Social Media: The New Ecommerce Powerhouse
Social media is a place to share photos, catch up with old friends, and shop. Selling and buying goods on social media isn’t exactly new – Facebook’s Marketplace pioneered the buying and selling of products between users many years ago. Small boutiques and collectors continued the trend on Instagram through unofficial systems like commenting to “claim” a product and so on.
Social media platforms have caught on and developed add-ons to their platforms to facilitate large-scale selling for companies across the globe. This new form of e-commerce exploded recently with Instagram introducing new extensions for businesses to target and directly route consumers to their website to purchase directly from the platform.
And this year TikTok launched the TikTok Shop, where brands can showcase their products to TikTok users. Additionally, TikTok users can sign up as affiliates and earn a percentage of sales for products they purchase and promote via the video platform. This easy way to leverage organic content and provide incentives to content creators exploded in popularity, with hundreds of thousands of users signing up to become affiliates in just a month.
Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok all use an in-app checkout integration that allows users to discover and purchase goods directly from the application – without ever needing to switch to a browser or another application.
Not all social media platforms offer the likelihood of converting sales, however. TikTok, which is the most recent to adopt the trend, is boasting the most powerful conversion rate with users being 1.4x more likely to make an in-app purchase than other platforms. Furthermore, these same users are 2.5x more likely to develop content reviewing and promoting their purchase – extending the reach of the brand’s audience and supplying credibility to the product.
While user-generated content is priceless literally, and figuratively, by utilizing these platforms, brands also have access to other forms of promoting their products. For instance, Livestream capabilities give brands the opportunity to actively engage an audience through live presentations showcasing their goods or services with direct calls to action to buy.
Livestreams allow brands to develop the immersive experience so many shoppers crave, without ever needing to visit brick-and-mortar establishments. Tack on the fact that they also encourage engagement from your target audience, and it’s a win-win scenario for any business in the e-commerce ecosystem.
As you look to expand your business, consider taking advantage of the social platforms you already use. E-commerce is highly competitive, but social platforms offer a large audience with a willingness to quickly make purchasing decisions. With nearly 70% of TikTok and Instagram users willing to make in-app purchases, there has never been a better time to embrace social media.