Centuries ago, villagers would gather in the high street to barter goods from carts. Eventually, small shops evolved, coaxing customers in for a more personal experience – and probably for some, warmth and shelter from weather elements. Fast-forward to the first department stores – like Le Bon Marché in Paris and John Wanamaker's in Philadelphia – which brought the concept of multi-floor, wide-scale shopping in eye-catching surroundings that redefined 'shopping' as a near event in and of itself. As history goes, shopping malls then emerged and became shopping meccas for many families and teenagers.
Finally, shopping on the internet burst onto the scene at the turn of the 21st century, and today has become the de facto first choice of most shoppers across the globe. In fact, retail e-commerce sales worldwide reached over $4 trillion USD in 2020, and is expected to reach over $6 trillion USD by 2024. Although, while online shopping allows us, as consumers, to shop more efficiently, let's face it, it's not very fun. Most people search, research, buy, and leave Amazon in 5 minutes.
Social Commerce is changing all that by putting fun back into the shopping experience, but virtually.
Readying for social commerce
Millennials and Generation Zs have now become the dominant, majority share of consumers (and will be for the next few years), overtaking the Baby Boomer population in size and spending. As digital natives, these consumers grew up on social media, so shopping via social media is simply a natural organic extension to their daily routines. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok have introduced Shops as native extensions to their social media platforms to anticipate this growing trend.
But social shopping is not just about connecting a brand to a social shop. Here are key things that brands must consider:
Modern social commerce requires omni-shop orchestration to be at its most successful.
What’s that? Let's consider how brands don’t just sell their products through one retail channel today. They now sell across their own website, retailers, marketplaces, and other sales channels. Similarly, brands cannot sell through one Social Shop – they must optimize selling products on shops across different social media networks like Facebook and Instagram, as well as leverage business messaging apps to help shoppers along and drive conversion.
The ability to orchestrate, synchronize, and then sell across shops and messaging apps will give brands the broadest approach to optimizing.
Personalized service and care
Modern social commerce also includes the notion of personalized service. Think in-store product specialists, stylists, or shop clerks, except now these are virtual agents who can instantly answer questions, share the latest offers, or recommend additional products with the consumer.
Advancements in social commerce now stretch across the customer journey to include embedded care and service on social media platforms. CX-centric organizations are now siphoning categories of service and care cases to marketing specialists, product leads, and sales associates to allow service center agents to focus on escalations or more advanced customer cases. As a result, they are turning to social care applications built for these departments to quickly log, resolve and close cases without heavy CRM implementation or long professional services engagements.
Livestream shopping, or video shopping, is quickly being adopted by leading global B2C brands to deliver one-to-one personalized shopping over video between a sales associate and a consumer. They are also leveraging it to host one-to-many livestream video events to launch a product, support an influencer event, or kick off a seasonal promotional campaign.
Video shopping is almost like the shopping mall experience, but taking place entirely on social media, with friends also being able to participate in a truly social experience that can include:
Immersive video platforms
360-degree product visualizations
Real-time friend chat
Virtual shop clerks with helpful information to guide shoppers to purchase
Introducing: Emplifi Social Commerce Cloud
The future of shopping is Social Commerce, and we are thrilled to unveil the new release of our offering, Emplifi Social Commerce Cloud.
Emplifi is excited to partner with our customers who want to bring the thrill, enjoyment, and personalization of the shopping experience to their consumers – but now across social media. While shopping together, in person or with friends, is one of life’s simple pleasures, we at Emplifi strive to mirror that experience as much as possible online through the power of immersive social media and commerce technology.
If your future consumers are Millenials and GenZs, the time is now to reach them through the fun, power, and convenience of social commerce. Please feel free to book a demo today of Emplifi Social Commerce Cloud to speak with one of our experts and learn how we can help your brand elevate your social commerce efforts.