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What is Social Commerce and is it Living Up to the Hype?

Imagine: you’re scrolling Instagram when you find a pair of Nike sneakers that you absolutely love. You decide to go look for them on the Nike website, only to be left frustrated and disappointed when you can’t easily track them down.

Now imagine the same scenario, but this time Nike’s Instagram has a ‘BUY’ button directly linked to the shoes that caught your eye. This fantasy is no longer in the realm of your imagination, but rather in the world of social commerce, which is making waves in the eCommerce industry.

What is social commerce?

Social commerce is defined as a subset of eCommerce that allows consumers to make online purchases directly through social media platforms, rather than being redirected to the company’s website. This reduces the number of steps in the conversion funnel, which means that businesses are less likely to lose customers along the way.

Examples of social commerce include the selling of products on Facebook and Instagram. Recommended products will pop up on the consumer’s news feed and allow them to click on a ‘shop now’ link, directing the consumer directly to a page to place their orders. There is, however, resistance from consumers to place orders through platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as they do not trust that the social media platforms will protect their financial information.

Some best practices of social commerce include building a brand community, authenticity, and using videos to heighten consumer engagement. Building a brand community makes consumers feel like the company has a vested interest in their goals and interests, which creates brand loyalty. Authenticity creates trust in the brand, which strengthens brand equity. YouTube is the second most used search engine after Google. Therefore, companies can capitalise on the use of YouTube videos as a way of drawing in consumers.

Why is social commerce a good idea?

The form of trade has become increasingly popular given the rise of social media use in recent years. Over 54% of millennials use social channels to research products before purchasing them and the average person spends roughly one and a half hours on social media every day. Given this routine engagement with social media, it makes sense for businesses to try sell their products on a platform where the consumers already are, rather than trying to attract them to their website. This technology allows businesses to make customers’ experience better, which in turn improves brand experience and facilitates the relationship between consumer and business.

Why social commerce growth is slow

People are using social media to research and discover products or services, but aren’t quite making the leap to clicking the ‘buy’ button online. A change in consumer behaviour is required and experts suggest that companies need to build relationships and networks with consumers before trying to sell their products through a medium the customer isn’t used to.

Considering that people don’t trust social media to keep their financial information safe or not misuse it, social media companies are working on establishing trust through building stronger networks. While building stronger networks cannot remove consumer scepticism entirely, it is likely to grow consumer trust over time. It’s therefore still worthwhile for companies to offer social commerce as another channel through which their products can be accessed. They shouldn’t rely on it solely, though.

How can Neuromarketing help strengthen your social commerce?

Building an effective network requires that the customers perceive the company’s efforts to be authentic, in order to signal that the company does value the consumers aspirations and values. Companies would naturally want to have a way of testing whether or not their messages are being received well by the audience, otherwise attempts at building a strong network will go to waste. Neuromarketing provides the ideal solution to this problem, as emotional responses to marketing attempts can be captured with Facing Coding and Galvanic skin response and can be used to create invaluable insights for the company.

User interface is another aspect of social commerce that can be optimized with the help of Neuromarketing, as Eye Tracking and Galvanic skin response technology can measure how easily the customer can navigate the portal for making purchases on the various social media platforms.

These diverse Neuromarketing tools provide a cutting-edge way of helping your company make the most of the social commerce trend!

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