For a brand, providing your shoppers with a memorable customer experience is critical to keeping them coming back and attracting new shoppers. There are many ways to give them a great experience with your brand, however, with social media being such a powerful communication tool, integrating social commerce into your marketing strategies is necessary. Your marketing is the most unique and personal way to connect with your customers and enhance their experience.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce is when the entire shopping experience, from product discovery and research to the checkout process, happens on social media platforms. According to research from Accenture projects, the value of the global social commerce industry will increase to $1.2 trillion by 2025. This growth is predicted mainly by Millenial and Gen Z social media users, who are expected to account for more than 60% of global social commerce spending by 2025. The age group includes shopping intent, creating the perfect headwinds for social commerce to accelerate in the post-pandemic economy.
Social platforms were once seen only as advertising tools. But as app technology has evolved, it can now act as an all-in-one channel for customer care, product discovery, and sales. As a result, the social network has become both a loudspeaker and a marketplace, where people can find, interact, purchase, and follow brands, all from their smartphones.
Social channels are the new storefront
In the social-first world, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are the new ‘doors to shops’ today. The rise of social commerce creates challenges and opportunities: bring your in-store experience online directly on your customers’ favorite social channels, where they spend the most time. Messaging apps play an important role in delivering on that promise. If social channels are the new storefront, then asking a brand a question via Messenger, or Instagram DM is the digital equivalent of walking into a store. The question is: is your brand present 24/7 and ready to attract these high-minded customers?
As we move from a web-centric experience to a social-first experience, the customer journey becomes much more fragmented and decentralized. To streamline customer experiences across social touchpoints and messaging, brands need to connect the dots and create a seamless customer experience, while maintaining a unique, 360-degree view of clients. A unified social inbox with conversational AI capabilities makes this possible at scale.
The benefits of social commerce
Now that Google has abandoned tracking cookies and Apple has begun limiting advertisers’ ability to retarget visitors, brands are turning to social commerce to stay connected with customers. across the vast and ever-changing digital landscape.
With social commerce, brands can engage in 1:1 private conversations across social channels, effectively recreating the experience of interacting with in-store employees instead of just visiting the storefront. static digital store. These personalized experiences are the heartbeat of social commerce.
Today, when a brand can directly interact with customers across multiple channels in near real-time, conversations have become the new cookie, the golden rope to keep customers engaged and loyal.
With chat threads, brands can engage with users at every step of the customer journey, whether it’s a question about product availability or pre-purchase size, a question about the Return policy at the time of the transaction, or order tracking questions after purchase.
With this in mind, we can see the benefits of social commerce are huge. Social commerce allows brands to:
Keep the shopping experience organic on social media, on your customers’ preferred channels, creating an integrated experience (meaning customers don’t need to visit an external website)
Be present and ready to serve customers at every step of their journey
Unlock personalization through 1:1 conversations
Ultimately delivering a more seamless and personalized shopping experience.
Conversations are the new cookie
Social commerce is ushering in a new era of earned and owned, not rented, customer relationships through media buying and advertising. You could say that brands’ past reliance on cookies and third-party data has made them lazy. Now, to earn and collect data from customers, brands must cultivate loyalty and create value for customers at every step of the customer journey.
At the enterprise level, in the coming years, forward-thinking brands should invest heavily in CX, CRM, and AI technologies that will allow them to unify all customer conversations under one roof. and manage them on a large scale. This will enable them to get the most out of their social commerce efforts.
There’s no denying that social commerce is the next frontier. Shopify recently reported a 10x increase in social commerce-related sales year-over-year. As brands begin to turn their attention to this emerging opportunity to get their products and teams where they already are, those that put customer experience and personalization first will win. victory in the war. And conversations will be the focus of the new shopping age that focuses on relationships, not transactions.