Social commerce is a fast-growing trend. But is it the right time for your online shop to ‘sell social’? Our handy guide will help you take your first steps with social commerce.
1. Understand social commerce
Social commerce (also known as social shopping) means selling and buying products on social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. With social commerce, customers buy products within a social platform - without visiting a separate website or app.
Social shopping makes life easy for customers, which is why it’s growing in popularity every day: global social media sales were estimated at US$992 billion in 2022.
2. Create your own website
Having your own website makes your brand credible, professional and protects you for the long-term. In addition, to sell on many of the leading social platforms, including Instagram and Facebook Shops, you need to have your own website domain up and running. Your online shop needs to contain product listings for direct purchase from your website that you can link to your social shop.
If you’re ready to create your own website, then a great domain name will help your brand stand out online - check out our post Create a great domain in five easy steps for tips on how to get started with a dot-shop domain.
3. Choose the right social platforms
Which social media platforms are right for you? Here’s a beginner’s guide to social shopping on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest.
Shops on Facebook and Instagram
Facebook and Instagram offer online storefronts where people can browse, explore and purchase your products. With customisable collections and simple design tools, you can showcase featured products, bring your brand to life and make shopping seamless for customers.
Meta first launched Facebook Shops in 2020 (transitioning from its Facebook Page shops) and there are now more than 1 million Facebook Shops open for business.
TikTok Shop bills itself as the place where entertainment meets commerce – letting customers discover and buy products the fun way. The platform enables merchants, brands and creators to showcase and sell products directly on TikTok through in-feed videos, LIVEs, and the product showcase tab.
If your online shop lends itself to video content, then you should know that social buyer figures are climbing rapidly at TikTok.
Since 2009, Pinterest has been a space where people can save and search for images and content using pinboards. In recent years the site has built its shopping solutions, and prides itself on having what it calls ‘super shoppers’ – people who are willing to pay x2 more per month than customers on other social platforms.
Does your shop offer eye-catching products? Then check out Pinterest’s shopping solutions.
4. Build your audience
The key to social platforms is in the word ‘social’. People flock to these apps because they make it fun to connect, share and communicate. If you want to thrive on social platforms, then you need to build and nurture your online community. This means creating great online content and handling requests quickly and efficiently.
It’s also important to tailor your approach to your customer demographic. Statistics show that young consumers want to shop via social media. If your brand appeals to younger people, social commerce might well be the right choice for you.
5. Level up to become a social superstar
Before your products go live, we have three top tips to make your brand shine online.
Create eye-catching photography
Social media platforms differ in many ways, but there is one thing they all have in common: they thrive on imagery. So if you want your shop to grab attention on socials, you need to create great photography. If you can afford it, get a professional photographer for your product lines – and offer as many shots as possible (customers love to see the angles and details).
If you’re not ready to work with a professional, then use online courses to improve your photography skills.
Share user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) means any content originated by your customers. This includes video clips of happy customers receiving, reviewing or using your products. Why is UGC so powerful? Because of its authenticity. UGC builds trust in a brand through the honest, unpolished material created by customers.
Think about what you can offer to incentivise customers to make and share content. Can you offer a prize in exchange for UGC? Competitions are a great way to get people engaging with your brand. And if you add a hashtag into the mix, you’re helping customers discover and talk about your brand.
Show your personality
Customers want to know the people who run their favorite brands. So schedule time to connect with your followers. Every day, take a few minutes to post about your products, update your social media pages, and repost and comment on other peoples’ posts. The more you show your personality online, the more you will find your like-minded tribe of followers.
Got a social commerce story you’d like to share with the world? Get in touch with the get.shop team and tell us how you’re building your brand online. We love telling stories that celebrate entrepreneurs.
- How to sell on social platforms
How to sell on social platforms