Social commerce refers to selling products and services on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. In other words, shoppers can discover the brand, explore the products, and complete the transaction without leaving the social media platform. This channel has been seeing an upward growth trajectory as more and more brands are working towards leveraging social commerce to reach a wider audience and generate more sales. According to a report, China’s retail social commerce sale was expected to reach over $350 billion in 2021. The second biggest market for social commerce, the United States, was estimated to witness numbers touching around $36 billion during the same period. In addition, social commerce has entered the Middle Eastern e-commerce market, and brands have been trying to leverage the medium’s potential to ramp up their business. This blog will discuss the top trends that will influence the way marketers use social media platforms to undertake commerce.
Micro-influencers will play a crucial role
As was the trend in 2021, brands and marketers will continue collaborating with micro-influencers the most in 2022, owing to the high engagement rate they witness compared to celebrities and mega influencers. In addition, small businesses across categories and verticals will use micro-influencers for their social commerce campaigns as they fit the budget well and can help them reach a broader audience base. According to various influencer marketing experts, there will be a surge in brand partnerships for micro-influencers in 2022, and brands will be inclined to invest their time and resources with these content creators who guarantee better returns. On top of it, micro-influencers are believed to be more authentic, and the audiences trust their recommendations more. This is why even big brands will have to partner with these influencers to scale their social commerce campaigns.
Digital avatars will become significant for the fashion industry
There is no doubt that social media influencers will be an enormous part of the social commerce strategy for fashion brands, but the trend of digital avatars showcasing fashion items to consumers is gaining steam. Digital avatars, or AI-powered human-like virtual assistant that enables intelligent interactions with customers, will provide fashion brands with more flexibility in promoting the latest collections and encouraging digital sampling. Another reason digital avatars will be in trend enormously is that it gives the customers a better view of how particular clothing will look on them even when shopping for it online through social commerce. Top global fashion brands are already experimenting with digital avatars to showcase their products and services to their consumers and are highly bullish about their future in the influencer marketing space.
Brands will leverage AI, ML, and AR
Marketers will increasingly use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and augmented reality to ramp up their social commerce strategies. As there has been a significant improvement in how these technologies have evolved, it makes life easier for brands to implement these features and create compelling social commerce campaigns that engage customers efficiently. For example, with the use of AI, brands have efficiently used chatbots that can make intelligent conversations with customers, improving the overall experience of shopping online through social commerce. Likewise, with augmented reality, brands can showcase products to customers by creating a virtual showroom. These technologies are also instrumental in creating a seamless checkout process for the users.
Seamless checkout experience will be paramount
Brands must remove as many hurdles as possible regarding the consumer’s journey between product discovery and purchase. Simplifying the checkout process was in trend the previous year and will remain for the next few years as brands have yet to figure out a process to ensure seamless checkout. The fewer clicks required to complete the transaction, the higher the conversion rate. Brands looking to build a solid social commerce strategy should ensure that when a shopper discovers a product on a social media platform, they should be able to buy it then and there without having to leave that channel. This, in turn, will improve the conversation rate as brands will be able to capture the shopper when their intent to shop is at its peak, and there is very little chance of them dropping out because of the seamless checkout process.
Live commerce will grow
The ability of live streaming commerce to showcase the products closely from all angles while describing the goods in detail to the viewers is a strong advantage of this medium and makes it a top trend for social commerce. Top up the video content with the known face, subject matter expert, or social media influencer, and you have a winner. Another benefit of live commerce is that the viewers can ask the experts about any doubts they may have about the product and get it sorted, making the medium highly engaging and aiding in a better conversion rate. Beauty and fashion retailers have taken to live streaming commerce significantly. While German beauty retailer Douglas relies heavily on this channel, streaming various shows in different content formats, fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger has been doing live streaming in Europe and North America, following its successful stint with the technology in China.