When the creators of the social platforms that are famous today were working on their websites, with eyes full of stars and hands covered in Cheetos crumbs, they certainly had no idea of all they would enable years later. Instagram, a video network? Weird, but OK. Facebook, a virtual reality portal? Please. That's how it is: as time goes by, needs and uses change and social media adapt to them. Most of the time, these changes sneak into our habits discreetly, very slowly, so that we don't even realize it.
And then sometimes, history gives our habits a little push. Or a slap in the face, as the case may be. The health situation we lived in 2020 belongs to this second category. While we were used to good old window shopping in brick-and-mortar shops, our spending impulses were forced to express themselves in another way... Directly on social media.
This phenomenon is called social commerce, and it's time you get to know it. Why? Because it might just give your business a boost. Come on, giddy up!
What is social commerce?
Social commerce is the act of buying directly integrated on social media. No more tiring thumb muscles with superfluous clicks: social commerce wants to facilitate the consumer's buying process by bringing together all the steps in one place. Discovering a product? Now it happens on the social media. Check if a brand is trustworthy? On social media. Proceed to purchase? Social media. Ask about the status of an order or make a complaint? Social media. Every social network has finally become a shopping mall: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and even Pinterest are all over it. No one left behind in the mercantile society... And it's beautiful!
Why get into social commerce?
Because it's the future of e-commerce 🔮 We're in 2025: a cute little dog rules the world, Sean Paul is at the top of the music charts and the average person shops on social media. Okay, for the first two points, we may be taking our desires for realities. However, all the figures show that the last one could well come true: according to a study by Accenture, no less than 18% of clothing purchases will be made on social media by 2025.
Because social media never stop seducing ✨ That's it, it's official: more than half of the world's population is on social networks. In total, there are now 4.62 billion active users on them; a figure that keeps growing, since it has increased by 10.1% since last year alone. Selling on social media is therefore offering a constantly growing audience... And it can't hurt, can it?
Because it's the best way to reach the younger crowd 👧 97% of Generation Z makes social media their source of shopping inspiration. Well okay, we too, at that age, were very inspired to buy, but we also had the kind of bank account that only allowed us to feed ourselves exclusively on tortillas with nothing inside. Only, we always end up growing... And our income with us! So getting into social commerce is a potentially long-term profitable decision for your brand.
Because it's super, mega simple 🤩 Opening your online store, when you already have one, seems like a breeze. But could you imagine your Aunt Helen opening one? The same one that has been writing all over the place in capital letters since 2018 because she doesn't know how to turn them off? That's what we thought. The good thing about social commerce is that it makes selling online accessible to everyone, really everyone. Easy, but also free, which is not negligible when you are a small business looking for development...
We're still in the early days of social commerce, but it's a real promise of renewal for e-commerce. Just look at the great possibilities it has already created, like Starbucks' Tweet-a-Coffee campaign a few years ago, which allowed you to send a coffee to the person of your choice simply by mentioning your username. When will we see anchovies delivery for people we don't like?
This new way of selling opens the door to a lot of innovations but when you start, you want to implement strategies whose effectiveness has already been proven: it's safer. And your timing is perfect because... Guess what?
We've put together a list of the best strategies for getting started in social commerce.
6 simple social commerce tactics to apply
#1 : How to choose your platform(s)
You want to throw yourself body and soul in social commerce? Not so fast! First, you will have to define on which platform to establish yourself so that the results are there... Each network attracts a particular target, certain age groups, with specific interests. Where your brand's target is: that' s where you're supposed to go.
You should also take into account that each network has strengths that you can leverage. You're a broadcast pro, Spielberg is your main rival: Tik Tok is for you. Instagram and Pinterest, on the other hand, are ideal if your brand identity is expressed through a clean aesthetic. The visual side of these networks will be invaluable in building a real virtual showcase.
Facebook, on the other hand, has an incredible power: it brings everyone together. And not just in any way, since everyone shares a multitude of details about their lives. When Chad, your little cousin, posts about his favorite flavor of potato chips (balsamic vinegar), you may not care, but there are some people who will be particularly interested... Yes: the manufacturers of balsamic vinegar crisps. Facebook allows you to define precise targets for your communication and especially for your ads.
Once decided, it will be time to read guides explaining how to create your store on social media. The process varies depending on the network as well as your host; to make it easier for you, we went hunting for tutorials...
If you have a Shopify store...
- Create your Facebook store
- Create your Instagram store
- Selling on TikTok
- Link your store to your Pinterest
If you are more of a WooCommerce person...
As you may have noticed, someone is missing: it's Etsy, which doesn't yet allow you to link your store to your social network profiles. Given the dazzling success of social commerce, we hope that it is only a matter of time...
#2: Integrate customer support on your socials
Finding an email address, opening your email application, writing a message, sending it... Except for our faithful friend the Nigerian prince (you know, the one who needs a little nest egg in exchange for his gigantic fortune), all this is petering out. When we say that the whole buying process is meant to be simplified, it also includes the post-purchase experience, which is called after sales service. If your customer has made a purchase directly from your profile, they are unlikely to bother going to your website to contact you: they will turn to the profile's instant messenger! So expect to have to deal with your customers' questions directly on the networks, but not in just any way: give them a personalized approach, make them feel seen, recognized and even pampered. If necessary, even use exclusive promotional codes, your customers are worth it... OK, also because customer service is a decisive factor for the purchase for 60% of the consumers, but that should not be said too loudly.
#3 : Take care of your content's quality
After 6 months of relationship with Geraldine, it's the big day: you are about to meet her parents. Feverishly, you button up your shirt smelling of delicate lavender-scented detergent, apply a touch of wax in your hair and put on your pair of Crocs.
Does that shock you? It's a little bit like having a sloppy social profile, which we tend to see a bit too often. It's a shame because consistent and aesthetically pleasing content is a great selling point: it proves not only that you are interesting, but also trustworthy (you know your products and know how to stage them). This point is even more true in the context of social commerce, since it will be on the networks that your brand will be discovered... Show them off with neat photoshoots, a palette limited to 3 colors and recurring branded fonts (two at most). Because a little inspiration never hurt anyone, we let you contemplate some examples of neat social business showcases... First up on Instagram:
But also on Pinterest, with the profile of the cosmetics brand Benefit, as full and aesthetic as a beautiful eyebrow :
#4: Sharing UGC
Let's take a look at a photo for a moment.
These people are beautiful. They are young. They smile at life.
But do they look like they belong to our world? To be honest, not really. They belong to another dimension, a dimension where there are no acne pimples, where everyone wakes up with peppermint breath and where fast-fashion never existed. That world sounds GREAT, but it's not ours. That's what some mock-ups will do: they'll have an unauthentic feel.
How do we counteract this? Three words: User Generated Content. This expression refers to the photos and videos of your products captured by your customers that you can use for your marketing. Two huge benefits come from this type of content: first, you don't have to do it yourself, and we don't say no to this kind of time and energy saving. There's that, and then there's the fact that it's a real trust booster: those photos are concrete proof that your products have already been purchased and approved. All the more reason to do it if you're getting into social commerce: that's where you can get that UGC, that's also where you can use it to provoke a purchase.
#5: Take advantage of your platform's features
The goal of social commerce is the same everywhere: to sell in the same place where you promote your brand and hope to collect enough money to afford the house of your dreams (or a state-of-the-art bubble machine, to each his own, we don't judge). However, you don't sell the same way on Pinterest as on Facebook: each platform has its own features that you can use to optimize your sales.
On Facebook, everything is done to offer you a customized shopping experience: the platform allows you to customize your store to colors of your brand, to create seasonal catalogs... In short, everything is done to make your products feel like home. The famous blue network also has a nice advantage: it offers a multitude of statistical data that will be useful to adapt your social commerce strategy.
It's a little different on Instagram: the platform makes a point of multiplying the ways to draw attention to your products. From "Buy Now" links to add to your posts and stories to product tags, everything is done to remind your page visitor that he could very quickly become your customer... Seemingly unrelated to social commerce, other features of Instagram can give a boost to your strategy. We are thinking in particular of the quizzes and polls that the network allows you to add to your stories, which can specify for you what are the tastes of your followers.
Pinterest, sadly, does not allow the customer to buy without having to leave the platform (at least for now). However, you will be able to offer them the smoothest possible social commerce shopping experience by using Rich Pins, those publications directly linked to your product page... Rich Pins to which we dedicated a part in a recent article, a must read to prepare a foolproof Pinterest strategy:
#6: Highlight your entry-level products
When we say that social commerce is the future of e-commerce, it implies one thing: that social commerce is not the present. Yes, and it's true: shopping on social networks is not yet obvious to everyone... To encourage the most reluctant to take the plunge, there is an unstoppable trick: use the star lever of the transition to purchase, that is to say the advantageous price. A visitor who came on Instagram only to stalk his ex will be more likely to buy a popular product at a low price than a high-end item that requires some thought.
So, to entice them, you have two solutions: first, promote your cheapest products, but also offer coupon codes. They will have the impression that you are doing them a favor, but in reality, they will be the ones offering you a beautiful bouquet!
Opening your own store is now within the reach of (almost) everyone... And it's fabulous! We see dreams of apprentice merchants coming true by the bucketful, that's the only thing that's true. However, this also means that the competition is getting tougher and tougher... So to stand out, you have to show that your store can evolve with the times. You know how to stand out in social commerce now, that's good enough. You know what would be even better? If you knew the other seven BIG social networking trends of the year... The same ones that we present in this recent article, yes yes :
Come on, it's time for you to get noticed: because if we were in a pop band, your brand would not be a secondary member, or even a backing singer, no no no.
Your brand would be Beyoncé.
Sources: Shopify, Adjust, Channable