If you're an ecommerce business or have a service you're trying to market, it goes without saying that you'll want your audience to have every possible opportunity to make a sale. In the past social media was all about connecting with this audience, then trying to drive them to your website, and then trying to make a sale, but recently more and more social networks are cutting out the middle man. In other words, they're making it easy for users to make a purchase from your brand right then and there--you just have to know how to get started and how to take advantage.
How the Social Commerce Revolution Works and Examples
The first thing to understand is what exactly a social commerce revolution means. In short, social commerce refers to options for users to buy what they're seeing right there without having to navigate to a brand's page to make the purchase. In the past social networks were all about making connections and creating profile pages, but they're quickly evolving into a place where you can also make purchases.
Below are a few popular social networks that have already adopted commerce solutions:
- Pinterest new Buyable Pins.
Their new button is called "Buyable Pins" and will be located right next to the regular pins that users use when creating their custom boards. All users have to do when scrolling through photos and images now is simply click the new button and then be taken to a checkout page. Fill out your information and then save that information for future purchases and you're set. You an also now search for Buyable Pins only, so it's becoming a place to visit for shopping specifically. You can also filter by price, color, and more.
- Instagram new Shop Now button.
This new button will make it easy for users to click to shop more, but it's up to the advertisers where they want to send users--a brand's website, app, or sign up for their mailing list--so unlike Pinterest this new button will have users navigate away from the page. Instagram was never about shopping, so this decision will help make sure users are not annoyed by too many ads. It's up to the advertisers to sign up to have this option in place, and currently the new button will only be available to users through mobile.
- Facebook Buy Button and Shopify partnership.
Facebook has been testing a Buy Button for several months now, but recently they announced that they are going to open up the button option to Shopify's ecommerce platform. Although the button is not available to everyone just yet, it can show up in Page Posts and Promoted Post ads run by Shopify merchants. If a Facebook user saw the ad and wanted to quickly make a purchase, they can simply click the button and then within the News Feed actually complete their purchase. You can even buy instantly if you keep your payment details on file. The network also makes it easy for merchants to see their new shopper analytics right there next to other Facebook data.
- Twitter Buy Button.
The Twitter Buy Button works in an incredibly similar way to Facebook and has been around for almost one year. If a user clicks the button they can buy directly from a tweet, and according to their official blog users will "get access to offers and merchandise they can't get anywhere else and can act on them right in the Twitter apps for Android and iOS.".
How Small Businesses Can Take Advantage of the Social Commerce Revolution
While many businesses are not thrilled about this shift since it deters users from visiting their website, it's still a great way to improve your conversions because it makes things easier. Users are no longer only visiting one place to shop and search online, so it's incredibly important that businesses stay on top of every outlet possible.
To take advantage, make sure your social accounts are optimized and you're involved in all of the different social networks out there. Think about who is browsing social websites and what your company can offer that someone may want to buy quickly and on-the-spot. As you can tell from some of the examples above, images are incredibly important if you want to be successful, so make sure you're putting time and effort into producing high-quality images and then getting them out there on social networks through hashtags, links, connections, and more. The best part is that not only are you getting a targeted audience with social, but there is less competition currently so this is a great time to really make some moves.