Oct 27, 2023
Explore the dynamic landscape of social commerce and discover how it's becoming a pivotal tool for brand success in the digital age. From influencer partnerships to tailored content strategies, this article offers insights into harnessing the power of social commerce and thriving in the ever-evolving world of online retail.
Have you gone on TikTok recently?
It seems as if every other video that pops up on your FYP recently is promoting some product that promises to change your life or revolutionize the way you look, along with a link directly in the video that you can click and purchase that very product. Sometimes I’ll be halfway through a video, blithely unaware that I’m being sold anything until I spot that little gray “eligible for commission” bar sitting right over the caption.
With an estimated 33 million shoppers in the US alone, the popularity of TikTok Shop is picking up the pace and showing no signs of slowing down, and it’s clear to see why; the video app allows brands to connect with micro-influencers with niche audiences and connect authentically with consumers where they naturally go.
And while social commerce like TikTok Shop faced some initial criticism and hesitation, that unique ability that social media provides means that brands that can crack the social commerce code are the ones that will succeed in scoring a sizable portion of the nearly $1.3 billion market.
With the holiday season fast approaching, let’s take a look at four ways brands can harness the power of social media to provide a seamless shopping experience for their consumers, and why a successful social commerce strategy relies heavily on the quality and completeness of your product information.
Influencer partnerships have become a driving force for brand awareness and purchasing decisions. The power of product placement and endorsements on social media is undeniable, with 57% of consumers making purchases based on information provided by influencers.
Here’s where it gets interesting: with social media, you no longer need a high-priced celebrity to promote your brand. Creators with smaller followings can work just as effectively. Nano and micro-influencers, in particular, are often a better fit for eCommerce brands due to their lower cost and higher engagement rates with niche audiences.
The key to success is treating your influencers as an extension of your brand. You’ll need to ensure that your influencers have access to comprehensive details about your products, including specifications, features, benefits, and any unique selling points. The more they know about what they’re promoting, the more confidently and accurately they can convey that information to their followers.
They’ll also need access to high-quality visuals that are consistent with your brand’s identity but allows for your influencer to express some creativity and individuality that highlights why you chose to work with this specific influencer.
Gone are the days when consumers merely sought products; now, they crave a connection with the heart and soul behind the brand, and if they don’t connect with your business’s message, they’re quick to abandon purchase in search for an organization that shares their views.
The Akeneo 2023 Global B2C Survey uncovered that two-fifths of consumers have declared their willingness to pay more for brands that proudly showcase their core values. And it’s not just a passing fad; we also found that these consumers are prepared to invest an average of 18% more for products that weave meaningful brand values into their very fabric.
Whether it’s related to sustainability, social responsibility, diversity and inclusion, or other ethical aspects, brands need to ensure that their values and commitments are consistently communicated to customers, and social media is a great way to do so.
To effectively create an authentic connection with consumers, brands must do more than just hold these principles dear. They must consistently and transparently communicate them to their customers. Social media provides an exceptional platform for achieving this, such as partnering with Influencers with a genuine commitment to the same causes, or running a campaign that amplifies your brand’s message and shows how you’re committing to the cause. The shared values between your brand and these influencers serve as a bridge, fostering a stronger and more authentic bond between your brand and your target audience.
Social commerce is not a one-size-fits-all strategy; it’s a multifaceted landscape that requires a nuanced approach. Just as you meticulously personalize content for various digital platforms like your eCommerce site or Amazon, the same level of customization should extend to different social channels. This level of adaptability is essential because each platform possesses its unique strengths and caters to distinct audience preferences.
Take, for example, the visual-centric world of Instagram. This platform thrives on captivating, high-quality images that tell a story. Therefore, to make a meaningful impact on Instagram, your content should be visually stunning, with an emphasis on striking imagery that aligns with your brand’s identity. This is where the art of storytelling through visuals can truly shine, drawing your audience into your brand’s narrative.
On the other hand, platforms like TikTok are all about fast-paced, on-trend videos that capture attention in seconds. To excel on TikTok, your brand needs to create short videos that are not just promotional but engaging and shareable. By aligning your content with the trends and humor that resonate with TikTok’s user base, you can successfully tap into this unique and rapidly growing audience.
The key to success in the world of social commerce is recognizing the diversity of each social platform and tailoring your content to align with their distinct strengths and audience preferences.
Social commerce is not just about crafting the right content for the right channel; it’s also about offering value to your audience. In today’s world, marked by a cost-of-living crisis, consumers are more conscious of their spending than ever. As a result, they prioritize deals and seek to maximize the value they get from their purchases. Running social media-specific discounts and campaigns can be a powerful way to attract and retain customers across different social channels as the allure of discounts and deals resonates deeply with cost-conscious consumers, making it a powerful incentive for them to engage with your brand.
These promotions not only encourage followers but also stimulate cross-channel research. By offering unique discounts or exclusive offers on specific platforms, you can entice users to follow your brand on multiple channels, enhancing your overall reach and engagement.
Diversification in your promotional approach can be equally effective. For instance, you can consider offering bundled products at a discount, appealing to consumers who are seeking a comprehensive solution at a reduced price. Alternatively, you can run promotions on items that have performed exceptionally well on different social channels. This tailored approach is designed to cater to each platform’s unique audience, recognizing that what resonates with one group of users may not be the same for another. In doing so, you demonstrate a deep understanding of your audience’s needs, reinforcing their perception of value and strengthening their connection to your brand.
Running social media-specific discounts and campaigns can be a strategic game-changer, not only attracting and retaining customers but also fostering cross-channel exploration. Whether through bundled products or platform-specific promotions, the goal is to provide tailored value that resonates with the diverse audiences present on various social channels, ultimately driving the success of your brand in the dynamic landscape of social commerce.
Is TikTok Shop poised to take over Amazon any time soon? Of course not. But people don’t peruse and purchase on just one channel, which means your brand and products can’t just be on one channel, and it’s important to recognize that social commerce is not just a passing trend but an important channel where brands can authentically connect with their audiences.
This diversity in consumer behavior emphasizes the importance of an omnichannel approach for brands. While TikTok, Instagram, and other social commerce platforms play a pivotal role in your brand’s online presence, they are most effective when part of a broader, Product Experience (PX) Strategy.
Social commerce is a force to be reckoned with. Brands that embrace an omnichannel approach, utilizing various platforms to cater to diverse consumer needs, are well-positioned for success. Social commerce is here to stay, and understanding its dynamic nature is the key to thriving in this ever-evolving landscape of online retail, especially as we gear up to face the busiest shopping season of the year.
Discover what it takes for brands to succeed this holiday season with tips & tricks from Algolia, Akeneo, BigCommerce, Unifai, and more.
Dec 06, 2023
3 min to read
Step into the future of retail at Akeneo's Unlock 2024, and join industry leaders and experts for a two-day immersive experience featuring dynamic key...
Dec 04, 2023
Explore the often-overlooked realm of customer support and the impact of sidelining customer support on the $816 billion returns crisis. Discover how ...
Join 40,000+ other e-commerce marketers and get proven strategies on email marketing, CRO and more