their products online. Now, companies are bringing their products to social media spaces, often encouraging customers to interact with their platforms. In addition, companies can hire influencers and celebrities to help promote their product to that person's audience.
As consumers shift their shopping habits from online to social media apps, we'll eventually see a more significant portion of eCommerce sales being social commerce. There are multiple reasons to help explain this rise:
Audience and Reach
Social commerce allows companies to cater to specific audiences and expand their reach. Traditionally, online advertising utilizes the user's data to show products you might have seen on your phone or on different websites. Likewise, television ads typically cater to the shows or channels' demographics. However, with social commerce, companies can target specific audiences.
For example, suppose a user follows a beauty influencer. In that case, beauty companies can pay influencers to promote their product on their platform. In addition, companies often allow influencers to have a promo code to generate sales further.
Social commerce blurs the line between buyers and sellers. It has enabled companies to connect with their customer directly, while traditional advertising lacks this connection. For example, brands can easily hire influencers, celebrities, or anyone with a large following to promote their product. Typically, this results in posts or videos that seem genuine.
Change in Ad Space
Social commerce has changed the game for ad space. Usually, a user will hit a wall of ads on YouTube or any streaming platform that they'll try to skip or ignore as they look at their phone. Essentially, people don't enjoy watching ads. Social commerce has made it so that ads aren't as intrusive because they're something the user doesn't mind seeing.
For example, on TikTok, you can find comedy accounts that act out funny skits. Most of these accounts partner with brands and incorporate branded products into their funny videos. So, instead of scrolling past the video, a user might watch it and possibly get a laugh or two out of it.
Ads Are Everywhere
With the rise of social commerce, ads are inescapable while browsing any social media platform. Users can scroll for a few moments and be hit by an ad or two. In addition, users may not even be aware that what they saw was an ad. Typically, this increases exposure while changing and commodifying the social media space.
Where to Shop
You can find a place to shop on any social media platform. For example, Facebook has Facebook Shops, while Instagram has a Shop tab. In addition, you'll most likely find links and promotions on your favorite's social media feed that make shopping easy.
Social media has changed our lives in countless ways. So as companies note the limitless benefits of promoting and selling on social media platforms, the rise in social commerce will come as no surprise.