Social Shopping: how social media can boost your brand’s sales

Regla López

19 January 2022

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It is no secret that digital sales have been taking over in-person shopping for years, and the pandemic has clearly accelerated the process. The trend is obvious: purchasing habits are evolving across all stages of the customer journey. As we might expect, this growth has been reflected on social media: in Europe, the average person consumes this channel during 1:14h every day

Thus, the relevance of social media within the communications strategy of any company is unquestionable, and most advertisers are already taking advantage of the opportunities it offers. There’s no doubt that one of the main advantages of social media is its versatility, and in fact many companies are already using the channel to boost their brand awareness and drive product discovery. 

Nevertheless, brands whose social media strategy doesn’t consider the phases of the funnel closer to conversion will not be able to unlock the full potential social media has to offer. 

According to a study published by Facebook, 81% of respondents confirm that they use Facebook and Instagram to research new products, while 79% of people claim social media content has an impact on their purchasing decisions (Stackla).

In this context, and if we consider the technological developments implemented by the various platforms, social media could bring endless advantages into your paid media strategy. 

How to use social media to boost your sales:the things you should be doing 

We all agree on the fact that social media offers endless possibilities for brands seeking to increase their sales. But how do we materialise our strategy into actions?

Product catalogues

This is probably the most straightforward way of driving sales through social, and a growing strategy for any type of eCommerce. Working with catalogues allows your brand to create personalised advertising based on up-to-date data regarding price, stock, product descriptions and other attributes. 

Dynamic Ads

Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) allow brands to reach their target with the perfect product to encourage their purchase.  Thanks to this tool, we can create personalised advertisements: by uploading various resources to the platform, it will be able to generate endless customisable settings and combinations for each user. 

Even though the  use of dynamic ads is closely associated with catalogues, dynamic content can be applied to different types of campaigns.

Lead generation

For companies whose sales process is focused on dealing with their customers directly, lead generation campaigns could be a great opportunity.

Social lead generation campaigns incorporate drop-down forms integrated within social platforms themselves, creating a smoother user experience, shortening loading times and reducing the chances of users abandoning the registration process. In addition, integrating lead generation campaigns with CRM systems allow us to process leads much faster. 

Messaging campaigns

Facebook Ads allows us to create campaigns with the objective of starting a Whatsapp conversation with our potential clients: once users click in the ad, they will automatically be redirected to the messaging app. 

The plataform allows brands to upload  their product catalogue so customers can browse through it, make inquiries about specific products or add them to their shopping cart to place an order. However, direct payment through the app is not yet available in every country. 

In-store traffic

There are also campaigns for companies that prefer their customers to complete the transaction at the physical point of sale. In-store traffic campaigns can really help drive users from online to offline touchpoints: they allow brands to customise ads, including detailed information about their stores, using maps to help users locate their nearest point of sale and configuring the campaign so the ads are only shown to people located within a set distance.

You already know the most effective strategies to generate sales today, but hold on because huge changes are coming!

Social shopping: Welcome to the future present!

Social shopping, also known as social commerce, is a growing trend that will very likely skyrocket in the near future. 

In today’s most common eCommerce model, users must enter a brand’s website in order to complete their purchase. However, more and more brands are choosing to get closer to their consumers, allowing them to finalise the payment in the very platform in which they have been impacted by a social ad. This practice is already famous in China and is supposed to grow fast in the United States and the United Kingdom to eventually become a global trend.

And the rise of this trend is good news for brands: according to The Drum, almost two thirds of consumers claim they would be more willing to buy if the process could be carried out entirely within the same social platform.  Moreover, sales revenue generated through social media is expected to reach 79 million by 2025 in the United States (Statista). But that’s not all, there are more benefits to social shopping, including:

  1. Improved user experience. Reducing the steps in the customer journey and avoiding making users change platforms doesn’t only make the purchase experience easier for users, but it also reduces the possibilities of them abandoning the process without completing the transaction. 
  2. From inspiration to purchase. Social media can add value to our strategy at all levels of the funnel, from awareness to sales. By taking your brand’s social media beyond awareness and traffic generation and turning it into a point of sale, users will be able to complete the shopping experience by discovering new products.

Where are we now?

Nowadays, the channel that is better adapting to this new reality is Instagram. The platform is constantly implementing new features aimed at increasing sales, such as the “Shops” tab, the possibility of tagging products in photos or shopping on reels or the integration with eCommerce giants such as Shopify or Bigcommerce. There’s also Facebook shops, where brands have the opportunity to create customisable collections, show featured products and even finalise sales on Facebook Messenger.

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Since it launched its marketplace back in 2007, Facebook has not stopped rowing in this direction, and many experts believe that in a few years it could even become a significant competitor for Amazon.

And what about the other platforms? TikTok is also investing in new features for brands. Last year, the company partnered with Shopify for shopping trials, and has recently expanded the number of partners to include players such as Square, Ecwid and PrestaShop. Moreover, Pinterest, whose growth has been exponential since the advent of COVID, has been working since last summer on the  launch of new developments to increase product sales within  the platform.

The latest innovations shown by both platforms focus on the possibility of making purchases in streaming, while users watch a video. Youtube has also been working for months on different tests to include live shopping functions, tagging to the products that users see in the videos developed by content creators. 

Finally, Twitter, which had been distanced from this type of action, reported the launch of a test of a “shop module” within the platform a few months ago.

With all this information, we have no doubt that this form of retail will be a key driver of brands’ success in the very near future. At Good Rebels, we will remain true to our commitment to always be one step ahead to ensure your brand is among the first to adapt to this trend and start leveraging it to its advantage.