Social Shopping: What Is It and How to Use It?

AMZ Seller Financing   •   June 3, 2019

Shopping with Friends

Relationships and social interactions play a crucial role in our lives. They can also dramatically impact our buying decisions. In fact, 92% of shoppers across 58 countries trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising.

However, nowadays a great deal of shopping takes place online. Approximately 2 billion people worldwide purchase goods online. This number has been steadily growing over the past years and is estimated to continue doing so at the same rate.

In addition to that, mobile commerce or m-commerce is growing at a rapid rate. In 2017, nearly 35% of all e-commerce retail sales were through mobile devices. This number is estimated to grow too.

There is no doubt that e-commerce and m-commerce are here to stay.

What does that mean for you as an e-commerce store owner? How can you take advantage of the importance of relationships and maximize the profits of your business?

What Is Social Shopping?

Social shopping, also known as social commerce, is an e-commerce methodology. It enables buyers to share their shopping experience with their social network.

Social shopping facilitates the process of buying through social media channels as well as asking for advice, recommendations, and clarifications through social media posts. By combining shopping experience with social media, social shopping aims to boost e-commerce sales through recommendations of friends, family, and other peers.

Should You Implement Social Shopping into Your Business Strategy?

The short answer to this is yes.

While, at this moment, shoppers can still be hesitant to purchase through social media networks, this is steadily changing. Nearly 30% of potential customers admit that they would be willing to purchase through popular social media channels such as Instagram and Pinterest. The numbers are only expected to grow.

Since statistics speak in favor of e-commerce and m-commerce, it’s clear that social shopping is here to stay. And since most trends take some time to become mainstream, it’s a great time for e-commerce businesses to start implementing a social shopping strategy and get in front of the eyes of your potential buyers.

Especially because social media platform algorithms are gradually changing to favor personal relationships. This means that posts from friends and family that people are more likely to engage with are getting more attention than brand posts that buyers may follow. Therefore, now is a good time to boost your social presence and maximize your chances of being seen. This can ensure the long-term success of your e-commerce business.

How to Implement Social Shopping into Your Business Strategy?

There are a number of features that social media networks enable brands to utilize. Here are a few that you  can start integrating into your marketing and business strategy:

1. Set Up and Start Growing Your Social Media Channels

If you have not done that yet, this should be your first step. You cannot implement a social shopping strategy if you are not on social media, to begin with. You don’t have to go for all social media platforms. Simply choose one or two that best suit your e-commerce business’ needs.

2. Add Buy Buttons

One of the simplest ways of ensuring that your potential customers purchase your products is providing easy access to them. Buyers are busy and are highly unlikely to browse your entire inventory to look for. Social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook now allow you to add Buy buttons to your social media channels. They serve as calls-to-action to lead buyers from your posts directly to your website.

3. Use Shoppable Posts and Stories

This feature can be found on Instagram and Snapchat. It’s relatively new but has already proven its efficacy. Buyers can easily access your products via your posts of the Swipe Up feature. This creates a seamless shopping experience and does not require buyers to leave the app.

Since people on social media platforms can see posts that those that they follow have liked or engaged with, this can increase the chances of your brand being seen by even more people.

4. Display Your Shoppers’ Favorite Products

In product categories, you can set up one that displays products popular in your community. Since people trust the recommendations of others as well as product reviews, this can encourage your buyers to check out products that are popular by others

5. Start an Influencer Marketing Campaign

Authority is one of the factors that affect customer buying decisions. Most frequently, you can see that in advertising as celebrities endorsing products.

In the case of an e-commerce store like yours, influencer marketing can be more effective and cost-efficient. Seek out experts in your field and offer them a fee for promotional products, sample products, or commission for affiliate marketing links.

Micro influencers who are influencers with a relatively low following can be excellent to reach out to. They usually have higher engagement rates than large celebrities. You can also establish a close business relationship with them before they grow their following and increase their rates.

Feel free to check out the other articles on our blog as well as download our FREE e-book on how you can fund your e-commerce business. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn, and subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest news and offers!