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Social media e-commerce, also known as social commerce, is a method of directly selling products to consumers through social media networks like Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shops. Fast becoming synonymous with the secret behind the future growth of any business, it makes use of the best of both worlds – e-commerce and social media.
As previous lockdowns and large-scale restrictions of the pandemic accelerated digital transformation, the online economy saw a massive boom. Online sales in Singapore alone hit an estimated US$8 billion at the end of 2021 due to the rise of 70 million new digital consumers since the beginning of the pandemic. Singaporeans are also estimated to spend an average of two hours on social media platforms every day. The expectation of having 95% of all purchases by 2040 to be through e-commerce thus seems plausible, setting this method of merchandising as the new way of reaching customers. A modern conduit to solidify a brand’s presence and increase sales, setting up an e-commerce business, and leveraging social media marketing strategies is no longer an option to consider but a strategic move to jump on to ensure business continuity.
The pandemic has made apparent the limitations of the real-world – sales for some retailers in Singapore plummeted between 30 to 70% since the onset of the pandemic. However, just as local retailers began to pivot to online sales to quickly adapt to the new normal, there was a shift among consumers as well. 66% of survey respondents stated that they increased their online purchases because Singapore had imposed closure of all non-essential businesses. This opened up the opportunity for businesses to nurture their relationships with customers through social media. Beyond addressing the evolving consumer behaviour and heightened expectations, setting up an e-commerce store on socials is worth considering because:
For both businesses and customers, many hurdles are removed when an e-commerce store is set -up. The barriers of entry are close to non-existent for businesses run on social media, especially when it virtually costs nothing to set up a business account. For consumers, the shopping experience is also frictionless since all that is required of them is to click and buy.
Targeted marketing is easily attainable through social commerce compared to traditional methods. Since it is also a place that millennials spend most of their time, you’ll have a wider base of that specific demographic just waiting to make a purchase while they scroll their feed.
Combining both organic and paid strategies is the way to go when designing a stellar social media strategy upon creating your online store. Since it is a given that not all consumers are bound to stumble upon brands merely through word-of-mouth, increasing a potential customer’s discovery rate through organic strategies is always the way to go. Be it through hashtags or user-generated content, making a start on social selling platforms begins with the proper understanding of the platform’s audience and its etiquette. From there, showcase your personality so that it makes it easier for consumers to recognise your brand.
Besides organic social media strategies, investing in Facebook ads, Instagram boosted posts, or any other social media paid campaigns will increase the visibility of your brand. Each platform has different types of ads – for example, one common Instagram marketing strategy is to use Shoppable posts, which also allows you to efficiently take advantage of audience targeting.
Targeting your reach is made effortless on social media since there is an abundance of data available. Whether you are using social media marketing platforms like Falcon.io or Facebook Creator Studio, social listening and analytics can guide your e-commerce sales. From website clicks to ad click-throughs, these will give insight on whether your social media marketing strategy requires tweaking.
A never-ending game upon setting up an e-commerce business is building brand awareness. Once you’ve built buzz around your products and services, go live once in a while. Put a hold on promoted posts or scheduling organic ones and host a livestream. Authentic and engaging, social media live streams on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or TikTok function as a modern mall that will build a stronger customer relationship.
As your e-commerce business starts to gain momentum with a well-established marketing strategy, loyal customers might begin spending hours online for the launch of a new product. Take for example, Novelship. As Asia’s fastest growing marketplace for authentic and limited edition sneakers, it saw a large number of transactions as its business grew. To ensure the secure delivery of their unique sneakers, it hired the help of DHL Express’ logistics services. Since customers look for on-time delivery from their retailers regardless of the complexities of the process, levering the services of an established logistics partner will maintain satisfaction amongst those eagerly awaiting the arrival of their orders.
The question of how to set up an e-commerce store on social media platforms needs no thorough explanation – sign up for an account and open a shop! However, selling successfully is a whole other ball game. From understanding the market gaps by looking into top selling products online to analysing tactics used by other companies to establish a global presence, there is much to consider to ensure staggering growth. With a range of social selling tips for your e-commerce business at your disposal, craft a robust social media marketing strategy that engages and sells!