Social media has secured a strong position as a way of connecting with people or organizations and has long functioned as a communication tool. Between 2019 and 2020, the average social media usage worldwide reached 145 minutes per day, which was 3 more minutes on average than that in the previous year.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to spread from early 2020, online social retail has taken a quantum leap forward. The widespread adoption of social media platforms is beneficial for marketers, as social commerce can set ambitious targets to boost sales and improve user experience.
Facebook Shops launched in 2020, which allowed consumers to allow customers to discover brands through social content where they would not otherwise search for on an e-commerce platform.
The definition of social commerce is using social networking sites, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, WeChat, and Twitter to promote and sell products and services. Social media platforms act as vehicles to engage online shoppers by providing users with more interactive features than other e-commerce sites.
Social commerce also refers to new digital marketing strategies that aim at the retail market, by incorporating communication between participants in a community, and the active participation of marketing and selling of products and services.
While social media’s influence continues to rise, U.S. social commerce is projected to reach 84.2 billion U.S. dollars by 2021, which is roughly around 7.8% of all retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. During the current COVID-19 crisis, the global social commerce market is expected to see an increase at a rate of 31.4%, as consumers are highly likely to stick with social commerce habits even post-pandemic.
Brands can now have the opportunity to create seamless e-commerce experiences through their audiences’ favorite social media channels. According to a study by payment giant PayPal, 92% of sellers from 1,400 Asian countries believe that social commerce is vital to their business growth. China, one of the countries with the highest usage of social commerce is expecting its retail social commerce sales to rise to $474.81 billion by 2023. The rise in social commerce in China is mostly due to the development of Mini Program Sales on one of their most popular messaging platforms, WeChat. With more than 1 billion monthly users, WeChat’s Mini Programs have grown to 2.3 million, offering users e-commerce, task management, and coupons.
According to Tencent’s annual report in 2019, the total transaction value generated by its Mini Programs in 2019 was more than $115 billion.
Facebook and Instagram started as the channels for connecting with friends, but they have now emerged as the go-to place where consumers are buying things they love or by impulse. Social media channels allow for a quick discovery of the check-out process, most often removing the need to leave the app.
As younger shoppers are dominating the social shoppers’ cohort, PayPal’s research also shows that 33% of Gen Z mobile shoppers purchase items while socializing with friends, and over 50% of these shoppers have made impulse buys.
By directly engaging customers on their favorite social media platforms, guarantees not only the discovery of your brand but also retaining these customers. By directly messaging your customers on the platform’s chat inbox, you can directly provide a seamless experience by combining social media and e-commerce. According to research, consumers will spend more when their shopping experience is personalized, while 71% of users experience frustration when their experience is impersonal.
Private messaging is one of the edges of social commerce, especially when compared to email marketing which usually goes straight to spam. With a new communication option, companies can use chatbots to reduce costs and improve sales, and these chatbots can answer common questions using AI rather than having someone at the company answer them. This enables the customer to get answers quickly without having to wait for a representative to reply.
Customers tend to come back to a business where they have had a good experience, therefore, providing consumers with high customer service speed will allow you to retain your customers in the future. 86% of customers who have had a great experience with a business are likely to repurchase, while 77% of customers are more likely to recommend your business, according to a study by Temkin Group.
By providing a memorable customer experience, your business will be given an edge in terms of long-term survival against other competitors. According to a customer strategy consulting firm Kolsky, 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience. By generating higher customer satisfaction, Kolsky pointed out that 72% of consumers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people.
Social commerce not only benefits the customers, but it also means a more convenient way of doing business for you. Simple tasks could be automated, including order notifications upon checkout, abandoned cart reminders, delivery updates, and other promotion broadcasts could be automated on messaging apps.
The top social commerce platforms today including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, WeChat, and many others. While social commerce enables you to be able to build new relationships with customers, managing these engagements can be quite time-consuming and energy-consuming. In order to manage your brand properly, and to provide a great and seamless customer experience, leveraging an all-in-one social commerce platform such as SleekFlow could be a lifesaver.
SleekFlow is a platform that allows you to be able to integrate multiple customer communication platforms, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, SMS, Live Chat, and others to manage conversations between your business and your customers. Replying to customers could be more efficient with an all-in-one platform, where you can chat with your customers via audio notes and quick replies.
With us, you can merge social profiles into one platform to better support and retain customers. Personalized messages can be delivered to your target customer groups, to alert them of any new promotions, products, and services. SleekFlow can be easily integrated with over 2,500 platforms you are currently using, including SalesForce, Hubspot, Shopify, Google Sheets, and others.
Your teammates can also collaborate on the SleekFlow platform, where you can provide internal notes, resolve issues in real-time, and improve team efficiency on different messaging channels all accessible with SleekFlow’s platform. The platform comes with marketing automation, sales routing, and customer support analytics, providing you with the insights you need to grow your business.
You don’t have to choose between accelerating sales or streamlining customer service anymore, SleekFlow allows you and your team to handle customer service inquiries more efficiently, all while improving conversion rates — which could leave you with more time creating new and better products.
SleekFlow is an Omni-Channel Social Commerce Platform that helps companies manage communication channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Line, Live Chat, SMS, and Email all in one place. Use smart routing rules and targeted campaign messages to streamline sales, customer support, and marketing workflows while integrating with 2500+ tools including eCommerce platforms and payment gateways to automate the whole customer journey with ease.