Guide to Social Commerce: How to Make Money Selling on Social Platforms

In 2022, it is anticipated that worldwide e-commerce sales will amount to $5.5 trillion. This number is anticipated to keep rising over the ensuing few years, demonstrating that online sales are an increasingly successful business model.

However, online storefronts and shopping engines like Shopify and Woocommerce are not the only places you can sell things online. A wonderful and more direct method of contacting customers is through selling directly through social media.

This is a social business. Please continue reading if you want to take advantage of this brand-new but substantial revenue possibility.

We will do an analysis on the steps in social commerce:

•            what it is

•            how it differs from ecommerce

•            why you should try it

•            the best platforms to use

•            tips for making big bucks from social commerce

What is social commerce?

Social commerce is the act of directly purchasing and selling goods and services on a social media network.

By enabling social media users to effortlessly finish the entire purchasing process without switching to another app or website, this business model changes social networks from only a source of product discovery.

Social commerce elements are already present on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok at the moment.

Here’s how social commerce works:

You might be scrolling your Instagram feed when you come upon a pair of army green cargo pants you’d really like to get your hands on. A “Shop Now” button can be seen close to the pants image. When you click on it, the pants will be put to your cart instantly, and you can check out and finish the transaction without going to the retailer’s website.

You may also visit TikTok and search for a portable smoothie blender that is advertised by your favourite fitness influencer, then click the “Buy” button. You can continue watching TikTok videos uninterrupted after paying for the blender. Imagine being a business owner and being able to sell your goods directly on the social media platforms where your target market spends the most time.

Social commerce vs. ecommerce: What’s the difference?

Although they are frequently used synonymously, social commerce and e-commerce are not the same thing.

Buying and selling products from an online store, ecommerce website, or branded app is referred to as ecommerce, a broad phrase. On the other hand, buyers can buy products and services through social media without ever leaving the platform.

Another misunderstanding is that social selling and social commerce are the same thing. It isn’t. Building relationships on social media in order to attract more prospects is known as social selling. To find out more about social selling, see this Hootsuite article.

5 reasons to experiment with social commerce

Here are five reasons why you should give it a try if you’re unsure about whether you should open a store on social media.

1. Social commerce increases interaction in the buying experience

On social networking, purchasing goods and services is easier and more interactive than it is through traditional e-commerce.

With the help of social commerce, customers can quickly comment on products they’re interested in, read (and leave) reviews, ask their friends for advice before making a decision, and communicate with their favourite brands.

Social commerce is exactly like online shopping in a physical mall.

2. Gen Z and Millennials enjoy shopping on social media

If you’re trying to reach people between the ages of 18 and 34, social media is where you’ll discover them. According to Statista, 62% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 made a purchase as a result of influencers’ or brands’ social media posts. If you find that this age group is a good fit for your items, consider opening a store on their preferred social network.

You can get your stuff in front of their eyes and generate some (or many) sales with a little marketing.

3. Social commerce eliminates conflict

The wonderful thing about social commerce is that it eliminates every drop point that can occur during an ordinary e-commerce transaction.

In traditional e-commerce, the buyer sees your advertisement, goes to your website, places the item in their shopping cart, enters their payment information, and completes the transaction. This is a protracted process that provides the customer numerous opportunities to decide against purchasing your product.

When using social commerce, all a customer needs to do to purchase a product is click on it. Just that. Social commerce minimises the likelihood of cart abandonment and makes it simple to go from product discovery to purchase.

4. Social commerce offers you a simple focus group automatically

Social commerce not only expedites the purchasing process but also gives you a fantastic tool to gather client feedback.

It’s also really simple. Customers may review your products and let you know what they like (or dislike) because they are currently available on social media channels.

You can simply ask them for feedback on your product ideation, development, and inventory choices as you are fully aware of who your consumers are and have direct access to them via comments or DMs.

5. You can sell directly to highly targeted audiences

Social media is a goldmine of customer data. You can target your advertisements to people who are already interested in your offer if you have access to such data.

 In a manner that e-commerce cannot, social commerce enables you to get your ready-to-buy products in front of customers who desire them. By doing so, you can increase sales and increase revenue as much as possible.

The best social media platforms for social commerce

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and Snapchat are the five social media networks that now offer social commerce capabilities. However, more platforms will probably incorporate the “Shop Now” or “Buy” buttons into their features as social shoppers and revenue grow.

Here are some social media sites you should use if you’re interested in utilising this successful business model:

1. Facebook

Facebook Shops is the name of Facebook’s social commerce feature. You may effortlessly sell your products to your target market using Facebook Shops. By posting updates and engaging with fans on your Facebook Business Page, you can complement your Shop.

In addition to being free to start up, Facebook Shops can be customised. You can pick the goods or collections you want to highlight as well as the branding elements like fonts, colours, and photos.

Either start from scratch when creating a catalogue or import a current one from your website or online store. You can quickly sync your inventory list to Facebook if you operate a store on an e-commerce platform that is supported as a partner. If not, you can attach a spreadsheet containing the details of your product.

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Your Page, Instagram profile, posts, shopping advertising, and Stories will all link to your Facebook Shop. When it’s time for users to convert, you can give them the option of checking out in-app, visiting your website, or having a direct Messenger discussion with your company.

The ability to create a temporary shop to test out adding products, handling orders, and what the customer experience would be like in a real Shop is another fantastic feature of Facebook Shops.

Once you begin selling on Facebook, you might notice a spike in client questions about your product and shipment in your DMs and comment sections. Individually responding to each of these messages can be laborious and time-consuming. Use an AI-powered customer care chatbot like Heyday to save time and ensure that you replied to everyone.

This chatbot can highlight messages that need responses from real people and can answer routine queries for you directly in Facebook Messenger.

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2. Instagram

Instagram Shops, like Facebook Shops, let consumers buy items you’ve featured in images or videos directly from the app.

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You must connect your Instagram business account to your Facebook business page in order to create an Instagram shop. Once you’ve done that, you can create a store that you may customise and serve as a repository for goods. Every item in your IG Shop will have a separate product detail page with details about the item, pricing, and media.

Instagram sales can be made in a variety of ways. Among them are:

  • Employ shopping tags. These permit companies to brand their goods in posts or Stories. You can also promote products in your bio and post captions if your brand has a presence in the market
  • Make use of the Shop tab. Users can seek for, save, and buy products listed by companies or tagged by content creators in influencer marketing campaigns here.
  • Create an ad and add the Shop tab to it. The “Sponsored” label on this advertisement will distinguish it from other product listings in consumers’ feeds.

Meta recently unveiled a feature that enables users to make purchases using direct messages.

Check out this video to learn more about how to create an Instagram shop:

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3. Pinterest

One of the first social media sites to enable members to buy and sell goods was Pinterest back in 2015. They accomplished this using standard pins with fields for availability and cost details. However, because they drive users to a landing page with a focus on the product to complete the transaction, these pins aren’t direct social commerce features.

You can make Product Pins, which are shown in your Pinterest Shop, if you have a Pinterest business account. The “Buy” button is located beneath each pin, and if your consumer is located in Malaysia, they can click it to finish their purchase without leaving the app.

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Customers from abroad cannot, however, buy things through the app. Instead, customers will be sent to an online retailer to finish the transaction. Despite the fact that this may not be fully social commerce worldwide, 89% of Pinterest users are looking for products to buy. Additionally, the fact that Pinterest is a potent search engine makes it much easier.

4. TikTok

Has the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt ever caught your attention?

This hashtag has been used 7 billion times by users to show what they’ve bought as a result of recommendations on TikTok. So if you have seen it, you are aware that if you want to remain relevant with your audience, selling your items on TikTok is a no-brainer.

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You have three methods to sell your products on the TikTok Shop

  • In-feed videos
  • Product showcase tab
  • LIVEs

5 guidelines (and resources) for successful social commerce

There are a few steps you should do after setting up your social media store to make sure you maximise your revenue from this channel. Here are a few examples:

1. Listen to your audience

You have all the data you require about your audience thanks to social media. Pay attention to your audience to get the most out of it.

Keep a close eye on the shares and comments you receive on your shop. When necessary, respond to them or provide customer service.

You can track your audience across all social media channels with the use of tools like Hootsuite. You’ll stay informed about client feedback and business news in this way.

To find out more about social listening, read our guide.

2. Engage with your audience

Don’t forget the “social” in “social commerce.” There is more to social commerce than just posting your catalogue and hoping for sales to come flooding in. In order to keep your audience entertained, you must provide value, respond to inquiries, and produce engaging material. They need to recognise your humanity and authenticity.

A chatbot can be set up to assist customers while they make purchases from you.

3. Ask for reviews

If you want to create a successful internet business, gathering social proof is crucial. Approximately 99.99% of buyers claim to read reviews when shopping online, according to a Power Reviews research.

So ask for reviews if you sell a product that people like. After your product is delivered, you may send them an automated email asking what they think of it. Alternatively, you could provide incentives like a giveaway to entice current customers to leave reviews for your products.

Post your favourable evaluations on social media and mention them in emails as you receive them. Possibilities include posting user-generated content, a carousel of favourable reviews, and even hosting a live video with pleased clients.

4. Use Social Media Manager apps to include products from your online store in your social media posts

Users of Social Media Manager apps who use ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Bigcommerce, Woocommerce, and Magento can post items from their online stores on social media using the Shopview app, even though this isn’t technically social commerce. This is a simple method for using social media to enhance the online buying experience for your clients.

However, you shouldn’t end there. Build a solid advertising and social commerce plan that will help your posts reach the appropriate people at the right time if you want to maximise your success with social commerce.

5. Use an AI programmed chatbot to ease sales and customer service

A prompt, competent response can occasionally be the difference between a confirmed sale and a cart that has been abandoned. However, as was already said, manually responding to every comment can be time-consuming.

You can automate customer service answers and make sure that clients are taken care of even when your team is not available with the correct tools.

Heyday is a conversational AI chatbot that links your social media networks and online commerce. Up to 80% of your customer support responses can now be automated thanks to this. Therefore, Heyday will offer real-time support to clients who raise queries about pricing or order tracking on social media. Additionally, Heyday sends complex questions directly to your support staff if it detects any.

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