Social media shopping: the trend to watch out for in 2021
Social media apps are actively working to become centralised shopping channels for customers. For quite a few years now, social media has been indispensable to attract new customers to websites and physical stores (drive-to-store).
Instagram is the favorite social shopping app for 92% of retailers. Instagram already offered the option of tagging products directly on posts to redirect customers towards brand's website pages. Now, Instagram has expanded this offer with the new Instagram Shop. This is a great opportunity for brands, as 70% of customers use Instagram to browse and discover new products.
But Instagram isn't the only social media app aiming towards 100% social media consumption: Facebook, Pinterest and TikTok have also launched shops within their own platforms. Direct in-app paying methods are also starting to become available. For now, Instagram is testing this possibility in the US, while TikTok has decidd to collaborate with Shopify to offer this advantage to its consumers.
What does this mean for brands? How can a brand fully exploit the potential these novelties offer for its influencer campaigns?
Business success, now closer than ever
During most of the 20th century, to launch a successful business there were many assets one had to acquire. Maybe one of the most expensive ones: a store or office from which to offer your products and/or services to your clients.
Afterwards, the creation of enterprises was generalised, as online sites and stores made reaching clients simple and fast. However, online stores also mean spending and effort: website conceptualisation, user experience, check out, mobile version, design, dealing with bugs... A modern, operative and friendly website can signify an important chunk of a business's budget. It's an amount that not many young enterprises can afford.
Nowadays, thanks to social media shopping, everything is on the brink of changing once again. A young brand that's just starting out can rely exclusively on social media to promote, interact and sell its products and/or services. Social media apps take care of the design, the user experience, the bugs and soon enough, the payment too! A small brand only has to present its product through quality content and manage its store via Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, etc.
“With the launch of Facebook and Instagram Shops, social media are affirmed as shopping channels in their own right. A true supplementary channel for e-commerce, and a beautiful opportunity of on-line development for small brands that don't yet have their own websites (...). With almost 8 out of 10 internet users declaring to shop products online, there's no doubt that social media shopping will be one of the stronger trends for 2021" Loïc Souvignet, Content Manager de Agorapulse.
Discover Loîc's full testimony on our new ebook about the future of influencer marketing.
This isn't to say that it's not hard to launch a business nowadays, or that sales and success are guaranteed. There's ruthless competition on social media and brands must make an effort to stand out, even if the more costly technicalities are taken care of.
The growing power of micro and nano influencers
Micro and nano influencers are, now more than ever, the best ambassadors for brands on social media. In 2021 and the years to come, we will bear witness to the different values that will take over social media. The days were the number of followers and likes were the measure of success will be long behind us. Nowadays, authenticity, interactions, saved publications, etc. are the true measure of influence on social media.
Micro and nano influencers are trustworthy and authentic. They'll generate more sales for brands thanks to the new possibility of tagging products directly to the Instagram store in their posts. On Instagram, for instance, including a link to a website was a right reserved only for accounts with more than 10 000 followers. This diminished considerably the power of nano influencers. Now that they're no longer limited in this way, we're going to bear witness to their true power of prescription.
Imagine a nano influencer with less than 5 000 really close followers. As soon as he promotes a product he likes, his followers will follow suit and acquire the product. In their minds, they're following the advice of a friend. Collaborating with micro and nano influencers is more affordable, and thanks to their authenticity and their close relationship with their followers, brands will notice a true impact in sales when collaborating with a good number of them.
Macro influencers, on the other hand, promote several products daily, and rely heavily on promo codes and flash sales to engage their community.
Curate the visual quality of your social store
A social media store is the ideal place to reuse your UGC (User Generated Content). Social media are predominantly visual spaces, where aesthetics, beauty and aspirational images quickly call viewers attention.
You must carefully conceptualise and curate your social store. A good idea is to reuse your most successful content (from your profile, influencers, etc) for your store. It will be ideally placed to motivate viewers to shop. Don't forget that customers can navigate a shop's offer, so you have to strive to have the most attractive possible layout.
Each year, social media apps provide new tools for brands so they can expand their horizons and reach their objectives. Social Commerce via social media isn't only a trend, it's a revolution that will make consumer's behavior evolve.