Is social commerce the future of DTC?

Buyable formats and live streaming offer brands the next opportunity to grow on social media, says Hey Honey’s Chris Adams. In conversations with social shopping leaders, he asks: how can brands intervene?

Although there have been high-profile strategic shifts with regards to e-commerce and live shopping through social media platforms including TikTok and Meta, there are still bright opportunities for brands to market effectively on social media platforms. social media. Radical changes are underway.

Social commerce has become hugely popular, with all major social and discovery platforms looking to drive higher engagement and new revenue streams.

Meta, TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter and Snap have all made e-commerce features available through their self-service tools, including product tagging, shopping-specific ads, shoppable ads and now live shopping.

Let’s be social; let’s go shopping

The most common features are storefronts and product tagging in posts. Meta, along with Instagram and Facebook, has had the most success here (at least in Western markets). Other platforms followed, including Twitter with its Shopify partnership.

Advertisers can “tag” products in posts, linking to a catalog in the app, leading to an online store where users can purchase the item. Snapchat takes it a step further by offering advertisers an augmented reality (AR) in-store experience. Snap’s launch of AR shopping combines AR, in-store screens, and some pretty nifty tech.

Buyable ads offer advertisers the ability to sell items online. Social Purchasable Units allow users to purchase items or services within the ad environment without leaving the app. Apps such as Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) have offered purchasable units for some time, with the in-app payment method. It’s making inroads in Western markets, with Instagram offering buyable ads in the US (currently, however, popular payment options like Apple Pay and Google Pay aren’t available).

We asked Terry Visser, co-founder of shoppable advertising platform Shopala, how brands can benefit from the in-ads shopping feature.

“Traditionally, the buying process that customers go through on e-commerce sites has involved filling out long forms, multiple steps, and slow-loading payment methods,” says Visser. “When customers are targeted lower in the funnel, brands should offer them quick payment options in the form of third-party payments or buyable social media ads. This improves conversions and customer loyalty by making the payment process faster and easier. »

Live streaming success

Brands can now also adopt live shopping strategies across a range of platforms.

To get the most out of direct shopping, brands need to ensure they have a long-term strategy, a clear vision, and both hard and soft goals (sales goals, yes, but also improved interactions with customers or greater notoriety).

Consistency is key: broadcast live streams at the same time every day or week so people get used to seeing these notifications. Don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately; with consistency over time, you will see excellent results.

Carmen Muley, managing director of content delivery agency Freim, told us: “Live buying goes far beyond social commerce. While social commerce takes place exclusively on social media, live shopping can be integrated into a brand’s website and reposted on social media. Live shopping merges the best aspects of social media and e-commerce, and it’s just the beginning of a new era. »

Before you even think about starting your broadcast, make sure you’ve chosen the right platforms for your audience. Try a different platform or two before diving in, and always target hardcore fans on your first few streams to build awareness and learning for future streams.

What platform?

With 2.1 billion monthly users, YouTube is a global giant. It’s cost-effective and offers in-depth targeting, allowing you to reach the right audience at the right time. We recommend brands explore YouTube as a shopping discovery channel.

Meta, especially Instagram, still presents a huge opportunity for e-commerce advertisers, with an engaged audience and ever-improving shopping features. During the stream, save clips for long-term off-stream use in reels and stories. Reels generate the most reach on Instagram compared to posts and stories.

Pinterest is often misrepresented as just a social media platform, but it’s actually a discovery platform, and its community has a high purchase intent when using the app. Pinterest launched Pinterest TV in 2021: a great way to target niche markets or attract new audience segments that aren’t active on other platforms. In addition to shopping live on social media, brands can stream their tandem streams on their own site using providers like onsite.live.

Finally, TikTok is moving forward with a Shopping Ads feature, giving e-commerce brands more opportunities to promote products to large audiences: a three-in-one Shopping Ads solution. buying video, catalogs and live ads. Successful ads focus on engaging, entertaining, and informative content, so it’s important to work with creators and develop an exciting idea.

Get ready for the exciting and limitless possibilities that social commerce and live shopping will bring.

If you would like to arrange a call, contact the Hey Honey team.

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