$1.2 trillion—by 2025. Social commerce is certainly on the roll and it’s making waves with trends like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt tapping into the Gen Z and millennial crowd.
In fact, driven by this demand, social commerce is expected to grow 3X as fast as traditional eCommerce.
Why? Because it’s fun. It’s so well integrated into social media that customers rarely even realize the impact it has on their bank balance and more often than not they don’t even mind.
For them, having that aspirational product off their social media and in their homes makes all the difference. Naturally, the top eCommerce brands are already finding ways to optimize this.
BUT before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s understand what is social commerce and why it is so important.
Social commerce simply refers to selling on social media i.e. commerce through social. By using Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and even Pinterest (and other platforms) to engage in the direct buying & selling of their products with customers, brands can break through the digital divide, increase awareness, drive traffic, and even improve conversions.
The average conversion rate for direct sales on Facebook is 1.85%.
That only accounts for sales on the platform, but a good margin (nearly two-thirds) use social media for research and buy directly with the brand.
That goes to show the immense potential that social commerce has. Now, let’s understand how the top eCommerce brands use different types of social commerce.
eCommerce brands winning at Social Commerce (+ Lessons we can learn from them)
1. Ink Meets Paper (Create a digital storefront)
We already know that Facebook enjoys a considerably high presence in the social commerce space: 63% to be specific. So, it makes sense to fully optimize your eCommerce store to Facebook and cover all the basics.
Ink Meets Paper is a great example here. Their Facebook Page is fully complete with a detailed profile, regular content updates, a chatbot for prompt customer service, and an optimized Facebook Shop.
Here’s what they’ve done to make their Facebook Shop represent a digital storefront:
- Set up product pages with clear descriptions & appealing visuals
- Use product tags in Facebook posts and run these through targeted ads
- Build guides for different product collections & have brand products in them
- Create trust badges, such as Free Delivery, and easily accessible checkout
- Leverage UGC content to promote products with a lifestyle appeal
- Set up chatbots for prompt query resolution
- Use Facebook Live to draw attention
PRO TIP: One of the smartest ways to market on Facebook is by running targeted ad campaigns for Lookalike Audiences and featuring 3 - 4 products on each. For the CTA, link it back to the Facebook Shop.
2. The Tiny Tassel (Optimize Facebook product pages)
Go one step further and optimize the product pages to make it super easy for customers to check out on Facebook. Treat this page just as you would a product page on your website: use compelling descriptions, stunning visuals, and smart filters that make it easy for customers to move through the page.
To optimize your product pages on Facebook, pay attention to the analytics & look into the following:
- Incorporate commonly used search terms to make your products easy to discover.
- Pay attention to pageviews & bounce rates; determine what is causing customers to leave.
- Take on the customer role & go through the experience periodically to determine improvements.
- Observe your current customer demographics & build ideal profiles. Use this in Lookalike Audiences.
REMEMBER: Most customers don’t have the patience to follow through with an entire process. Give them 3 - 5 steps and let them check out effortlessly. That will help customers get what they want without involving too much conscious effort (and we all know how important that is).
3. Trixie Cosmetics (Optimize every feature for Twitter commerce)
What is Twitter's new shopping feature? Well, it’s an exciting mix of visuals, short-form copy, and shoppable content.
Twitter commerce is still a recent addition, only about a year or so, but like many of its features, it’s bound to see an expansion. Alongside your Twitter marketing plan, it may be valuable for you to look into building (and optimizing) Twitter Shops, Shop Spotlight, Live Shopping, and Shopping Manager.
Take a note from Trixie Cosmetics and see how you can fully utilize each one of these:
Twitter Shop is an online store, powered by Shopify, that gives you the room to showcase your products on Twitter. It’s a great way to reach potential customers on the app, create a native shopping experience, display the full product range, and encourage them to checkout quickly.
With Shop Spotlight, you can highlight products that are popular with Twitter users and current customers as well as the products that are currently special: seasonal, newest launch, etc. You can also use this feature to display curated collections with seasonal favorites, influencer edits, and offer access to special discounts.
Live Shopping allows customers to shop directly with the brand through a LIVE session. This feature is perfect to respond to customer requests in real time, address any queries they may have, and even offer exclusive deals and limited time offers.
With Shopping Manager, you can manage your Shop and Twitter marketing campaigns effortlessly. It helps you organize, share and compare products and prices as well as track shipments and refunds.
PLUS: When you’re promoting a product as part of your Twitter marketing strategy, be sure to add it to the Shop Spotlight. It’s not only a hygiene practice but also makes it a lot easier for customers to check out.
4. Rebecca Minkoff (Use your Instagram feed as a brand playbook)
There’s one thing social media offers that websites sometimes tend to lack: human appeal.
In social commerce, everything is run through people:
- User-generated content that builds trust & social proof
- Social engagement with polls, quizzes, comments, and DMs
- Hyper-personalized paid ad campaigns run through segmented audiences
- Influencer associations to drive content initiatives & get word-of-mouth marketing
That’s when selling becomes social (and hence more organic). Rebecca Minkoff does this extremely well with their entire Instagram feed reflecting a brand playbook, bringing in the human appeal and addressing the lifestyle benefits of their products.
They’re also constantly in touch with customers through live streams, instant responses to comments & messages, reposting user-generated content, and using analytics to drive more equitable ad campaigns.
PS: Be sure to enable reviews on Instagram Shop! Helps seal the deal :)
Read more about it here: 15 Underutilized Social Media Ideas For eCommerce Brands
5. JUNO Co (Make it easy to “Shop the Look”)
Instagram Shops have been around for years and in that time, they’ve quickly grown to become a powerful tool for social commerce. If you find yourself wondering, “How do I set up a shop on Instagram?”, here’s an easy guide:
- Log into your Instagram account and go to the “Create Your Shop” page
- Choose a checkout method and add the Business Manager details
- Add your product catalog, review the details, and agree to the Seller Agreement
And that covers the basics. Here’s the fun stuff, ya know as JUNO Co. has above:
- Hyperlink to product pages with Stories Stickers and use polls & quizzes to drive engagement
- Leverage Instagram LIVE to build exciting product launches, run AMAs & build a community
- Offer exclusive discounts & limited time offers for customers who join the LIVE sessions
- Incorporate User-Generated Content to drive the lifestyle appeal
PLUS: Be sure to enable the “Shop the Look” feature - this is what Instagram is known for.
It’s easy for customers to use, only requires linking to the product pages, and lets customers access multiple products at once. All through the app. Pretty cool, eh? Plus, you can bring in influencers to use this tag and build a larger audience base for your products.
6. ASOS (Build a community)
Instagram is a community platform—it’s a place for like minded people to come together and share content that inspires them—and ASOS does a great job with that.
ASOS has always been known for its bold, innovative style. The #AsSeenOnMe campaign is a reflection of that, which brings in customers from all walks of life to share content edited with a special brand filter.
The ASOS #AsSeenOnMe campaign aims to celebrate the diversity of its customers by showcasing their personal style on social media. That is not only great for community marketing (and hence driving larger traffic to the brand) but also taps into the people of the brand: making every customer feel more special.
GOOD TIP: With Instagram community marketing, you may want to steer clear of the salesy stuff.
Avoid putting up “branded content” with CTAs and sales pitches on every post. Instead, keep it organic, and focus on the people. Instagram is a place for connection and it’s best to use it for that. Also makes your brand feel more personal :)
7. Jordan (Sales in a snap)
One thing customers love: exclusivity. Especially in the luxury space where customers want to feel special, exclusive products and sales go a long way.
That is especially useful on a platform like Snapchat which thrives on the feeling of FOMO and gives brands the chance to release limited-edition products and run flash sales through their Snapchat account. Here, you can encourage customers to use the “Swipe Up” feature and invest before stocks run out.
This not only makes customers feel like that experience is specially curated for them, it only drives urgency and triggers the feeling of FOMO. To amplify that, you can bring in influencers and leverage augmented reality where possible providing a holistic experience for the customers.
Take note of how Jordan does that above. One way to build brand recall, eh?
TIP: With limited time offers, you may want to look at incorporating a countdown timer. A native feature of Snapchat, it’ll surely go the extra mile.
8. e.l.f. Cosmetics (Vote for viral)
We all know the Gen Z kids are on TikTok (and they’re also actively buying from brands there!). It’s increasingly becoming a popular platform for brands to reach the Gen Z & millennial crowd (especially those with a larger disposable income).
The unique short-form video format gives you the opportunity to create engaging and innovative content that steers clear of the information overload paradox. Influencer marketing is a big thing here. Brands, like e.l.f. Cosmetics have been tapping into its potential to build campaigns and even grow it to virality.
How they did that is pure genius. They introduced a TikTok reality show—Eyes. Lips. Famous.—where three beauty enthusiasts had the chance to learn from the team and become their ambassadors of sorts.
Naturally, this blew up. They received over 3,000 entries, lots of social sharing, and plenty of user-generated content that they now use in their TikTok marketing campaigns.
PRO TIP: With contests, it’s best to look into the perceived value of the award: the better it is in the eyes of your customers, the more likely it is that they engage and that your contest goes viral.
9. Dollar Shave Club (Build a lifestyle)
It’s important to remember that Pinterest is a virtual search engine. They’re coming here to look at visually appealing content that helps them build a lifestyle. For brands, if you fill in these requirements, your content will get picked up but that doesn’t necessarily convert into sales.
So, is it worth marketing on Pinterest?
It is and here’s why. Pinterest is a massive channel for content discovery. It brings in customers with high intent, has a 13% market share (second to Facebook with 63%), and offers an average order value of $58.95.
That’s too good to miss out on. Here’s how you optimize your Pinterest eCommerce strategy:
- When building boards for your products, always showcase the lifestyle first (like DSC does above)
- Use the right keywords in titles, descriptions, and board names to make discovery easier
- Incorporate Rich Pins to include information on price and other product details
- Always ensure high-quality content with HD pictures and striking colors
- Publish content regularly and always respond to queries as they come in
PS: Remember to add buyable pins for a quick checkout!
10. Macy’s (Build an influencer storefront)
Who said social commerce JUST had to be about social media? You can also look into tapping derivatives, such as influencer marketing, to drive a greater response for your brand. We love how Macy’s has done that.
Macy’s influencer storefront gives influencers the spotlight with curated collections customers can shop from. This is a win-win for both: it creates a larger audience & better content for Macy’s AND gives affiliate revenue to the influencer.
For customers, they can browse items directly from the influencers’ profiles and view reviews from other customers. As a bonus, they can also interact with the influencers and ask questions about the products.
There’s also a rewards program activated here. Customers can earn rewards points for each purchase they make and redeem them for discounts or special offers. This incentivizes customers to return to the platform and shop more frequently.
Social commerce is changing the game and it’s only going to keep getting better. It’s expected to grow at 21.4% annually—and social platforms are always improving their native shopping abilities—creating larger potential for eCommerce brands to take advantage of this system.
If you’re an eCommerce brand and are just getting started with social commerce, these 10 brand examples will help you get an idea of the types of social commerce, key features, and how it works.
If you still have questions, sign up for a free audit. Book a demo with us and we’ll take you through the different ways in which you can improve your conversion rates, build efficient email marketing campaigns, and drive revenue across the board.