5 Ways To Create A Shopping Experience On Social - Login Lockdown
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5 Ways To Create A Shopping Experience On Social

Felipe Gallo
July 4, 2023

E-commerce is out. Social commerce is in.

Well, not exactly, but people do prefer to buy on social media more than ever before. If your brand isn’t maximizing your social media channels to sell to consumers, you could be missing out on a huge source of revenue.

How big? According to a report by Statista, the total amount of sales from social networks through 2026 should total almost $3 trillion. That graph only goes up, too. Each year will surpass the previous year’s sales records.

Social commerce is here to stay. Even if you plan to keep your online store, you should consider adding this fast-growing channel. 

What is social commerce?

Unlike brick-and-mortar stores or online shops where people buy directly from the retailer, social commerce is where customers buy goods through social media platforms. The biggest platforms for social commerce are Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube also share spots in the top 10.

social commerce platforms

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Your social commerce strategy should be part of your larger social media marketing strategy. Benefits for your business include:

  • Higher search engine rankings.
  • More authentic engagement in traffic.
  • Better business metrics from social.

All this translates into more revenue for your business, plus improved customer retention after the sale. 

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Five ways to create a better shopping experience on social

Social media has already allowed brands to build substantial social proof. Reviews and recommendations should be a part of every social media strategy, and great relevant content that customers want to engage with.

Successful brands craft social media strategies that include social proof while selling to customers. This allows them to lead customers through a frictionless buyer journey. Customers are barely aware of the process.

Brands do this by posting sales-adjacent content such as product launches, unboxing videos, and influencer shout-outs. With the rise of video content, many brands are now investing in professional video editors to ensure their video content is top-notch and engaging. Those may not be “calls to action,” but they help grease the wheels on the customer’s journey and encourage them to convert.

Here are a few more ideas on creating a “social shopping” experience for your customers.

Hootsuite social commerce

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Max out your social platform’s capabilities

Chances are, if you’ve been on social media for any period of time, you know what it’s capable of. But have you taken the time to maximize every feature?

Every social platform has info, bios, and profile pictures you must enter and update. When considering social commerce, you should also see what additional settings and features there are for selling to consumers.

For instance, have you built out your brand’s storefront? Have you filled out all the relevant product info and descriptions? Are your pictures optimized? If not, you might want to use procreate flower brushes to optimize them and bring in more sales.

Ideally, your social commerce storefront should mimic your website. When all your digital storefronts share the same look and feel, it leads to a better user experience. It builds trust and carries your authority from your brand to social media channels and beyond. 

Lastly, don’t forget that people come to social media to be social. While you want to have direct buy options prominently displayed, you should also take advantage of things like user-generated content to help sell the products. 

People could submit images of themselves using your products or create videos about your services. You could also generate it by asking questions directly to ‌consumers. Run a contest where people win a shout-out by taking pictures with your products in different ways.

Be creative. Social media has the unique advantage of allowing you to create unique content to cater to your customers. When you take advantage of every feature your chosen platform offers, you can deliver a sales experience your customers will remember.

Mine the data

Social media is a gold mine of potential customer research. You can aggregate, study, and use everything from demographic data to buying patterns to help reach your target audience.

statistics graph of global social media users

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The goal is to use that data to create a seamless buying experience for the customer directly on social media. If you can take your audience from the attraction to the purchase stage on your channel, you’ll create less friction for the customer — which almost always results in more sales.

It’s time to talk about your data pipeline. Your data pipeline is “a sequence of actions that moves data from one source to another destination.” – WebFX 

Working backwards from your goal to the raw data, let’s start with what you do with that data. First, you need to collect the data. Your data will come from various sources:

Once you’ve collected your data, you’ll need to process it. Your data pipeline can augment and filter data before it reaches its final destination. 

The last stop for your data might be a data warehouse or data lake. You decide where you want your data to go and what you do with the insights gained. 

Now that you know the basics of the data pipeline, let’s discuss putting it into action.

One of the best ways to collect the data you need is by using popular types of social media content. You One of the best ways to collect the data you need is by using popular types of social media content. You may decide to create a quiz that asks your customers specific questions about what they want or don’t want from your brand.

Or, on the other end of the spectrum, you can have a personality test that helps them identify which character they are from a TV show. It may sound silly, but this type of content can help you better understand who your audience is and what kind of content they enjoy. 

The key is creating content your specific audience will want to engage with. The more they engage with you, the more data you can collect about your audience, and the more you’ll understand your community.

Emphasize your digital storefront

state of social media report

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Online shopping has become increasingly popular with time — even more so after the pandemic. People are using social networks as mediums to consume short, viral content about their favorite brands and shop for their products in a simple way.

Considering this trend, companies like Renderforest have implemented great social media strategies to increase sales. They use social media channels to promote products, such as logo makers, branding tools, and website templates. They’re actively sharing information with giveaways, offers, and more on social media such as Instagram and YouTube. 

Renderforest YouTube Tutorial

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They also post free, high-value content regularly. By sharing valuable information with its audience across all its social channels, Renderforest has increased engagement and gained thousands of followers and subscribers.

Most of the time, ‌social media channels are the initial touch point where they can communicate with users. The ability for consumers to buy directly from your social media channels creates a frictionless transaction after the initial awareness.

For this reason, you should optimize the point-of-purchase from end to end. While most social media platforms offer a one-click purchase, some require additional logins for security reasons. If that’s the case, ensure your storefront has a payment processing solution that users can trust.

Throughout the buying process, use different types of content to encourage the buyer to keep moving. Social media users abandon carts much faster than e-commerce customers — nearly 85%. You should split-test anything you do to speed up the checkout process to determine ‌efficiency.

Unboxing videos, influencer recommendations, and customer testimonials can encourage users to complete the checkout process. Try sprinkling them throughout each shoppable post.

If they don’t follow through to the purchase stage, use paid ads to retarget users and bring them back to your storefront. Remind them of what they missed out on, and consider offering a limited-time discount to create a sense of urgency. Or you could retarget them with a lead generation form to put them on your mailing list and cultivate that relationship further.

Synergize the in-person experience

Although 53.2% of millennials prefer doing the bulk of their product research on social networks, nothing beats seeing the product or service in action. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, find ways to integrate your online shop, your in-person shop, and your social commerce channels to create a holistic buying experience.

If you don’t have a physical location, that doesn’t mean you can’t create the feeling of one yourself. 

Augmented reality is a great way to concretize your customer’s digital experience. Nike did this at the NBA All-Star weekend in 2018 by segmenting a certain part of the floor where users could recreate a classic Michael Jordan pose on Snapchat. 

When they did, a QR code popped up that allowed them to buy the new Air Jordans straight on the Snapchat platform. Better yet, a company called Darkstore expedited those shoes so that most of them received their Jordans on the same day.

Virtual and augmented reality create opportunities for brands to personalize a seamless shopping experience. Clothing brands can allow users to virtually “try on” clothing without ever actually visiting the store. Eyewear businesses can show a user how glasses will look using an app.

But creating content that sells your product on social media doesn’t have to be that complicated and expensive. You can use tools like Canva to edit photos and videos to keep your social commerce channels in sync with your physical store. You can source user-generated content to demonstrate genuinely-human social proof of your product or service. You can also create graphics using Canva to keep your Instagram stories active. Additionally, you can use an Instagram caption generator to create an eye-catching caption for your graphics before posting them.

However, you need to bring the social commerce channel off the social media platform and create a more authentic user experience, the better. 

Implement AI 

It may seem counterintuitive to recommend robots to improve customer service experiences, but hear us out. 

AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) are advancing incredibly. Marketers use these advancements to level up their marketing strategies and hone in on tactics that generate the highest quality leads. In fact, over 80% of industry experts use AI in some way, shape, or form.

You can’t ignore your customers. 73% of them say AI and ML have the potential to impact CX. 48% said they’d interact with AI more often if it “made their customer experience with a brand more seamless, consistent, and convenient.” So it’s in your best interest to look into AI.  

The market for AI in marketing has grown remarkably in recent years, and it’s predicted that growth will continue.

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Some of the best ways to implement AI into your customer’s shopping experience are:

  • Chatbots – these can answer simple questions quickly and resolve common problems without tying up customer service personnel. When a more significant issue requires human interaction, the chatbot can connect the user to a customer service representative. 
  • AI for tailored purchases – think Amazon’s “Customers Also Bought” section. AI can recommend additional purchases to customers by analyzing their preferences and purchases. It’s a great way to increase their cart’s value. 
  • Customer sentiment – learning deeper insights into your customers and how they feel about your brand can help your business significantly. Using AI to analyze customer sentiment data will provide faster results with fewer errors. This is crucial since two-thirds of companies claim sentiment analysis reduces the cost of customer service, and 72% say it improves CX.

How will you grow your social commerce?

Selling on social media isn’t that different from any other form of commerce, but it provides you with several unique opportunities. Incorporating this as part of your sales funnel now will set you up for the future while leaving most of your competitors in the dust.