What you should know about social commerce in 2022
It’s an exciting time as the social commerce industry grows. Some 63% of UK consumers use social media to research brands and gain inspiration, while projections indicate that there will be 14.7 million UK social buyers by 2023. That means about a quarter (23%) of UK consumers now interact with social media as they make purchases. Social commerce allows you to reach a super-engaged, global audience ready to act, but virtual storefronts will continue to play an essential role in social commerce strategies.
What Is Social Commerce?
Social commerce combines selling with social media so that you can purchase products and services from a social media platform. You could use Instagram, Facebook, or even Twitter to sell products. It’s an easy and streamlined integration since your audience already expects you to promote your products via social channels.
Since 93% of global shoppers already access their social channels via their mobile devices, you’re able to tap into that constant flow of traffic. You have an engaged audience that’s just waiting for you to post engaging content that will inspire them to share, recommend, and buy. The world of social commerce has not yet fully transitioned to web 3.0. Still, the first iterations indicate a decentralised model that fosters an open economy based on borderless exchange, transparency, and trust.
Why Is Social Commerce so Effective?
Social commerce is effective because it’s easy and uncomplicated. Your audience clicks a few buttons, inputs their address and payment details, and the digital transaction is complete. As you simplify the process, you’re also increasing your authentic engagement with your audience, which means they’ll quickly grow to love you (hopefully).
As you enhance your customers’ experience, a natural side effect is that you’re building brand loyalty and trust. So, they’ll be more likely to return to you for repeat and continued business.
How Will Social Commerce Affect B2B Businesses?
B2B businesses are building a valuable connection with their customers on social channels, allowing them to become increasingly social. Faced with the realities of marketing to complex and knowledgeable buyers, B2B businesses are evolving their strategic approach. They’re considering the fact that social buyers now have better product knowledge with a more technical approach than ever before.
The new level of knowledge is a good thing, but it’s forcing B2B companies to prove the value of their products. It’s no longer necessarily enough to just say the product is better, offer a good price, and provide timely delivery. B2B marketing relationships are now built on a level of trust and accountability, where the reputation of the brand is important, as is their reputation and reliability in the marketplace.
Interact via Chatbot Selling
Social commerce has also evolved with a demand for immediacy. With a global market size that’s projected to grow to more than $1.2 trillion by 2025, the chatbot industry is a perfect example of how your audience is changing. In response to that demand, 80% of businesses are launching chatbot automation to accommodate demand.
Many experts project chatbots will handle 75-90% of all online queries by 2024. Those interactions allow for the seamless integration of buying into an automated functionality, so it will continue to be faster and easier for your audience to buy your products and services. You have to be prepared for the latest trend, with efficient solutions to serve your audience. Just as the chatbot has been integrated, Social Commerce will continue to grow in alignment with customer demand.
The Future of Social Commerce
Immerse Your Products in AR Integration
Meta is just the latest face of AR integration, but artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and machine learning (ML) are all technologies that will continue to grow in popularity in 2022. Already, you can modify your surroundings on the screen via Instagram. You can virtually add new products to your home using your smartphone camera. While much of this functionality has been slowly rolling out, this coming year will continue to see more widespread integrations. So, it will be even easier for you to offer your products and services via AR-based shopping. As NFTs (non-fungible tokens) become more popular, you’ll likely be able to buy pieces directly from influencers’ feeds, your favourite shows, and AR art installations.
Sell via Digital Storefronts on Social Media
Facebook was the first to offer native commerce tools, but it’s now available across other social platforms. Already, 82% of buyers find and buy products via social media on their mobile devices. Some 42% of buyers also say that they prefer the direct digital storefronts via their social media app.
Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Social Commerce
Social commerce is still a burgeoning industry. It’s got a long way to go to support customers and be as streamlined as possible. Given how social commerce is already skyrocketing, it will soon become the norm for many businesses in B2C & B2B. Make sure you’re ahead of the curve when it starts to become a necessity.