Nowadays, you can't even think about selling online without taking social media into consideration. Social commerce has become such a fundamental part of ecommerce that just "being" on social media isn't enough anymore. There are numerous tools at your disposal, and if you're not making use of them and you're not keeping up with social commerce trends, you're at risk of falling behind.
The good news is: we know a lot about social commerce and we love sharing that knowledge with everyone. In fact, Shoplazza recently took part in the Shelebration Festival, hosted by SHE Tech and WeWorkingWomen. Between August 27 and 28, 2022, we connected with merchants and visitors at our dedicated booth, and Shoplazza's COO, Alyson Zhang, delivered an inspiring presentation on social commerce, titled Key Trends: Social Commerce Unwrapped, to a large audience of women entrepreneurs.
If you missed Alyson's presentation, don't worry. Keep reading to find out what the social commerce trends are and how you can start selling on social media today.
What is social commerce?
In recent years, digital experience in both social media and commerce has transformed rapidly and tremendously. Social media is no longer confined to keeping up with your friends and sharing your favourite moments, and commerce is no longer limited to in-store or website visits. With the combination of those two forces, social commerce has emerged as an essential factor in the shopping experience.
Social commerce is the process of shopping directly through social media channels like Facebook and TikTok, where products can be discovered, researched and purchased by online customers.
As of July 2022, the number of social media users worldwide was 4.7 billion, and users were spending 2 hours and 27 minutes on average on social media per day. Among these users, one in four uses social media to discover, learn about, buy or recommend products, services, and brands. Additionally, one in three consumers uses social media to learn about or discover new products and services, too.
Nowadays, shoppers use social media in the same way they would use Google to research and purchase products. They look for more information about a company or product on social channels like Facebook, Instagram or Reddit as a part of their buying process. Customers also exchange reviews and recommendations through social media. This not-so-recent trend highlights the importance of social networks in shoppers’ buying journeys.
As the Covid-19 restrictions loosened in 2022, ecommerce merchants now face the challenge of differentiating the online shopping experience from in-person shopping. Luckily for merchants, social commerce presents a wide array of tools that can increase traffic, drive conversions and boost their customers' online shopping experience.
Social commerce trends and tools
There are numerous social media channels where shoppers gather and connect. However, if you're thinking of giving social commerce a go, we recommend you choose one of these three channels to begin with: Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
Let’s have a look at the particularities of each channel and find out how Shoplazza can help with each social network integration.
Best social commerce platforms: Facebook
Because Facebook has around 1.97 billion daily active users, you can use it as a traffic redirection tool to your online store — for instance, including a "Buy" button on your Facebook page can redirect users straight to a cart page or a checkout page in your Shoplazza store.
With Facebook Shop, merchants can add and manage their products in the built-in store on Facebook. It provides a variety of conversion tools such as an in-app checkout and direct Messenger live chatting with your customer service. You can also create a test shop to add items, manage orders, and even test out the customer experience before launching the actual Facebook Shop.
On Shoplazza’s admin, you can integrate your Facebook Business account with one click and auto-sync your products to your Facebook Shop. The auto-synchronization and integration features can further facilitate creating ad campaigns and shoppable posts, as well as gaining more exposure and brand recognition through posts.
Meta Pixel Integration
In addition to Facebook Shop, the Meta Pixel (formerly known as Facebook Pixel) setup via the Facebook Multipixel plugin can help you track your events and manage your target audience efficiently. With Shoplazza, it is easy to embed a custom tracking code through Facebook Data Assistance so you can sync store data directly to your Facebook Ad Manager account, thus providing you with more accurate and effective tracking of your ad campaign performance.
Shoplazza’s Live Shopping app enhances your live streaming marketing on Facebook.
To begin live selling on Facebook, link your Facebook page to your Shoplazza store account, then install Live Shopping at the Shoplazza app store. Create a Facebook live stream schedule on this app, and add products you would like to sell through the live stream with triggered keywords.
When the audience mentions keywords and quantity on your live stream chat, they will automatically receive a checkout link in their Messenger inbox that will include all the products they have mentioned. This way, viewers can simply click on the checkout link to complete the purchase.
On the app, you can also monitor live stream data, including all comments, order amount and sales with keywords.
Facebook Messenger Integration allows you to engage and live chat with your eCommerce store visitors.
Integrating Facebook Messenger chatbot into your Shoplazza storefront only takes 4 steps:
- Install the app
- Connect your Facebook page.
- Enter the label and select the colour.
Facebook Messenger live chatbot can help you increase conversion rates and the total volume of sales with by offering customer service that has a “human” touch. You can set up your business' working hours by enabling or disabling Live Chat, so it'll automatically send an offline message when you are away.
Best social commerce platforms: Instagram
60% of people discover new products on Instagram. Similarly to Facebook, Instagram also offers an “Instagram Shop” feature which allows users to buy products shown in posts from anywhere in the app. Instagram Shop and eCommerce features can help you achieve business goals through multiple sales channels such as Shops and Product Tags.
The Shops feature is like having an Instagram branch of your Shoplazza store. You can customize your Instagram Business page into a tailored storefront, and your page visitors can shop directly from Instagram. Since Instagram is part of Meta, if you integrate your Shoplazza store into your Meta Business Suite, your products will be also auto-synced to the Instagram business page linked to your Facebook page.
Product tags or Shopping tags allow you to feature products from your catalog in your image or videos. Product tags can be included in your in-feed posts, Reels, Stories, Lives, and product mentions in your profile bio or feed copy. Users can easily tap on a tag and be able to view the product name, price, and your CTA buttons. These buttons will direct customers to a page in your Shoplazza store where they can purchase those tagged products.
Best social commerce platforms: TikTok
TikTok was the most downloaded app globally in 2021, and the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has been used more than 7 billion times. Without a doubt, TikTok is a must-have app if you want to stay relevant and tuned to your customers these days.
With Shoplazza, you can “one-click” integrate your online storefront into TikTok and manage TikTok for Business features, including TikTok Shopping, Lookalike Audience profiling, TikTok Ads & Pixel/Multipixels from within your Shoplazza admin.
TikTok Shopping enables customers to purchase a product directly from TikTok, through your in-feed video, live streaming, and product showcase tab. Shoplazza’s one-click integration to TikTok allows you to easily auto-synchronize and sell your products on TikTok while managing everything from the Shoplazza admin.
After successfully linking your Shoplazza store to TikTok Business Center, you will be able to select your target location (i.e. the country/region where your products will appear) and sync the product catalog directly from the Shoplazza admin console. Once the products are synced, you will be able to view your products on the TikTok Catalog Manager. Then you are all set to reach more audiences and bring in more customers with in-app buying on TikTok.
TikTok Ads & Pixel/Multipixels
TikTok allows you to advertise your online store and products in an entertaining way to over a billion users. Here are four TikTok Ad formats you should consider:
- In-feed Ads: 5-60 second long video ads in full screen that appear in users’ “For You” feed.
- TopView: an ad in video format that appears as soon as users open the TikTok app, capturing their full attention.
- Spark Ads: enable you to publish ads through organic posts in your account or another creator's account.
- Branded Effects: a fun way to advertise your business with tailored, sharable stickers, filters and special effects that can be applied to TikTok videos.
If you do not have a TikTok Ads Manager account, you can sign up at Shoplazza's backend portal and link it to your online store.
TikTok Advertisement performance can be accelerated by installing TikTok Pixel through Shoplazza’s TikTok Multipixel plugin on your online store. By embedding the TikTok Pixel tracking code to your store, you can get accurate user insights and optimize your TikTok ads for enhanced performance.
Shoplazza’s one-click TikTok Multipixel app enables you to integrate TikTok Pixel with zero coding skills. As you get your TikTok Pixel ID from TikTok Ads Manager, you can simply paste the Pixel ID into the Multi TikTok Pixel app at the Shoplazza backend portal.
Lookalike Audience for TikTok Marketing
TikTok’s Lookalike Audience feature comes in handy when you want to expand your customer base because it finds audience groups who share similar interests and characteristics with your existing customers. This functionality can also help you increase your conversion rates and ROI for your ad campaigns on TikTok.
Lookalike Audience uses algorithms to study the attributes of the custom audience segment you’ve created, then looks for other users who display characteristics and behaviours similar to those audiences.
Once you connect your Shoplazza store to your TikTok Ads Manager, you can create and manage audience segments at the Shoplazza backend portal. It's important to note here, however, that creating a Lookalike Audience requires an audience size of at least 1,000 people.
As soon as you create your Lookalike Audience within the Shoplazza admin, it'll be automatically added to your TikTok Ads Manager as well.
When setting up TikTok Pixel with Shoplazza’s Multipixel plug-in, you can also enable the Advanced Matching feature easily – just toggle the “Enable Advanced Matching '' button. But what is Advanced Matching exactly?
Advanced Matching allows you to use privacy-safe customer information, such as phone numbers and email addresses, to enhance your TikTok ads and yield better website conversions and audience enrichment.
As customers engage with your website or app, TikTok API collects and shares privacy-safe customer contact information from the visitors. If these website or in-app events match a certain group of people on TikTok, Advanced Matching then builds an advanced target audience, boosts campaign optimization, and measures full-funnel performance.
3 key social commerce tips and practices
1. Streamline sales and customer services
We don't need to tell you how important it is to respond to your customers' inquiries in a timely manner. A swift and professional answer to a customer’s question can be the difference between a sale and an abandoned shopping cart. Using a live chatbot tool can help you engage with customers on their preferred channels and convert customer service interactions into sales.
In addition to Facebook Messenger, JivoChat is another great chatbot tool to use in your Shoplazza store. JivoChat is an AI chatbot for businesses that can be integrated into various social media platforms, including Instagram and WhatsApp. Empowered by AI technology, JivoChat can automate as much as 80% of your customer service conversations and help you retain more visitors.
2. Encourage UGC and reviews
UGC, or User Generated Content, is often the most trustworthy, authentic, and reliable way to promote your brand and your products. UGC and reviews are the online "word of mouth" and can hugely influence consumer behaviour and decisions. According to Adweek, 85% of the surveyed users find UGC and reviews from real customers more meaningful and genuine when compared to brand-generated content marketing.
Understanding your target audience is definitely a must-have when launching an effective UGC strategy. Installing Meta Pixel and TikTok Pixel on your Shoplazza store can help you create an audience profile not only for your ad campaigns but also for UGC and other types of interactive content.
With Pixel integration, you can track the actions people take on your online store, like visiting a page or adding a product to a shopping cart. You may also create an audience segment of your website visitors and similar lookalikes.
Basically, Meta Pixel and TikTok Pixel integrations can be invaluable resources for you to design a strategic and successful UGC campaign.
Shoplazza has comprehensive review features, including a review crawler app, add-on review sections, review import, and a negative keyword filter.
Using a review crawler app or manually uploading a CSV file of external reviews allows you to crawl reviews from popular platforms such as Amazon and AliExpress, which strengthens your products’ reputation online.
The add-on review section provides more flexibility to emphasize what your customers love about your product, while Shoplazza’s negative keyword filter can help you prevent any negative reviews that include a specific keyword from being published.
3. Invest in live streaming
Live streaming can be a great way to showcase your product and build a closer relationship with your customers. On a live stream, viewers can see your product in action, ask questions in real time and get all the necessary information they need before making a purchase.
While using Facebook Live, for example, you can enable live shopping so customers have the option to purchase directly from your stream.
Instagram and TikTok also offer live streaming features. Here are some tips and practices when you go live on Instagram and TikTok.
Similar to Facebook’s Live Shopping, Instagram also allows merchants to sell products during a live stream. Merchants using Checkout on Instagram can tag products when they go live, and viewers are able to buy or save products added to the shopping video. You can add up to 30 products to showcase and pin one item at a time during your live stream to highlight that product.
And why not go live on TikTok? Through TikTok LIVE Shopping, you get to interact with potential customers in real time and help them buy the products they discover during the stream.
TikTok LIVE not only exposes your products to wider audiences but also helps you build closer connections and loyalty with your brand followers.
Shoplazza and social commerce empower merchants
Inspired by the company's mission and vision, “Open to More”, Shoplazza makes online selling easier than ever. Any merchant can build, manage, and scale their online business anytime and anywhere.
If you're not yet convinced of the power of social commerce, we have an example for you.
AlloyWorks is an automotive radiator accessory manufacturer and provider all over the world, and it is ranked first on popular marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.
During one of the company’s large-scale advertising campaigns, Shoplazza helped AlloyWorks to adopt seamless integration with Facebook & TikTok pixels. Pixel integrations into AlloyWorks online storefront at Shoplazza allowed the company to efficiently manage data monitoring of its organic and paid traffic from social media.
Overall, AlloyWorks has achieved a 59% increase in GMV over 6 months at Shoplazza.
Elevate your social commerce experience with Shoplazza
Social commerce isn't the future; it's happening right now. But the good news is that Shoplazza has many strategic partners to help your store sell everywhere.
Now that you know everything about social commerce, how about giving it a go? Shoplazza offers multiple resources and integrations to make selling on social media easy for you. If you don't have a Shoplazza store yet, you can get started and launch your online store today.