Since the beginning of e-commerce, social media has had its participation in one way or another. The difference between then and now is the degree of integration of different social media apps with e-commerce sites. Shopping behaviors have shifted: younger consumers are now more influenced by social media than by their older peers, and more than 80% of shoppers will research a product online before making their way into the store.
Social media platforms offer embedded ways for users to click and purchase directly from within their apps, and some of them keep testing e-commerce features since they debuted.
Part of Every E-Commerce Purchase
Ok, maybe not every purchase, but according to data from Sprout Social 75% of people bought something online because they saw it on social media. Whether from an influencer, an ad or through word of mouth, social media has a direct impact on your customer’s buying decision.
Social media is present in all of our devices: desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. And its influence in our shopping behaviors is only growing. Online research goes hand in hand with shopping. Some people will do research to find good deals locally, while others will do local research to find a better deal online. With the ease with which you can find products online and compare prices, it only makes sense to use these tools at our disposal.
What’s the Best Platform for You?
Among the various social media platforms you can choose, some of them are better for certain products or services than others. It all depends on what you’re selling and where your customers hang out. Any of these platforms has the ability to offer them directly from their apps, but it’s up to you to decide where you’re placing your marketing investment.
For example, if you’re offering digital products, YouTube has a great track record of performing well with this type of product. Snapchat is the latest one to join the ranks of social platforms with shoppable ads, making way for Gen Y consumers to make their shopping experiences easier. Whether you’re selling antique items, books or magazines, Pinterest might be your best shot.
Due to its strong visual impact, Instagram is another fantastic platform to push luxury, fashion, and lifestyle brand purchases. It allows for a seamless view among the user’s photo feed, encouraging shoppers to buy on the app when they see the clickable ‘Shop Now’ text. Instagram is already a place where many will discover new brands or products on mobile. When making these discoveries becomes a daily happening, it’s best to facilitate the shopping experience for consumers and businesses.
Facebook Is a Must
Many industries will drive a significant amount of purchases on Facebook, including the Photography, Sports & Recreation, and Pet Supplies sitting at the very top. Keep in mind that Facebook is the social media platform with the largest amount of users worldwide. You can definitely use this to your advantage—along with a more target-audience specific social media platform—to gain awareness when developing your product placement strategy. However, if you rely solely on Facebook, you might miss out on higher levels of interaction on other platforms.
While e-commerce is being shaped as we go, shoppers ultimately decide what type of products they’re willing to try and buy on social media. It is up to the brands and advertisers to make it a gratifying shopping experience and to make their products live up to the hype.