What Is Social Commerce? Explaining The Basics

March 3, 2024

What Is Social Commerce? Explaining The Basics | AIA Book in a free 30 minute strategy session

Social media is one of the most powerful tools eCommerce entrepreneurs have access to today. Around 80% of Americans used some kind of social media in 2019, and 76% of social media users have purchased products they’ve seen in social media ads. How can you take advantage of the rise in social media? With social commerce.

Social commerce lets you reach more customers and make more sales directly on social media websites like Instagram and Facebook, and in this blog from Australian Internet Advertising, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about how it works.

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Social Commerce Involves Selling Items Directly On A Social Media Platform

Social commerce is similar to social advertising – such as using a Facebook business account to buy pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Facebook. But it goes further than that.

In a normal social media ad, you may promote a product or service – then when a user clicks the ad, they will click-through to a “landing page” on your website where they can make their purchase. This can be thought of as “social advertising,” because you’re simply advertising the product – not selling it directly on the social media platform.

Social shopping is different. It uses a special type of ad that lets a social media user buy a particular product or sign up for a service without ever leaving the social media app. Platforms that offer social shopping include Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Social commerce provides social media users with a totally seamless shopping experience. They can view an ad in their news feed, click it, purchase the item right away, and go back to using their social media app with no interruptions.

Social commerce is used by a lot of different eCommerce stores, but it’s especially popular with “group buying” companies like Drop (formerly MassDrop), which provide low-cost products because they’re able to purchase them in bulk directly from suppliers.

How Is Social Commerce Difference From eCommerce?

Traditional eCommerce (electronic commerce) involves a customer completing the purchase process on a dedicated online store – think Amazon.com, for example.

Social commerce is different because social media users are able to buy a product or service without ever leaving social networks like Facebook or Instagram. This means they don’t have to exit the app to go to your eCommerce website – but can enter payment information, shipping details, and checkout directly in the app.

Technically, social commerce is a type of eCommerce strategy, just like all strategies used for buying and selling products and services online – but it’s still very different from the traditional eCommerce shopping process, so it’s helpful to distinguish social commerce strategy from other methods of eCommerce sales.

Understanding The Benefits Of Social Commerce

Choosing to integrate social commerce like a Facebook shop into your eCommerce strategy has a lot of different benefits. Let’s take a look at a few of the most important ones now.

  • Build trust among buyers – Because the transaction takes place directly in a familiar social media environment, such as Instagram or Facebook, your customers will have a baseline level of trust that they are working with a reputable company. That’s not to say they won’t feel the same way on your eCommerce site, but familiarity is a powerful thing – and with social commerce, it works to your benefit.
  • Enjoy enhanced social proof – Social commerce ads usually allow you to enable comments and reviews, or post reviews that other people have written about a particular product or service. This allows you to benefit from enhanced “social proof.” Social proof is the concept that your customers will follow the actions of others – if they see that other customers like your services or products, they’re more likely to try them out for themselves.
  • Product discovery – Social commerce allows you to quickly show off your products and services to both new customers and returning customers. Using carousel-based ads, for example, you can show a social media user multiple items they may be interested in. Even if they don’t buy right away, this helps build up your brand in their mind, and may boost the odds of a sale in the future.
  • Easy to implement – Social commerce doesn’t replace your online eCommerce store – it augments it. And using Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, it’s quite easy to set up social commerce ads that integrate smoothly with your existing store, such as Shopify.

Need Help With Your eCommerce Strategy? AIAD Is Here For You!

At Australian Internet Advertising, we’re experts in Shopify eCommerce, web design, and Facebook ads. If you’re building an eCommerce business in Australia and you’re interested in the unique benefits that social commerce has to offer, we’re here to help.

To get started with a free consultation, just give us a call at 1300 304 640 or contact us online. We’d be happy to sit down with you, discuss our expertise, and show you how we can improve your eCommerce business with cutting-edge approaches such as social commerce.

Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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