Coronavirus had a major impact on the way that we purchase, and businesses had to quickly innovate and solve how to now sell and market to their customers during a period with an ever-changing environment. 4.2 billion people worldwide are active on social media and alone in 2020, social media gained 490 million users2.
Social media platforms have quickly turned into a way for consumers to tap and purchase a product they may see on their feed, ad or on an influencers page. This is known as social selling. Social selling is the modern way to build relationships and engage with potential customers. A new user to each platform is a potential customer. Social selling has now become the new innovative way for customers to find new brands and to purchase them through that platform.
For example, on Instagram you can instantly purchase from the app and while many users may not feel comfortable leaving their payment methods on Instagram (yet), potential customers still tend to follow the brand and end up on that brand’s website to check out their products. There are also other ways brands and business can sell on Instagram as well. PlusBKLYN, a plus sized clothing sure located in Brooklyn, New York goes “live” on Instagram every Thursday night to sell products and throughout the week posts products on their story and consumers can “DM” to purchase. Owner Alexis Krase reports that 50% or more of her daily sales total come social selling.
Social media and word of mouth increases engagement with new people and cultivates new relationships between the brand and the customer. Business can use social listening tools to respond and engage with customers directly. Not only does this create authenticity, but it also builds trust and in turn creates customer loyalty. Social listening also is a unique way for businesses to collect data and information about their customer and their desires when it comes to the products that the company offers.
Social commerce continues to evolve at a quicker rate, as social media networks keeps advancing and growing so will the potential revenue. In light of the pandemic and supply chain issues, there has been less products in person while online shopping has a more variety and items in stock. While in-person shopping will never go extinct, social selling is still in its early stages in developing and it will be interesting to see how it evolves over the next few years.
1 Hutchinson, A. (2022, January 18). New report highlights the rise of social media shopping [infographic]. Social Media Today. Retrieved September 18, 2022, from https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/new-report-highlights-the-rise-of-social-media-shopping-infographic/617315/
2 Newberry, C., & Olafson, K. (2022, April 5). Social selling: What it is, why you should care, and how to do it right. Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard. Retrieved September 18, 2022, from https://blog.hootsuite.com/what-is-social-selling/#:~:text=using%20social%20media.-,What%20is%20social%20selling%3F,selling%20as%20modern%20relationship%2Dbuilding.