If most brands use social media to create a bond with their customers and develop a loyal community, for e-commerces, their use can have a completely different purpose. They can go much further by making direct sales on the platforms. An increasingly widespread practice, especially among Generation Z and what Fevad (Federation of e-commerce and distance selling) calls social selling or social commerce.
For Fevad, social networks have come to occupy an essential place in the development process of e-merchants and retailers in general. This allows you to create a bond with potential customers, strengthen the dialogue with customers, but also retain them.
In terms of numbers, the federation reveals that 64% of social media users surveyed said they made a purchase through social commerce in 2021. In the same year, Instagram advertising growth reach was 20.5% . In 2021, Facebook Marketplace had one billion monthly active users worldwide. As for Instagram, 44% of people surveyed by the network use the app weekly to make purchases with features like Shopping Tags and Shop Tab. Pinterest users are willing to spend twice as much monthly as shoppers on other platforms.
As social media has become a source of information about brands or products and a medium of exchange, 78% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer with whom they have had a positive experience on social platforms and 77% will choose this over of the competition. 66% of people surveyed by Facebook say that being able to message a business gives them confidence in its brand. 58% of users say they are more interested in a brand after seeing it on Story. Finally, 97% of Gen Z consumers say that social media is their main source of inspiration when shopping.
What tools to use for online sales?
Aware of the importance of this market, the companies behind these social networks have developed several tools to improve the presence of e-merchants and the development of their activities.
With live shopping, they have the opportunity to create live events on a social platform. During a live shopping event, the merchant can present products, demonstrate them, display the product sheet details and thus create real-time engagement with their customers and prospects.
Personalized messages (Messenger, WhatsApp) allow a merchant to be reached by a customer instantly. The brand can be available 24/7 with automated messaging and offer one-person intervention to answer more complex questions.
The Facebook Store is a custom store where products are grouped by theme or collection. Online storefronts on Facebook allow users to browse products and make purchases directly from the store.
Instagram Shops is a feature that allows you to integrate a product catalog into an Instagram profile and promote them through posts, stories, reals, etc. Users can see the prices of the products presented thanks to the labels, as well as the descriptive sheets. At the time of purchase, the user is directed to the brand page, without going through a search browser.
Pinterest Pins are tabs, present in this visual search engine, that members use to save content they like on the platform. Pins can come with captions where the merchant provides price, description, etc. Users cannot buy on the platform, but are redirected to a website via the links in the caption.
Snapchat filters and augmented virtual reality can be created and/or sponsored by brands to engage their community. Augmented reality, on the other hand, allows brands to offer virtual reality accessories in real time.
TikTok stores offer e-merchants to add their products to your profile. Users, on the other hand, can view the products and purchase them without leaving the app.
Social networks in a few numbers
In 2022, the French spend five more minutes a day on social media compared to the previous year, that is, 1h46 in total. Facebook has 2.912 billion monthly active users, Instagram has one billion, while Pinterest has 433 million monthly active users as of July 2022 and Snapchat has 319 million daily active users. Chinese TikTok has one billion monthly active users.
By 2025, Millennials and Gen Z are expected to account for 62% of global e-commerce spend on social platforms. If social commerce (social selling) accounts for ten percent of total e-commerce spending, it is expected to reach 17 percent by 2025. Social media transactions are estimated to be worth $492 billion globally. They are expected to grow three times faster than traditional e-commerce by 2025.