Social commerce is already here and based on trends, it’s only going to keep gaining popularity. The value of sales from social commerce is expected to reach around $2.9 trillion by 2026.
If you’ve made a purchase on a social media platform, then you’ve participated in social commerce. It has made shopping more social and also way more accessible—giving brands the ability to sell their products on additional platforms and reach a wider audience.
This blog post will focus on gaining a better understanding of social commerce, and cover some best practices for successful selling on social media platforms. We’ll also explore what social commerce could mean for the future of ecommerce, as the world connects more on social platforms and the landscape of ecommerce evolves.
- Social commerce allows brands to sell products or services through social media platforms.
- With social commerce, marketing and sales blend into one and creates a seamless shopping experience, from discovery to checkout.
- Brands can leverage user-generated content (UGC) to garner interest in their products, leading to sales on social platforms.
Understanding social commerce & its benefits
Social commerce is the integration of ecommerce on social media sites, allowing shoppers to make purchases without even leaving the social media app they were browsing. It can have huge benefits for ecommerce merchants, giving them the ability to reach new customers and convert them in one fell swoop.
Additional benefits of social commerce include:
- Targeted advertising of your desired audience
- Enhanced customer engagement with your brand
- A seamless shopping experience for customers
- Social proof with UGC and influencer marketing
- Increased data and analytics from social platforms
- Opportunity to go viral
The main platforms used for social commerce today include Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest. Unlike traditional ecommerce, social commerce occurs through these social media platforms. Whether scrolling on the app or the browser, customers don’t have to leave the social platform to make their purchase—making it a quick and seamless way to buy products.
The rise of commerce among social media platforms
As social media platforms have evolved (and become increasingly popular, especially among Gen Z and Millennials), so have their abilities and integrations. With dedicated shopping features and tools available to merchants, it’s easier than ever before to reach new shoppers and make sales.
Shoppers are able to discover new products, explore your brand, and make purchases on these social platforms. The lines between social interaction and commercial transactions is blurred like never before.
If your brand has been active on social media as a way to promote your products and acquire new customers, it’s time to take that one step further and integrate online shopping into your platforms so you can participate in social commerce.
Best practices for commerce on social media platforms
For ecommerce merchants looking to optimize their social commerce strategy and enhance the buying process for customers, there are some best practices to follow. Below we’ll highlight how you can create engaging content—using user-generated content (UGC) and influencer marketing—and turn potential customers into revenue-building customers through social commerce tactics.
By capturing online shoppers on their favorite social media platforms, you can greatly enhance the shopping journey and create a seamless checkout experience.
1. Optimize your profiles for shopping
To meet customer expectations for easy checkouts on social media platforms, you’ll need to optimize your profiles for shopping. Social media users expect to be able to purchase directly from your profile when they see products—meaning merchants should integrate all the necessary shopping features on their social media sites.
Whether you’re using Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, or Instagram shops features, in-app checkout is key. Enable the shopping features that each social platform offers, such as Facebook Shops, Instagram Shopping, or Pinterest’s Product Pins. Make sure your product catalog is up to date, and includes detailed descriptions of each product—just like your typical ecommerce site would.
The purchasing process should be simple and straightforward, from the minute a customer discovers your products. Retail brands should also keep in mind how they present their products, which we’ll get into next.
2. Create engaging content
Many people spend time on social media as a form of entertainment and often use it as a source of information. So, your online store should keep that in mind when you consider what content you’re sharing on social media. Whether it’s engaging videos on TikTok or informative posts on Instagram, make sure you’re curating the content toward your target audience, so that consumers interact with and enjoy it.
Social networking sites are meant to be engaging, and the more content you share that people like, the more likely your brand will grow popular on social media.
Focus on content that will captivate and engage your target audience, using high-quality photography, videos, and other graphics. Ensure products are showcased in a way that’s appealing to customers and easy to shop.
3. Leverage user-generated content & influencer marketing
UGC is a huge part of social media, and therefore social commerce as well. Leveraging content made by your customers can help you directly incorporate social proof into the online shopping experience, a very powerful tactic that can help your brand convert more sales.
With UGC, customers are able to see ratings, reviews, and testimonials from other users, helping to build trust and confidence in your brand and products. Plus, with the rapid growth of influencer marketing, customers expect to see real people using your products in order to gain their trust and make a sale.
Incorporating influencer marketing into both your marketing strategy and your social commerce plan can help you reach your target audience in an organic way. By identifying influencers who have followings that align with your brand and target market, they can be a huge asset. Their collaboration can help you reach new customers and drive conversions.
4. Enable easy checkout
Just because social commerce happens on these social media platforms doesn’t mean the checkout should be less seamless than a typical ecommerce site. In fact, it’s crucial your checkout process is smooth on your social commerce platform. If not, shoppers will quickly go back to scrolling the social media site and forget about your products.
To optimize the checkout process, implement features like “Buy Now” buttons and steamline payment options. Make it mobile-friendly and be sure to include autofill forms, to take work away from the customer. Making the checkout as few steps as possible will minimize friction and lead to effortless spending—really one of the main benefits of shopping on a social network. It’s fast and easy.
5. Analyze data & enhance your strategy
With social commerce, your brand has access to more data than ever before. Utilize the analytics within the social platforms to see how your brand is performing. Pay attention to what content your customers respond the best to, and do more of it. By continuing to keep an eye on how your campaigns are performing and what areas you can improve, you can hone your social commerce strategies to lead to more sales and more satisfied customers.
The future of social commerce
With social commerce, brands can greatly expand their reach and convert customers in minutes with integrated, easy checkouts built right into social media platforms. As more and more technology becomes available within these social platforms, brands can continue to improve their online presence and evolve how shoppers interact with their brand. Making shopping easier for customers will lead to less friction and more conversions—especially when it happens over engaging, quality content on social media.
Turning social media users into customers
Ecommerce brands should take advantage of the rising popularity of social commerce and lean into making sales through platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and more. Social commerce will only become more popular as more and more shoppers see how easy it is to buy products while browsing their favorite social sites.
Implementing the best practices shared above can help merchants enhance their social commerce strategies. As ecommerce in general continues to evolve, it’s crucial that merchants stay up to date on social commerce trends, and any other new technologies that pop up that make selling products more personal and interactive for customers.
 Value of social commerce sales worldwide from 2022 to 2026 (Statista)