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When is Social Ecommerce the Right Fit

May 23, 2023

Summary: Do you have an ecommerce business and want to expand your marketing efforts? Do you need to know if social ecommerce is the right fit?

Have you been considering social ecommerce for your business but need to be sure it is the best marketing platform for your brand, products, or services? We all know the power of social media, with nearly six billion people expected to use the various platforms within the next few years.

To help you get started, let’s look at social ecommerce in more detail to find out if it’s the right fit.

What Is Social Ecommerce?

Social Ecommerce (sometimes called Social Media Ecommerce) is the practice of using social media as a marketing channel for an ecommerce business. More traditionally, you can use social media platforms to connect with your customers, build brand awareness, and create an interest in the products or services available through your online store. Sales are then generated by interested consumers leaving the social media platform for your ecommerce site, where purchases are completed.

Here’s where the difference lies. With social ecommerce, companies sell products or services directly on social media, so customers can select a product and complete the purchase without ever leaving the social media app. So if you’re talking about your products on Facebook, then social ecommerce is the act of selling those products right on Facebook.

Conversely, Social Selling is when brands identify prospects and cultivate relationships using social media (and the topic of an entirely different blog post!)

Does Social Ecommerce Compliment Your Marketing Strategy?

Is social ecommerce already part of your marketing strategy, and you have not acted on it, or do you need an expert to help you create a social media strategy? Social media is about building relationships. You must post consistently, test what works, and create an online community that becomes passionate about your brand, products, or services.

What can social media offer you as an ecommerce business? It allows you to engage with prospects and customers directly, promote your products and services, and ultimately drive traffic to your branded app or ecommerce website. You can also provide pre-and post-sales customer support and gain insight into your market and industry.

Is there a social media platform that is best for ecommerce? It depends on your sales and marketing goals, your type of product or service, and your target market. If the business community is your focus, you should use LinkedIn; Facebook and Instagram are direct sales and social commerce leaders, while Pinterest is best for lifestyle marketing. TikTok continues to be a fast-growing social media platform, so if your market demographic is there, you could include it in your social ecommerce marketing strategy.

Whichever social media platform you choose, there are lots of sales and marketing opportunities that could draw customers to your ecommerce site and bring dollars to your bottom line.

Does Your Target Market Use Social Media To Purchase?

This is the million-dollar question. Who is your target market for the products or services? Is it Boomers (ages 55+), Gen X (ages 35-54), Millennials (ages 25-35), or Gen Z (ages 18-24)? Without that knowledge, there’s no way for you to know which social platforms you need to target.

To meet your audience where they are, you need to know on which social media app they spend their time and how they like to shop. In research on the shopping habits of the different generations, HubSpot has identified which social media platforms each group prefers and where they search for products:

  • Gen Z: Instagram, YouTube, TikTok – finds products on social media, YouTube ads, and internet searches.
  • Millennials: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram – finds products on social media, internet search, and YouTube ads.
  • Gen X: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram – prefers internet searches, retail stores, and television advertisements to find products.
  • Boomers: Rarely find products on social media; prefer an internet search, retail stores, and television advertisements.  

Will Your Product Sell On Social Media?

There are many factors to consider when determining if social ecommerce is the right fit for your business. Besides going where your target market is spending time, you also need to be sure your product will sell on social media and whether you have sufficient resources to spend on the platforms. People engage more with products that create visual interest. If your visual content is interesting, people are more likely to follow, comment, and like your posts. And when they are invested, consumers will follow the links to your ecommerce platform and make a purchase.

This is just the start of your social ecommerce journey. Want to learn more? Then you need to get in touch with WSI and our digital marketing consultants, who can help you connect and communicate authentically to build your social ecommerce engagement. Contact us today.

About the Author

Rick spent 20 years in the insurance industry in finance, primarily developing reporting platforms for B & C stakeholders.   His ability to speak to consumers of data (managers and analysts) and translate their needs to programmers led him to start his own digital marketing agency in 2004 to develop data driven solutions for business owners. 


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