Omnichannel retailing should be on every entrepreneur’s ‘Need to Know’ list. Luckily, the Entrepreneur Weekly has been taking you along as we dissect this phenomenon. “Omnichannel retail is a strategy in which retailers engage customers through multiple digital and physical touchpoints”, according to Intel. One of those touchpoints is the good old in-store shopping. Last week, we explored Why In-store Shopping is Still Vital to Your Business. This week, we delve deeper. We will be continuing on another retail strategy- SOCIAL COMMERCE AS A RETAIL STRATEGY.
Have you been scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook and seen a sponsored post directing you to purchase a product or service? Then you may have come across social commerce.
Bigcommerce defines social commerce as, “A segment of e-commerce in which merchants sell products directly through social media platforms, allowing potential customers to interact with brands, browse goods and make purchases”.
Unlike social media marketing, social commerce gives customers the option to checkout directly from social platforms. Or, in some cases, the social platform may contain links that lead directly to the retailer’s product page where the customer can also complete their purchase.
As Altcraft emphasises, “Social Commerce is more than a trend; it’s a tool that savvy businesses can use to make the sales process smoother, faster, and more enjoyable for both the buyer and the seller.” So, let’s chat, strategise, and unlock the potential of Social Commerce on these popular platforms for your entrepreneurial journey.
TOP SOCIAL COMMERCE PLATFORMS
Facebook offers several features for Social Commerce. First, there’s the Marketplace, a dedicated platform for buying and selling products within the Facebook ecosystem. As the BigCommerce highlights, “With the introduction of Facebook Marketplace, sellers can reach a wider audience, especially those who spend significant time on social media.”
Additionally, businesses can add a Shop Tab to their Facebook Page, allowing customers to browse and buy products without leaving Facebook. This creates a streamlined shopping experience. According to Hootsuite, “You can set up your shop in a way that complements your brand’s style and story.”
Furthermore, Facebook’s dynamic ads feature allows businesses to automatically show the right products to people who have expressed interest on their website, in their app, or elsewhere on the Internet. Facebook boasts, “Facebook’s Dynamic Ads enable you to automatically promote your entire product catalog across Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network without having to create thousands of individual ads.”
Instagram, a subsidiary of Facebook, also offers robust Social Commerce features. Instagram Shopping allows businesses to tag products in their posts and stories. Users can tap on the tagged product to view details and make a purchase, all within the Instagram app.
Moreover, businesses can create shoppable posts, where users can click on a product tag to learn more and make a purchase, seamlessly integrating shopping into the Instagram experience. As Altcraft explains, “Shoppable posts on Instagram allow your followers to click through to your product pages and make purchases without ever leaving the app.”
The newest kid on the block is TikTok Shop. TikTok is known for its incredible attention catching short form videos, but the rapidly growing social media platform has turned it up at notch with its social commerce tool, TikTok Shop. With the “TikTok made me buy it” trend that emerged in 2020, thousands of users have been looking to the platform for shopping inspiration.
Now, brands have the option to build a shoppable storefront within TikTok through the Shopping tab. TikTok users can now add the Shopping tab into their business profiles, where they can sync their static product catalog and allow customers to make purchases straight from the app.
These platforms offer a range of features to enhance the Social Commerce experience. With in-app purchases, safe checkout, product tagging, and analytics, businesses can create engaging shopping experiences, reach a broader audience, and boost sales.
Let’s Get Social!
To set up your business for Social Commerce on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, follow these steps:
- Create a Business Account: Ensure you have a business account on these platforms. This may require a Facebook Business Page and an Instagram Business Account.
- Product Catalogue: Create a product catalogue, either manually or through integration with an e-commerce platform like Shopify or WooCommerce.
- Tag Products: Use the platform’s tools to tag your products in posts, stories, or listings.
- Engage with Customers: Interact with customers through comments, direct messages, and live streams, creating a personalised shopping experience.
JBDC Virtual Biz Zone Webinar – Omnichannel Retailing
Want to learn more? Join JBDC Tuesday, September 26, 2023 for the second Virtual Biz Zone Webinar in the Logistics Series. This time we will be exploring “Omnichannel Retailing’ with Manager of the Marketing Services Unit at the JBDC, Janine Fletcher-Taylor. How can you incorporate omnichannel retailing to grow your business? Register now at www.jbdc.net/events.