The American consulting company Grand View Research has conducted research according to which the global social commerce market will grow to $3369.8 billion by 2028, i.e. per year the growth will be 28.4%.
This is due to a sharp increase in the use of social media due to the coronavirus pandemic. Users are looking for new platforms for purchasing goods, which demonstrates the constant demand for the market. The forced restrictions imposed in almost every country in the world have developed a new online shopping habit that continues unabated even as the pace of life resumes.
The field of online commerce is constantly changing, which leads to the emergence of new tools, one of which is social commerce. Let’s figure out what it is and what new trends deserve attention in 2021.
What is Social Commerce?
The idea behind social commerce is to sell products exclusively through social media platforms, bypassing individual sites. In practice, brands either only advertise their products on Instagram, Facebook, etc., continuing to sell them on websites, or manage to sell them on all resources.
The main advantage of social commerce is strong marketing tools that are easier to implement on social media.
Differences between social and e-commerce
Social commerce is an offshoot of e-commerce. The latter implies trading on a separate site. Today, both concepts are intertwined and social commerce assigns sales on the platform of an online store if a user went to it via an advertising link in social networks.
User-generated content is good advertising
In social networks, users not only communicate on personal topics but also share their experiences in purchasing goods and services. Some brands do not even have to resort to active advertising, it is enough to launch word of mouth or use the services of a media personality who will tell the whole world about the purchase.
Many people use non-standard advertising, shooting entire videos and streams, where you can evaluate not only the product but also the artistic overtones.
Statistics show that users are tired of traditional ads, they scroll through them, block them, or simply do not pay attention.
User-Generated Content (UGC) has become a great tool for increasing conversions. It allows people to perceive the brand as useful to them and makes them want to share it with a friend. This increases the reach and awareness of the company. Therefore, it is enough to choose the right strategy for your brand and you can get a new stream of customers.
Apps and chatbots
Communication is the main component of social networks. Applications WhatsApp, Viber, etc. allow you to talk and see the interlocutor in real-time, which made them popular all over the world. This has led to the popularization of doing sales on these platforms.
It is economically unprofitable to hire individuals for constant correspondence and answers to questions about goods for large brands + if the human factor plays with a large flow of orders, and an employee misses a message from a potential buyer, this can lead to a loss of sale and general interest in the brand.
Chatbots based on artificial intelligence has become a rational solution. They not only program standard questions and answers, today they can conduct whole meaningful dialogues.
Using AI, ML, and AR
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Augmented Reality (AR) are improving every day and are gradually being introduced into social commerce. In addition to AI-based chatbots, AR is now available on Instagram with the ability to change your environment on the smartphone screen, and in TikTok, you can use it to create videos. Also, using virtual reality, you can add new branded items to your interior. To do this, just turn on the camera on your smartphone. On the basis of artificial intelligence, automated cash registers have been created. Jumper.ai was created for Facebook. It can also be used to communicate with customers.
Millennials and Gen Z users are more comfortable using voice search instead of typed ones. Mobile software is advancing voice technology to facilitate and automate processes. Brands should also take advantage of voice technology and embed it in all areas of interaction.
Real-time streaming has become a lifesaver for educational institutions, coaches, and companies during the pandemic. Zoom-like applications reached huge audiences thanks to the increase in network bandwidth. With their help, it is also easy to promote services and goods, focusing on different flows of buyers. To do this, it is enough to implement social advertising with a link to a store or a page on a social network.
The success of low-cost products
People are eager to buy inexpensive goods because first, they want to evaluate the quality of the products provided and be afraid to take risks. When shopping offline, you can evaluate all the advantages and disadvantages of the product on the spot, while online this opportunity is missed, which reduces the initial trust of customers.
According to analytics from Digital Commerce 360, in 2021, instant messengers and social networks will be replenished by retailers focused only on social commerce.
Rob Garf, vice president of industry research for Salesforce, said the streams offered have become a “shopping mall” for Internet users online.
Indeed, on a subconscious level, it is easier for people to shop online: it is safe, easy, and takes an order of magnitude less time than shopping trips.
Social commerce is taking on a huge role in the lives of buyers and sellers today. For both groups, the privilege of using social media as trading and advertising platform is undeniable. It is convenient for brands to set up marketing tools in them and look for an interested audience, and the buyer is comfortable making purchases without leaving home and using the advice of friends and bloggers.
Thanks to the introduction of new tools, social commerce is becoming more and more interesting, which in the near future will become even more in demand among all categories of the population.
About the author
Amber Martin is an experienced freelance writer. She specializes in quality content related to marketing for the audience. When she is not writing, you can find her in the kitchen as she is an excellent cook.