As e-commerce and social media come together as social commerce, news media companies need to embrace the trend.
In an INMA blog, advertising initiative lead Mark Challinor makes the case for sharing a trend that is disrupting online shopping. “Like it or not, social commerce looks set to make a huge impact on e-commerce sales,” he says.
Challinor says that businesses that rely on e-commerce sales are likely to be already involved in social commerce, and asks whether media businesses are maximising its potential.
After being led by China, the trend gained huge momentum during COVID-19 in countries such as the US, where there were 80 million social buyers during the worst period of the pandemic, equivalent to a 30 per cent increase.
Retail experts now expect social commerce sales to increase by more than 35 per cent to more than US$36 billion, and to nearly US$80 million by 2025.
Tailoring the social commerce strategy to the brand will involve tactics such as user-generated content, working with influencers, and adding consumer comments/reviews to any posts.
Challinor says the largest social media platform in the western world, Facebook needs to be considered by advertisers, with the opportunity to use Facebook Shops to bring a storefront online for free.
Instagram – long associated with influencer culture – may have fewer users, but can raise awareness, with new Instagram Checkout available to make purchases easier. And with recent addition TikTok, advertisers benefit from user-generated content leading to ‘consumer mania’.
“Some TikTok users have developed large audiences based on their ability to sell a wide range of products,” he says. “Consequently, e-commerce masters Amazon added a column to their website listing items that recently went viral.”