Social media has been an important marketing channel, and it is profoundly changing how people shop. Until now, however, purchasing activity was restricted to exploration and consideration, with sales occurring off-platform on a brand or retailer website.
Today, social networks seem to be on the verge of 'closing the loop,' which means that users will be able to search, buy, and purchase all within one linked social media experience. This advancement has the potential to radically alter the way we shop online.
According to the most recent report, social commerce is an industry on the rise, with analysts predicting that it will be worth $600 billion in the next seven years.
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Impact of Social Media on Retail
Today, social media is a major motivator for many shoppers. According to a new survey conducted by PWC—a global professional services network—the majority of shoppers' shopping patterns were affected by social media.
Consumers' opinions matter more than ever before, as their desire to express their opinions with others grows all the time. Furthermore, the increase in traffic from online referrals necessitates retailers considering how their customers connect and share information online.
The most popular online retailers have created a smooth shopping experience to gain a vibrant online audience that is involved on social media and serves as their advocate. The way retailers use social media has changed dramatically over the years.
Not long ago, merely having a social media presence was enough to give a company a major advantage. Interacting with clients and prospects on these channels improved customer support. However, as more companies began to develop a presence on social networking sites, the focus on these networks moved from contact with consumers to their mutual views and interactions with brands.
Retailers must engage followers to grow their brand, with the expectation that the followers will ultimately turn into paying customers. Social networking has aided in closing the distance between gaining customers' interest and then selling to them. The shorter the path between the customer and the commodity, the more likely it is for a company to convert sales.
By closing the above gap, you can not only increase revenue but also gain access to enhanced demographic and behavioral data collection and direct input, as well as gain a deeper understanding of your consumer base and then respond to them accordingly.
Is Online Shopping on the Rise?
Yeah, but it's a complicated answer.
Digital and mobile retailers will target both offline and online customers. The worlds of online social and offline retail are inextricably linked. Contact Eventide if you are unsure where to begin or if you want to boost the channels you already have.
What Effect Does This Have on the Online Shopping Game?
This new technology is altering consumer behavior by altering the buyer's path – and the process of discovery. Customers do not have to waste hours searching for what they want on Google or Amazon. Instead, they will quickly identify items based on photos or posts posted by their peers.
Buyers would also need to link out to external websites to complete their purchases because buying directly from Pinterest is not yet possible.
Pinterest isn't the only social media attempting to carve out a niche in eCommerce; Instagram is also making inroads by providing new shopping opportunities to its users.
The Instagram Latest Shopping Experience
The concept of Instagram Shoppable posts is similar to Pinterest's "Shop the Look," but Instagram has much more influence on people and customer behavior than Pinterest. Instagram has over 800 million active users; it is home to many influencers, and the bulk of users are between the ages of 18 and 24.
These figures alone indicate that Instagram is one of the strongest social media platforms for bringing the brand closer to potential buyers.
Instagram's Shoppable tags, like Pinterest's, have the same purchasing ease by redirecting you to the product page until you're ready to purchase. Buyers may also add their credit cards and buy directly from the website in some situations.
Instagram does not have a better shopping option than Pinterest, but it does provide more exposure. At this point, the only platform that could compete with Instagram in the eCommerce space is Snapchat – and even that would be a stretch.
Snapchat Shopping Experience
Snapchat's growth has been slower this year, but that could change because no one is working harder on platform advancement than Snapchat.
Snapchat, in comparison to Pinterest and Instagram, has a different approach to online sales. Instead of concentrating on major retail brands, Snapchat is also encouraging users to buy concert and sporting event tickets. And the best aspect, which no other network can match: all purchases take place entirely within the app.
Snapchat has partnered up with SeatGeek to introduce a new shopping experience to buyers' smartphones. The procedure is straightforward: you just need a few clicks and you never have to leave the app.
Snapchat can become more than just a social network as a result of this method of finding and purchasing products. Snapchat will grow into a true online store where any brand can sell its wares.
Buyers can quickly discover their favorite brands by scanning the Snap code of a brand. One scan opens the brand's online offer; one scan rules them all, and one scan locates them.
Pinterest is Rransforming Online Shopping into a Social and Search Hybrid Site
Users on Pinterest can share pins, leave comments, like content, and do other cool social things – but you can also search for items and topics like you would on a browser. That is a very strong setup with a lot of potential for retailers as Pinterest continues to concentrate on using cutting-edge technology to make the site more appealing.
The lens makes it easier for consumers to explore goods, but it is not without drawbacks, as with any new technology.
The lens also requires some modification, but it's not the only function Pinterest has to give for both brands and customers.
Another powerful feature is “Shop the Look,” which seamlessly links users with brands, bringing significant advertising value to a basic idea.
Users will use “Shop the Look” to find what they want and then be directed to stores where they can purchase the pieces. With a single click, they are taken directly to the product page, where they can complete their order.
Do you want to develop an outstanding social media strategy?
Our content at InAndOut Digital is planned with the future in mind. Since our team specializes in both storytelling and social media, we produce content that is both user-friendly and tactical. Get in touch if you want to learn more about our services.
We are a full-service marketing firm that develops social commerce solutions for enterprise eCommerce.