Social commerce is quickly becoming a coveted channel for consumers, and with Facebook's newest platform -- Facebook Shops -- brands have yet another way to engage with consumers online.
Building on Facebook's existing Marketplace and Instagram Shopping platforms, Shops allows sellers to quickly set up a digital storefront where consumers can engage with brands through organic content, video and ads, with depolyment across all Facebook-owned apps, including Instagram Direct, Messenger and Whatsapp.
While Facebook Shops was initially released to help small businesses navigate distressed sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, large Consumer Products (CP) companies should be paying attention when developing their own omnichannel strategies.
Unlike brand websites and marketplaces, direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels provide a path to differentiation outside of physical retail and third-party e-commerce partnerships by giving CPs more control over the experience consumers have when buying their products. Social commerce platforms go one step further by having the benefit of being present where consumers are already spending their time and, in many cases, have already expressed their brand and product preferences – revealing key first-party consumer insights crucial to elevating customer experiences.
The evolution of social commerce isn't limited to just Facebook either. Platforms like Pinterest and TikTok, which amass larger, mobile-savvy Gen Z audiences, have also been upping their e-commerce capabilities to cater to brands as adoption increases. Research shows that 85 percent of Gen Z consumers learn about new brands on social media and eMarketer anticipates more than 75 million U.S. consumers will make at least one purchase through social channels in 2020 – an increase of more than 17 percent from 2019.
The data make sense - these channels are inherently consumer-centric, with audiences flocking to social media for entertainment, networking and experiences with their preferred brands. With the average internet user spending nearly 2.5 hours per day on social media and an overall increase in desire to shop online, it’s only natural that these platforms will see an uptick in commerce usage.