Social Commerce for Shopify Merchants
Quick Summary Projections indicate that social commerce retail earnings in the United States will reach $80 billion by 2025, or in other words, 5% of total US e-commerce sales. Read on to learn more about social commerce, its opportunities, its benefits, and the Shopify integration available for you.
In the wake of the e-commerce surge, numerous innovative shopping methods have emerged, providing customers with a variety of options to get their hands on their favorite products. From convenient Buy Now Pay Later solutions to bundled deals and subscription services, merchants now have numerous ways to connect with their customers and gain valuable insights into their spending habits.
In this blog, we're specifically covering the rising popularity of Social Commerce.
Projections indicate that social commerce retail earnings in the United States will nearly reach $80 billion by 2025, or in other words, 5% of total US e-commerce sales. This statistic becomes even more compelling when you acknowledge that a substantial 57% of the global population, or 4.59 billion people, are currently active on social media platforms. Consequently, incorporating social commerce into your brand strategy is a logical choice for expanding your brand's visibility.
Curious to know more about social commerce, its benefits, and the Shopify Integration available for you? Read on.
What is Social Commerce?
Social commerce, in essence, represents the intersection of social media and online shopping. It involves using social media platforms as an integral part of the e-commerce experience, blurring the lines between browsing and buying. This powerful approach allows brands and businesses to directly engage with their target audience, showcase their products, and facilitate in-app transactions, all within the social media ecosystem – ultimately reducing friction between product discovery and product purchase.
How Big is the Opportunity of Social Commerce?
The opportunity of social commerce for brands is significant, driven by the changing landscape of consumer behavior, the massive user base, and the rising influence of social proof. In fact, McKinsey data forecasts that the global social-commerce market is expected to grow to more than $2 trillion by 2025.
Shopify 2023 Trend Report revealed that approximately one-third of businesses are poised to boost their investments in social media marketing to fuel company expansion in the coming years. This inclination is fueled by the fact that positive interaction with a brand on social media significantly influences consumer behavior:
78% of consumers become more inclined to make purchases from those they interact with on social.
77% are more likely to select them over competitors
72% are inclined to increase their spending with those brands.
Brands that strategically embrace and leverage social commerce stand to benefit from increased sales, brand visibility, and customer engagement. However, it's crucial for brands to carefully plan and execute their social commerce strategies to fully realize this potential.
Why Social Commerce:
The opportunity presented by social commerce is indeed significant. It offers a multitude of benefits, ranging from increased customer reach and engagement to data-driven insights, making it a vital strategy for businesses looking to thrive in the digital age.
Remove an Added Layer of Friction
While it might not be an overly complex task for users to locate their desired products on social media, and then navigate through redirects to the brand's website for checkout before returning to their original app for further browsing, it can still present a minor inconvenience.
The moment there is a bit of friction in your buyer’s journey, the more customers you’re likely to lose. Enabling customers to complete their purchases directly within their social media app streamlines the process, eliminating numerous steps that might otherwise discourage them from making a purchase with each click.
Broader Brand Reach
Regularly appearing in a follower's social media feed provides a remarkable branding opportunity. Merchants who maintain a strong presence and high visibility can establish themselves strongly in the minds of their followers. Consequently, these followers are more inclined to recommend the merchant's products to others. Furthermore, social commerce inherently offers a two-way communication channel that can effectively serve as a means for providing customer support.
Social commerce platforms provide valuable data and analytics on customer behavior and preferences. This data can be used to tailor marketing strategies, optimize product offerings, and improve the overall customer experience, leading to higher conversion rates and customer retention.
New Integrations for Merchant Success
The era of social commerce has witnessed a significant surge in growth, especially in the wake of the pandemic. For instance, in 2022, Shopify unveiled integrations with TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube, in addition to its existing integrations with Instagram and Facebook (which we'll delve into further). Consequently, Shopify merchants now possess access to a spectrum of cutting-edge platforms to bolster their business promotion efforts and effectively convert users.
Unified Marketing Impact
Marketing frequently leverages social media for top-of-the-funnel activities, primarily focused on raising awareness, fostering engagement, and ultimately driving conversions. However, with the advent of social commerce, it becomes possible to seamlessly address all three objectives simultaneously. Content that was originally designed to create brand awareness or provide education can now include direct links to products, enabling customers to make quick and convenient purchases directly through their preferred social media platforms.
Increase Conversion Through Inspiration
More and more brands are integrating social proof into their e-commerce storefronts, in the form of reviews or user-generated content blocks, to add a level of credibility and spark inspiration. This path between inspiration and purchase can be even shorter and more streamlined on social media since that is where user-generated content essentially originates. Merchants can repost and reshare this content on their brand’s social media profiles and link it directly to the respective products, enabling customers to make in-app purchases.
Social Commerce Platforms and their Shopify Integration
Rather than focusing solely on top-of-the-funnel awareness campaigns to reach consumers, social media platforms now establish a more direct connection between advertising impressions and confirmed sales by rolling out tech-enabled features and leading e-commerce integrations that allow them to process transactions.
Surpassing the milestone of 1 billion active monthly users, TikTok has emerged as a dynamic hub for discovering engaging, spur-of-the-moment, and authentic short-form content, especially resonating with Gen Z and millennials.
TikTok's influence extends far beyond shaping social media trends; it has also redefined advertising. Through a seamless fusion of genuine videos and sponsored content, the platform has created an environment that fosters a deeper sense of trust between content creators and their audiences. Across diverse niches like beauty, fashion, and food, brands are harnessing the platform's creative potential to promote their products and connect more intimately with their audience.
Shopify x TikTok
Shopify made a significant stride in 2021 with the introduction of a direct integration with TikTok for its merchant community. This groundbreaking collaboration kicked off with a pilot program featuring Kylie Cosmetics, granting the brand the ability to seamlessly connect its product offerings with TikTok videos. Users could now click, explore, and make purchases without leaving the TikTok app.
With Shopify’s TikTok app, you can seamlessly create TikTok ad campaigns, synchronize your product catalog, and facilitate product sales through in-feed videos and LIVE broadcasts on TikTok Shop.
Craft TikTok-style ads in mere minutes by effortlessly uploading product images or videos.
Install the TikTok Pixel with just one click to accurately measure the performance of your ads.
Effectively oversee and monitor new orders by conducting sales directly through TikTok Shop (available in the US only).
Facebook & Instagram
Given they are both Meta-owned, the approach to social commerce for both Instagram and Facebook is greatly interconnected.
Instagram rolled out Instagram Shop in 2020, building on the app's established success with influencer collaborations, affiliate marketing, and paid promotional opportunities. This initiative aimed to simplify the shopping experience by allowing users to make direct purchases from Instagram posts and empowering merchants to create their unique Instagram storefronts.
When it comes to Facebook, the user base skews slightly older, with a significant presence of Gen X and older Millennials, in contrast to Instagram and TikTok, which primarily attract Gen Z and younger Millennials. However, this demographic difference doesn't diminish Facebook's significance. Similar to Instagram, businesses can leverage the Facebook Page Shop to present customizable product collections to customers. Moreover, Facebook offers a distinct advantage - merchants can directly sell their products through the platform's dedicated marketplace, Facebook Marketplace.
Shopify x Facebook & Instagram
It should come as no surprise that Shopify has introduced integrations for Facebook and Instagram, aiming to streamline the customer journey and simplify administrative tasks for Shopify merchants.
Thanks to Shopify's Instagram and Facebook integrations, brands can effortlessly synchronize their product catalogs from Shopify to these social media platforms, eliminating the need for manual data entry. These integrations also offer the convenience of one-tap checkout, sparing customers from having to exit the app to complete a purchase. Furthermore, brands have the flexibility to customize their in-app shops, ensuring a consistent and coherent brand experience that aligns with their e-commerce store.
This seamless connection between your e-commerce platform and social media shops enhances inventory management significantly. Shopify allows you to maintain a single, centralized product inventory across various shopping experiences, eliminating the risk of losing track of product availability. While it's not mandatory to use Shopify for selling on Instagram or Facebook, it undeniably simplifies the management of your online store by consolidating all social media integrations and Shopify store operations into one unified hub—the Shopify Admin.
Gain valuable shop insights, including data on your best-performing products and top-tagged content.
Elevate your ad campaigns by establishing a conversion pixel for improved performance.
Set up your shop effortlessly with a one-time account connection.
Enjoy the convenience of selling from a single inventory that automatically updates your shop.
Benefit from Meta's support, offering assistance through email and live chat to ensure your business thrives.
With more than 2.70 billion monthly active users, YouTube still holds its position as a leading video-oriented social media platform. Since its inception, creators used to add product links in the description box which often resulted in a less-than-optimal shopping experience. However, in 2020, YouTube rolled out Shop Label which allows creators to tag products within their videos and shorts. Viewers can then seamlessly buy those tagged products in-app through Buy on Google.
While YouTube has yet to offer this feature globally, users worldwide still turn to the platform for shopping inspiration. Recognizing the potential of this market, YouTube introduced live events in 2022, enabling viewers to shop during global events. Additionally, a dedicated shopping destination was unveiled within the explore tab of the site, featuring shoppable content curated for viewers in the United States, Brazil, and India, with plans for further expansion to additional countries.
Shopify x Youtube:
During the highly anticipated launch of Shopify's Editions in the summer of 2022, they unveiled an exciting shopping integration with YouTube. This integration is designed to empower creators and merchants, enabling them to seamlessly showcase products within their YouTube channels and videos. Merchants now have the ability to connect their Shopify store to their YouTube account, similar to the Instagram integration, and leverage Shopify's real-time inventory and product synchronization capabilities.
Notably, the United States remains at the forefront of this feature, with American merchants having the capability to establish an on-site checkout process. This allows their viewers to conveniently browse, shop, and complete their purchases directly on YouTube, all without leaving the platform.
Social media and content creation platforms have become the newfound, potent tools that empower brand marketers to drive substantial growth for their products. As social and creator platforms swiftly integrate innovative purchasing options, consumers are increasingly aligning their spending habits with these developments. Brands that overlook this evolution in the customer journey or neglect the diminishing importance of their conventional, website-based channels may find themselves vulnerable to competition from both established rivals and emerging smaller brands seeking to capture market share.
To thrive in this changing landscape, brands must embrace a comprehensive strategy encompassing influencer partnerships and prioritizing social-first content. The imperative for brands is clear: the time to embrace social commerce is now.
As a Shopify Plus Agency Partner, Avex helps you utilize the platform to its maximum potential. Reach out today and explore how they can leverage social commerce platforms to craft a shopping experience that is more personable, aligns with consumer preferences, and effectively stimulates conversions.