With the apparent importance of social media in our lives, you shouldn't miss out either. Find out how social shopping can help bring your business to greater heights.
Social shopping is basically e-commerce done via social media.
If done correctly, it can help you massively increase sales, widen your customer base, and transform your business into a money-making machine.
It’s a new way of shopping and if you have an online business, you should be aware of it.
In this article, you’ll discover the 5 best social shopping strategies you can use to boost your sales and maximize your revenue.
What Is Social Shopping?
Social media + ecommerce = social shopping.
It’s the online equivalent of going to a mall with your friends and shopping together.
Your social media followers can browse products together, talk about them and even consult with each other if it’s the right fit.
An example of social shopping is a Facebook retail shop page below.
It allows your followers to perform in-app purchases directly on social media, where they feel comfortable. It also has a much shorter customer journey, which greatly outperforms the basic customer journey you are familiar with.
Because of that, it brings lots of benefits to the table that we’ll discuss in the next section.
Why Should Your Brand Include Social Shopping Trends?
Social shopping includes a lot of benefits.
It can help create an easier customer journey, make everything more interactive and lead to more sales.
The top four benefits of social shopping are:
1. It’s More Interactive
Ease of use and user experience is one of the most important things in sales.
In fact, did you know that user experience has a 9.900% return on investment? That means that for every penny you spend, you get $100 back.
That’s the main benefit of social shopping – it’s super interactive and smooth.
You don’t need to get redirected to the shop’s websites or get bombarded by online ads. Instead, you just click on the “Buy Now” button and you’re good to go.
Everything is super smooth and your customers will have a seamless experience.
2. Built-In Social Proof
Your followers on social media trust you.
They are probably following you for a long period of time and they know that you are real, not someone who is trying to steal their money.
But what if a new social media user finds you by your social media ad’s campaign?
They can immediately see the social proof by the reviews, number of followers, and the engagement on your posts.
If you look at the social media profile above, you can immediately see that it’s legit. It has almost 50,000 likes and over 52,000 followers.
If you will go through the engagement on each of their individual posts, you can see the overwhelming responses by their followers.
All of these increases your trust and leads to more sales and conversions.
3. Offers Hyper-Targeted Audience
The best thing about social media networks is that it’s all super-personalized.
If you like sports shoes, you probably follow brands like Nike and Adidas. If you’re into cars, you are most likely to be in the loop of Mercedes, BMW, or Ferrari.
In other words, your audience is your ideal buyer and your content is personalized to them.
When you do so, your chances of making a sale are much higher.
4. Mobile And Social Media Is The Future
The best thing about social shopping is that it’s not going anywhere.
Social media is constantly growing and more and more people are using it. If you look at just Facebook alone, it is used by over 2 billion users.
Furthermore, we spend 3 hours on average a day using social media and 54% of the social media users use it to buy products.
The other thing is that we use mostly mobiles to access social media and purchase.
Mobile traffic is going through the roof and is expected to continue rising in upcoming years, so you can expect even greater results with social shopping.
That is to say, social shopping is not going anywhere, in fact, it’s a rising trend that you should catch early on.
How Do You Use Social Shopping In Your Brand?
We’ll be covering the 7-step process that will prepare you for successful social shopping.
Let’s dive in.
1. Listen And Be Involved
The first step is to listen to your audience and get involved in conversations.
In essence, this step is about finding out what your customers talk about you on social media to better understand how they view your brand.
There are multiple ways you can do that, we’ll be covering the three most common ones.
- Use hashtags
Go to your preferred social media network, and type in “#yourbrand.”
For instance, let’s say you’re on Twitter and your site is PhotoSlurp. All that’s left is to type into Twitter, type #PhotoSlurp and find out what people say about you.
As you can see above, Photoslurp got a lot of mentions that can help it understand how others view it.
- Directly on Google
The easiest way to find brand mentions is to go to Google and type in your brand’s name.
You can also be more specific and add keywords like “helped”, “scam”, “review”. You can see an example of that below.
- Set Up Google Alerts
Google alerts can be another great way to find out about your brand mentions.
You create an alert on Google and it will notify you each time somebody mentions your brand online.
Perhaps, it’s the most reliable option of all.
After you find your preferred way, it’s time to get involved in conversations and start communicating with people online.
2. Build A Social Media Strategy
This step is crucially important and will prepare you for success. It will also save you a lot of time. In fact, every minute spent in planning will save you ten minutes in execution.
We’ll divide this step into four parts.
(i) Determine Your Target Audience
The most important step is knowing who you are selling to.
It will allow you to better personalize your products, make your social media relevant and increase your conversion rate.
We’ll be using Make My Persona from HubSpot for determining your target audience.
It’s a 7-step process where you start by picking the persona’s profile picture and name and finish with the desires, problems, and education.
You can create your persona in a few minutes. After that, you can better personalize your content and maximize the results.
Learn more about how to create a buyer persona in our comprehensive guide.
(ii) Have Goals On What You Plan On Achieving
The second thing you should figure out is the goals you want to hit.
The goals should be laser-focused, meaning you should be as specific as possible. Don’t resort to saying: “I want to make a lot of sales in the future.”
Instead, say something like “I want to make $10,000 by the 3rd Quarter of 2021”
Create SMART goals and achieve them quickly and effectively. It’ll go a long way in making your social shopping strategy successful.
(iii) Publish Attractive Content
You’re done with planning and it’s time for action.
You need to be producing engaging content on a regular basis to be really successful on social media.
Be sure not to be spammy though. Posting 1 – 2 times a day is enough on most platforms.
However, the most important thing isn’t quantity.
Instead, you should focus on the quality and optimize your content for perfection with BiQ’s Content Intelligence. It’s as simple as ABC. Just head to Content Intelligence, type your target keywords and/or page URL to begin.
A text editor will open and you can start writing your content.
As you write, the content gets analyzed and you can make necessary changes and make it as SEO-friendly as possible.
Content is king and producing high-quality content should be your number one priority. Use Content Intelligent to draft, edit and optimize your content while helping you achieve that goal!
(iv) Track and measure results
What you can measure, you can improve.
Tracking your social shopping growth, revenue and overall success make out a crucial part of every social media strategy.
You can easily do that with analytics that each social media features.
Remember, it’s the only way to improve and be better.
Without measuring your success, you won’t be able to spot errors costing you money and won’t find a way to improve the effectiveness of your strategy.
3. Improve Customer Support
Customer support is one of the most important aspects if you want to excel in any business.
In fact, did you know that the most common reason why customers stop engaging with a company with poor customer service?
Great customer service will go a long way to make your business more successful.
One way to improve customer service is to use chatbots for FAQs to reduce wait times.
This is because we live in a fast-paced era and we want to have everything now. Chatbots can help you with instant answers to customers’ questions.
Be sure to perfect customer service to maximize your revenue and beat your competitors. It’s the only way to a successful social shopping strategy.
4. Encourage Reviews
Encourage customers to leave a review on your social media profile. Whether you believe it or not, this can have an immense impact on your social shopping.
This is mostly because we trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Fortunately, getting reviews from your customers is easier than you think. All you have to do is to ask them to do so and make it as easy as possible.
Ideally, you’d do that after purchase and give them something in return such as discounts or credits. Just like that, you can get more reviews, improve credibility and get more sales.
5. Make It Simple To Purchase
Confusion kills sales.
If you’re looking to make your social shopping strategy successful, you must make it as simple as possible for people to purchase.
A great example of that is including a CTA in emails.
The difference between emails with no CTA and one CTA was 1617% in sales and 371% in click-through rate.
The reason behind this?
Including a CTA in emails made it easier for people to purchase. You should do the same for your business too.
Simplify the whole customer journey and encourage consumers to buy.
Social Shopping Apps To Know
Now that you know exactly how to create a successful social shopping experience, it’s the best time to start introducing some of the top social shopping apps.
These are basically the platforms you should start implementing social shopping on.
1. Instagram Shop
Today, 60% of people discover new products on Instagram. Because of this stat alone, your products should definitely be among them. Instagram is a highly visual platform and you can present your product creatively.
You can also post Instagram pictures and include your products there.
To get your Instagram Shop set up, you just need to be living in an eligible region and have an Instagram Business account that’s connected to Facebook.
A gentle reminder, you can sell only products, not services though.
2. Facebook Shop
Facebook is the most popular social media platform and setting up a social shopping experience for your followers there can be a great idea.
For starters, Facebook shops are customizable.
You can customize the fonts, features, and images to make everything suit your brand. You can also import an existing catalog of products from your website and have everything set up in a matter of minutes.
Pinterest can be used for social shopping but does not strictly offer your usual social commerce.
You can still create pins and feature items you can buy, but there is no option for in-app purchases and if you want to buy a product, you’ll be redirected to an external site.
So is this platform worth trying out?
Definitely. Because 89% of Pinterest users are there for shopping inspiration and purchase.
Snapchat offers a native store experience (powered by Shopify) that enables users to browse and purchase right from the app.
However, it’s limited to only a few influencers who can sell on this platform.
Snapchat social shopping is expected to grow though and can be a great place to sell your goods and increase revenues.
5. TikTok (Coming Soon)
TikTok has plans to break into social commerce, taking aim at Facebook’s social media shopping tools.
It has plans to launch a shopping capability where users can purchase products directly on the app after watching TikTokers showcase them
However, at the time of writing, this feature is not available yet.
Without a doubt, social shopping will see a massive surge in 2021 and beyond.
Now is always the best time to start dominating the market and get all the benefits of social shopping.
As you’ve discovered everything there is about social shopping, do you plan on starting your social commerce in any of the platforms above?
Let me know in the comments below right now.