A lot has changed since the beginning of 2020, especially after the initial lockdown in many countries around the world. It also changed the role of social media in marketing strategies.
Once used just as a channel between a company and its customers, big companies are reimagining this interaction and creating social-first customer experiences. This is because, due to the lockdown, millions of people are now using online shopping as a routine for all kinds of products and services.
Social channels are also becoming more frequently used by companies because of their power to create viral content. Due to the way these platforms are built (smaller and flashy content, ease of sharing and instant social feedback), content that really gets into people’s minds tends to quickly go viral.
In fact, according to Hootsuite‘s Social Trends 2022 report, 53.2% of people in the younger generations prefer to turn to social networks to research brands.
What does this mean? This year, more than ever, small businesses will need to pay special attention to social commerce, according to Hootsuite’s study. Utilizing social commerce can create a better branding experience and bring better results in business.
On one hand, we at Rock Content are specialists and provide a great experience through awesome content.
On the other hand, Hootsuite is specialized in social media and its trends — that’s why we put these two hands together to make this special series of articles in partnership. Follow us to get a deeper perspective on each trend provided in Hootsuite’s report, and see how this might impact your brand in 2022.
The Impactful Growth of Social Commerce
It seems like there’s no coming back from buying through social media platforms. According to Statista, market forecasts indicate the global amount of sales through these types of networks in 2026 will be around 2.9 trillion dollars.
One of the main reasons for the ascension of social commerce is the personalized shopping experience that buyers can find in apps like Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.
Hypersegmented ads play a strong role in helping companies target the right customers. That statement is confirmed by the report that 75% of Gen Z users in the U.S. are influenced by social ads in their purchasing decisions.
Another highlight goes to visual content formats. Businesses have noticed that more and more consumers are hooked by quick videos, live streams and high-quality images. As a result, it’s not surprising that 40% of Pinterest’s users search for products and brands on the picture-based platform.
The visual content trend is once again proved by YouTube, which is a source of research for 51% of shoppers in the U.S. and U.K.
Numbers don’t lie, so let’s waste no more time and take a look at some cases of companies that created great social commerce experiences for their customers and prospects. Shall we?
5 Amazing Examples of Social Commerce Strategies
1. Au Revoir Cinderella
The fashion shoe brand Au Revoir Cinderella from Barcelona currently uses UGC (user-generated content) to promote its offerings while engaging with its audience.
In this post, they shared a picture sent by a typical shopper to express the genuineness of their footwear.
Interactions like these help brands build more natural relationships with potential buyers because they can see how a product fits in the life of actual consumers.
With a strong UGC strategy, your followers will be happy to create content for your brand and also promote it on their social channels. This is a great way to create a bond with your audience.
The strategy might work even better if the users that generate content for you are popular on the internet. Au Revoir Cinderella partners with micro-influencers from the fashion industry to get a stronger reach on Instagram and acquire more prospects.
The iconic beauty brand is really well-known for great experiences with customers at their physical stores. For example, usually, there are 2 colors of baskets, one for people who need help and another for people who would rather shop by themselves.
With social commerce, it’s necessary to create an experience on that same level. With that in mind, Sephora created a great shopping experience with its “Fragrance IQ” quiz.
Recommendations are always a great way to attract new customers, and creating an interactive quiz improves this experience even more.
Resources like this reinforce the credibility of your brand. After all, you’re actively helping users choose the right product for their needs, instead of selling them anything you have in stock, just to take their money.
As a result, shoppers who went through the quiz are likely to come back for more purchases if your recommendations prove to be accurate for their preferences.
At the same time, quizzes and other interactive experiences give you a more precise understanding of your customer’s behavior. Every answer and click generates data that you can capitalize on to approach customers with the offers they’re more inclined to accept.
Leveraging augmented reality (AR) to create a unique experience for Instagram followers, Bollé allowed potential buyers to virtually try-on and try-out its new sunglasses model, Phantom.
Users were able to visualize how the lenses look on their faces with the selfie-mode camera. Then they could switch to the front-facing view and add effects to the camera to see how the sunglasses would perform in a real environment.
The experience is totally integrated into the shopping process, so after enjoying their image using the sunglasses, users can immediately select the desired model and which seller they will purchase from.
Bollé’s initiative is another great example of how social commerce can be more effective and profitable with the support of advanced technology. From a branding standpoint, it’s also a strategic way to boost engagement and authority in the market.
In addition, providing sophisticated ways for users to engage with products prior to spending their money is a win-win approach. The more interactions that are registered on the AR page, the higher the chances of capturing valuable data from each visitor.
4. Dollar Shave Club
Taking advantage of positive feedback from customers is key for a brand to stand out in the e-commerce world. With this in mind, Dollar Shave Club created a Pinterest board completely dedicated to its customers’ valuable comments about them and unboxing photos.
This action mixes user-generated content and social proof to gain credibility and trust with not only their base but with every Pinterest user that wants to know more about the brand.
This example eloquently shows how different steps of the customer lifecycle can nurture each other to benefit the brand as a whole.
Dollar Shave Club leverages loyal shoppers in the retention phase to make the case for their service in order to attract new buyers. It’s the perfect combination!
In 2018, this legendary shoe brand joined forces with Snapchat to build an outstanding digital experience to launch its special edition Air Jordan III ‘Tinker.’ It was only accessible in a certain court area of the NBA All-Star Weekend.
In addition to producing urgency for Jordan’s customers, this strategy involved a gamification process to keep Snapchat users on the platform during the event. They could simulate a classic play by Michael Jordan in 1988 by activating a unique lens effect.
The QR code provided by Jordan to the attendees allowed them to buy the sneakers directly from Snapchat, through an integration with Shopify.
The cherry on the cake was the speedy delivery system, led by a company called Darkstore. Most buyers received their brand new shoes at home on the same day.
This on-point, engaging experience represents the best of both worlds for social commerce. It benefits from the emotional peak felt by shoppers because of the event environment while providing a straightforward buying method that knocks down objections.
With all these examples, it’s possible to see that social media can provide a great and unique shopping experience for users in general. Brands can mix their products or services with specific social tools to engage with their audience, work to create a solid promoter base and convert even more customers, instead of just serving as a mere display for customers.
If you want to get more insights about what social media marketing holds for this year, check out Hootsuite Social Media Trends 2022 report and also be on the lookout for our special articles here on Rock Content’s blog.
Next week, for the last article in Rock Content and Hootsuite‘s blog series, we’ll dive deep into how the demand for customer service on social media has been surging. Stay tuned!