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January 26, 2020

The Two Main Types of Social Commerce

Social media hasn’t just changed business, it has forever altered the way we communicate. Emerging countries are connecting like never before and it seems everyone is clamoring to create a social profile.

3.48 billion people now use social media. Let that sink in for a minute. That’s up 9% from just last year. The growth is exponential.

That leaves the door open for a lot of business opportunities. Anytime you have a massive quantity of people in one small spot, it’s a good time to sell. Consider conferences and events, for example.

So, before you look at the different types of social commerce, can you define what it is?

What is Social Commerce?

A subset of electronic commerce (ecommerce), this method involves the aspect of social interaction. As more people congregate on social media platforms, brands are looking for ways to translate that into a buying experience.

This process is different from social media marketing entirely. Rather than directing traffic away from the social platform, you are continuing the experience within it. The secret to selling online successfully is keeping people engaged and not asking them to click a million buttons. The more pages and clicks, the less likely the sale.

Social commerce skips the middleman of a landing page and performs the sale directly within the post or page itself. It completely changes the buyer journey and streamlines the entire process. This makes social commerce the future of online sales.

However, there are also different types of social commerce. It can also begin at your branded site and then move over to social. Check out these different types of selling to get a better idea:

Types of Social Commerce

“Social Commerce” is a really broad term to describe a variety of selling processes. Generally speaking, it can be categorized as offsite and onsite purchasing activities.

Onsite Social Commerce

This refers to vendors, merchants, and retailers that include social sharing on their site. This is usually in the form of buttons at the bottom of the page.

Some brands enable users to share things throughout the entire buyer journey, like when they make a purchase and what they bought. It’s a great way to drum up excitement on social channels and traverse the gully of your page vs. social channels. Some pages even stream a live feed of what people are buying in real-time.

Onsite reviews are also a part of this process. This approach not only improves customer engagement, it helps with conversion and word-of-mouth branding.

Offsite Social Commerce

Offsite social commerce is any online activity that happens outside of your business website (or landing page). This includes everything from social media storefronts to posting and sharing products on social networks. Social advertising is also a great method for introducing your brand to a new audience.

Onsite vs. Offsite Social Commerce

A recent study found that just 2% of Facebook’s 1.5 billion users have ever made a purchase through the platform. That’s likely due to buyer intent. When people are surfing on social, they are not thinking about buying.

Still, times are changing. Social commerce might be new to a lot of businesses, but for those who have jumped on board, it can be an incredibly lucrative method for digital sales.

When creating a social commerce strategy, it’s important to make a distinction between onsite and offsite activities. These are two different markets. Offsite is comprised of social media business pages and plug-ins that live on social platforms. Onsite social involves working to add a social layer to your branded stuff online.

The main benefit of onsite is that you are keeping people on your site. This gives them the opportunity to buy more.

If you offer it to them offsite, they’re much more likely to purchase if they don’t need to interact with additional pages.

45% of the total world population is now using social media. In the past year alone, 366 million new people started using social platforms. That’s more than a million users joining every single day (or potential prospects!)

Social commerce is on the rise. It’s important to know the different types and what works best for your business. A little combination of both is probably your best bet. Just make sure to draw out a detailed plan before you begin. Social media is harsh, and you don’t always get a chance to make a second impression.




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