If you use any social media platforms – Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc. – you likely know that people are using them to sell items they no longer want or need, from clothing to cars to landscaping materials to furniture to more. Given that there are nearly 5 billion people using social media, it is no surprise there was this progression.
Describing Social Commerce
Social commerce is simply using social media platforms to sell goods and services. Sellers can be individuals or companies.
Although originally conceived to share pics, memes, and photos, a variety of platforms have commerce features built in. That includes TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest.
According to Statista, global sales using social media are estimated to be $1.3 trillion in 2023. This is expected to rise to nearly $3 trillion by 2026. Not only are users selling goods and services already but some generations, millennials and Gen Z especially, are using social media platforms as search engines for items they are looking to buy.
Social media selling is incredibly popular in Asian countries. Estimates show that nearly 90% of people in Thailand have purchased from a social media platform. In the UK, 54% of buyers have made a purchase from TikTok and in the United States, 36% of social media users are expected to buy from social media, with these stats also coming from Statista.
The Social Media Shopping Experience
If you’ve spent any amount of time on platforms like TikTok or Instagram, you’ve very likely seen a celebrity of some type, whether an actor or an athlete, promoting a certain product and encouraging you to buy it. In addition, you’ve probably seen digital stores and products on marketplaces and many social media platforms.
Commerce in a Changing World
The pandemic of 2020 changed the way people around the world interact with their environment and how they achieve tasks, and shopping is no exception. It was during this time that influencers discovered live streams, which resulted in their followers shopping for the products they endorse or recommend. This is called entertainment selling and continues to trend throughout the world.
The idea behind entertainment selling is that social media users are exposed to short-form videos that pop up in their feeds or “suggested for you” sections on their social media platforms. The theory is that this targeted marketing promotes faster buying decisions. And, these in-feed videos are targeted to their audience, using machine learning algorithms, so much of the time the products and/or services are relevant to you, increasing the chances that you’ll buy.
Many social media platforms have a “store” tab somewhere that takes you directly to the shopping portion of the application. For example, it’s called “Marketplace” on Facebook and allows you to search for specific items or simply browse the goods and services placed for sale by other users. Another example is the product showcase tab on TikTok that lets users see videos and live streams that promote specific items.
What to Know About Selling on Social Media?
Social media sales are a way for legacy and new businesses to get a brand out there and increase their customer base.
If you are considering expanding your operations to include selling on social media, there are some things to consider.
- Make it easy for buyers. This is your chance to make a good first impression and interact with potential buyers, so make it count. Once they’ve found you, take this chance to send them to your website or storefront so they can purchase your products or services. With a few extra steps, you can make it easy for them to become a customer.
- Build a customer base and a community – you’re putting your brand on social media to reach more potential customers. You want enough interactions to be front of mind, but not too many to cause irritation. Selling on social media is a two-for-one because you engage with your customers and sell to them in the same place.
Statistically, social media is currently one of the best ways to increase brand awareness. Consider that 79 percent of TikTok users discovered new brands on the app, according to a TikTok user survey.
It takes time to build a social media presence and get your goods/services noticed. But, thanks to Fameswap, you can buy established accounts that may contain your target audience.
- Use customer data to improve performance. Most brands make use of social media as a part of their sales and marketing strategy. It turns out that brands that operate on multiple social media platforms are much more successful. This is by as much as 494% higher, according to some estimates.
By analyzing social media data, you can identify which products to showcase and also how to encourage buyers to choose your products over the competition. by using direct messages, targeted ads, or live streams.
While there’s definite value to social commerce, it’s best to fully understand how it works to determine if it’s the right choice for your brand. Success depends on finding the right platform with the target audience for your products/services. Success won’t occur for every brand in this way. You’ve got to find the platform where your potential buyers are spending their time.
Whatever platform you choose, remember that you will still face some of the same challenges as opening any other storefront or marketplace. This includes:
- aggregating orders that might happen in a number of different channels,
- where to base fulfillment operations
- how to integrate legacy and digital operations.
A tech expert can help bridge the gap between your traditional methods of selling and your social media selling platforms.
Selling on social media is an ideal complement to your website. Plus, it opens new channels for buyers to find you and your brand.
Marketing and selling goods on social media makes sense for many brands and businesses. It creates awareness of what you have to offer, can drive your sales, and increase your customer base. By watching trends, you can improve your marketing to drive further sales and find new customers.
Setting up a shop takes a bit of time and effort at the front end. But, it pays off in dividends once your shop opens. Now is the time to get on board the trend.