Social commerce is an important component of e-commerce. Shopping via social media is gaining more and more ground and various platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok function as interactive catalogues with purchase recommendations. In order to successfully sell products via social media, a well thought-out strategy and, above all, cultivation of the community are of immense importance in addition to good preparation.
What is social commerce and how does it work?
Social commerce is used as a marketing strategy to increase sales via social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. Numerous people and target groups become aware of new products and are encouraged to make a purchase, especially through social media. However, social commerce is not about placing a product in an ad and linking the landing page so that the user subsequently buys the product. Instead, social commerce covers the entire purchasing experience. The social platforms are supposed to function like traditional analogue catalogues and show not only purchase recommendations, but also reviews from previous purchasers.
The advantages of social commerce
Social commerce creates an interactive shopping experience. Users can buy products directly via social media without leaving the site. As consumers can directly showcase the products they have purchased, comment and interact with other shoppers, as well as read their comments and interact with brands, this also strengthens a brand’s perception on social media. New customers can be targeted through the trustworthy feedback of shoppers. In addition, with a huge wealth of customer data, social networks offer an excellent opportunity to address an optimal target group that is already showing interest. This generally includes Gen Z and Millennials in particular, who use social media as the most important source of inspiration for purchases and spend most of their time on social media.
Building a successful social commerce strategy
In order to become successful with social commerce, some points should be considered and a well thought-out strategy should be set up. Relevant content must be created to appeal to people. This, in turn, can only be achieved if you know the needs of your target group exactly and align your products, presentation and approach accordingly. It can be helpful to think across channels. You should get to grips with the individual social media platforms and be familiar with their specific features. While Instagram is mainly about influencers and story formats, Pinterest is dominated by aesthetic graphics and photos in the area of lifestyle and fashion. The platform should therefore be precisely matched to the target group.
In connection with social commerce, there is a strong focus on the community with which a lasting relationship is established. As a company, you should stimulate the involvement and activities of individual customers through communication, as well as being approachable at all times in the event of complaints or questions. Regular communication and dialogue between companies and customers play an important role. In this way, products can be improved, user preferences can be identified and customers can possibly even be involved in product development. This should always be done authentically, transparently and on an equal footing. One advantage of social commerce is that the purchasing behaviour and activities of the community can be evaluated, so that involvement can be optimised and a short-term or long-term database can be used. This, in turn, allows targeted and adapted recommendations and purchase offers to be placed and wastage to be minimised. In addition, real-time events can also be tracked through mobile devices.
The most important things in a nutshell
Social commerce targets customers by sharing purchase recommendations via the social media channels of companies. If there is interest, the product can be purchased directly via the channel. When making purchase recommendations, it is important to adapt them to the needs and interests of the users. To do this correctly, it is essential at the beginning to familiarise yourself with the various special features and target groups of the individual platforms.