Now is the time to get serious about social commerce

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Start selling on your social networks

The number of Indian social media users is expected to touch 400.3 million this year. If you haven’t made plans to sell your products on social media, your online retail business could be losing tons of sales opportunities. Enter social commerce, which can help you efficiently target your audience on social media to grow your ecommerce sales.

Before we explore the best platforms for social ecommerce, let’s discuss the context first.

What is social commerce?

Social commerce is the crossover of social media and sales.

Social commerce is when people buy products within a social media platform.

Here’s how it works: You build an online store and add your products to Facebook, Instagram, or another social media site that supports sales.

Those on that network who see your products can buy them without having to visit your online store — or even leave their social feeds. The entire buying experience often remains on the social media platform.

Editor’s note: GoDaddy’s do-it-yourself Online Store builder makes it easy to sell on your Facebook Business page. The product inventory listed on Facebook syncs with your Online Store, so you can avoid overselling — while tracking everything from your GoDaddy dashboard.

Best networks for social commerce

Man pointing to his mobile phoneHere are the top social platforms you should focus on to grow your online sales.

1- Facebook Shops

Blue Facebook logo’

Facebook Shops makes it easy to set up an online store for your customers on Facebook. You can import the product catalog from your website and choose the products to feature here.

You can also customize the look and feel of your shop.

In your Facebook Shop, you can add a cover photo to showcase your new products, latest deals, or important updates as you want. And you will be able to change accent colors to match your brand colors.

Your prospects can find your shop through their feeds, Stories, or the ads you run.

And from there, they can browse their options and place an order as they do on an ecommerce website.

In case of queries, your customers can connect with you through Messenger and WhatsApp. You can answer questions through Instagram Messaging too.

2- Instagram Shops

Similar to Facebook Shops, Instagram Shops offers seamless product browsing and shopping, right from within Instagram.

Setting up a shop on Instagram is hassle-free. But there is a catch: you’ll need to set up a shop on Facebook first. Your Instagram shop will import the products and other relevant details from the catalog of your Facebook Shop.

Instagram Shops also allows you to customize your virtual storefront and pick products that will be of interest to your target market. And once you set up your shop, Instagram users can find it through your:

  • Posts
  • Stories
  • Any ads you run

Then, they can browse your collection, check product details, and buy without leaving Instagram.

Both Facebook and Instagram Shops are free to set up.

 

If you decide your customers spend time on Facebook or Instagram, you can use them to streamline the shopping experience for them.

3- Pinterest

Pinterest allows you to create buyable Product Pins for your shop on Pinterest. These are Rich Pins that pull and display up-to-date product details right from your online store. These pins are free to create and use.

Close-up of a Pinterest category

Rich Pins on Pinterest provide information like:

  • Name of product
  • Description
  • Price of your products
  • Product photo

Your customers will get all the information needed within Pinterest, and they can buy the product right there as well.

You can also upload your product catalog to your Pinterest account using the Catalogs feature. It allows you to group the Product Pins into different categories, so your customers can easily find what they most want. Once you’ve set up your shop, users can find your products through relevant Boards and similar Pins.

You can also create a “Shop the Look” Pins on Pinterest. These Pins let you add links to several products in a single Pin.

4- Snapchat

Snapchat makes it possible to create Dynamic Product Ads by uploading your product catalog. The Catalogs feature of Snapchat will contain all the relevant information for the products in your online store. You can also use them to generate targeted ads.

Dynamic Product Ads are free and can bring many potential customers to your online store.

With Snapchat Dynamic Ads, you can pick up customized ad formats. Snapchat will then use your product catalog to present personalized ads to users based on their engagement.

Tips to ace social commerce

You now know how social media channels are rapidly enabling social commerce on their platforms. Here are six tips for launching an effective social commerce strategy:

  • Integrate social commerce into your existing ecommerce store. It’s easier if you sync your social media shop to changes and updates in your product catalog.
  • Focus on those products that your target audience will like, and showcase only those instead of your full inventory.
  • Promote low-cost products to arouse impulse purchases, as most people don’t go on social media to buy something.
  • Collect email addresses of those who purchase. You can use them to build a relationship and generate more sales through email marketing.
  • Engage your audience on the platforms where you have set up your shop. It will help you gather user-generated content and reviews to boost sales.
  • Partner with influencers to promote your products. Influencers can significantly expand the awareness of your business.

If you still think social commerce might not be worth the effort, keep reading to learn what you could gain.

Why you should not ignore social commerce

Cardboard shipping box sitting on wood floor

As mentioned earlier, people spend a significant amount of time on social media websites. Those are the sites where they socialize with friends and discover new products. They also follow influencers and connect with brands on social media.

Why not reach your target customers while they’re scrolling through their feeds?

Selling products on social networks creates a seamless experience for your customers. They can explore product details without leaving the site and buy their preferred products with fewer clicks.

Social commerce also allows them to check out faster without having to create new accounts.

A smoother shopping experience will also result in higher sales.

Social ecommerce could be your chance to grow

Social media is a highly effective tool to grow the sales for any retail business because people the world over spend so much time there. No wonder businesses are increasingly adopting social ecommerce to succeed.

The steps are to:

  • Discover which social media platform(s) your most likely buyers prefer to hang out on
  • Make a plan to start listing products for sale on that network(s)

If you don’t get serious about social commerce, you will miss out on growth opportunities. What do you have to lose?