Multiple social media giants have begun heavily investing into their own ecommerce features and modules, which would allow users to purchase products directly through their social media platforms.
Facebook has lead the charge in this area, implementing ecommerce options a few years ago. Seeing Facebook's success in this realm has encouraged companies like Twitter, YouTube, and Snap (owners of Snapchat) to follow suit and implement ecommerce options onto their systems.
Twitter has recently begun rolling out their Shop Module, which allows businesses to showcase a carousel of products under their bio on their Twitter profile, and with other social media platforms following close behind, it's possible that we might be entering a new age of online shopping.
Which Social Media Platforms Have Introduced Commerce?
A better question would be which social networks aren't looking to introduce some form of ecommerce. With Facebook and Instagram having already implemented their systems, Twitter just rolling out their Shop Module, and YouTube and Snapchat eagerly investing into their own ecommerce, pretty much ever major platform is looking at ecommerce as the future.
Even TikTok has started testing ecommerce on its platform, stating in May that it was looking to ‘add value' to the service.
It's no coincidence that these new ecommerce systems are coming after a time of huge growth in ecommerce as a whole. During the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping had a massive spike, due to everyone being unable to go out and shop in-person.
While the pandemic may or may not be getting under control, online shopping is maintaining its momentum, and social media platforms are looking to ride this train to the bank.
How Does Social Media Commerce Work?
For a long time, online shopping was restricted to websites that were dedicated to that sole purpose, like Amazon, eBay, or sites owned by specific retail stores.
However, as ecommerce gets implemented into social media, the way people and websites operate their online buying and selling will evolve into a more streamlined system.
Originally, businesses would use their social media presence to entice people to their online stores, where they would then be able to purchase a product. However, with the option to buy products directly through a social media platform, business can cut out a large chunk of the process, bringing customers that much closer to successful sales.
While most social media commerce features are a bit too fresh to make predictions, using Facebook as a benchmark shows a promising future. Online vendor platform Shopify recently went on record in a recent earnings call saying that sales through Facebook and Google were “several times that” of sales made through business's websites themselves.
What Does This Increase Mean Going Forward?
There's never been a better time to jump on every social media platform as a business. While originally, social media marketing was a good idea due to it aiding businesses with PR and awareness, now social media can lead directly to sales.
If you run a business and are interested in implementing your own social media marketing campaigns or ecommerce, the best idea is to look at social media management platforms.
These software platforms can allow users to plan and maintain social media campaigns, and as social media commerce becomes the norm, it's highly likely that you'll be able to manage your business's social media ecommerce through these platforms as well.