Who would have thought one year ago that popular high-street stores would now be closing their doors for good? Or that some of the country’s biggest brands would decide to focus solely on eCommerce?
Well, neither did we. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, that is precisely what happened for many businesses, particularly within the fashion industry.
Now, we live in a world entirely dominated by social media and eCommerce, but what exactly does the future hold?
Amelia Neate, Senior Manager at an influencer marketing agency, Influencer Matchmaker, shares her predictions for the future of shoppable social media and social commerce.
The rise of eCommerce
As we have seen throughout the last 12 months, there has been a massive influx of eCommerce businesses coming to the forefront of their respective industries. And this probably wouldn’t have happened without Covid-19.
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have had a tremendous impact on several industries and sectors, many of which have been negative. However, it has accelerated the growth of eCommerce by approximately four to six years. And, following the closure of numerous brands within Arcadia Group and physical stores in the form of Debenhams, it is proof that brands must ensure they stay relevant and adapt to the ever-changing needs of their consumers.
Social commerce: why is it so important?
Not only has eCommerce taken a front seat recently, but we have now welcomed a new industry trend aboard. A similar concept to eCommerce, social commerce consists of buying and selling a product or service within a social media platform.
With the number of social media users continuing to rise, it is no surprises that brands and businesses have implemented a brand-new strategy to help boost sales. With many companies intending to dedicate a significant budget to influencer marketing throughout 2021, it makes perfect sense for them to be targeting their consumers more directly – which is precisely what social commerce does.
Social commerce was well on its way to success in 2019, way before the pandemic had even hit, having generated an impressive $22 billion in the US alone. Social media is no longer simply a place to be confronted with tailored and personalised ads but is a destination to shop and make purchases, too.
Currently, Facebook and Instagram (owned by Facebook) have a shoppable feature within their apps. This allows brands, businesses, and anyone else with a business account to link directly to a product within their image, taking consumers straight to their website’s product page.
What’s more, they can do all of that without even leaving the app they were initially been on! Brands such as Zara and John Lewis are just two of the huge names that utilise the apps and their new shoppable features.
In doing so, this allows consumers to shop and purchase products without having to sacrifice their time on social media.
We are all familiar with the likes of Instagram Stories and their popular swipe-up links. Well, this is taking it just that little bit further, and I don’t think it is going to stop there.
The future of social commerce
Shoppable social media is only going to become more widely used, and before we know it, we will be able to purchase an item with just one click – making it even more streamlined than it is currently.
With features such as IGTV, Guides and Reels becoming increasingly popular on Instagram, it won’t be long before replacing hyperlinks with direct purchase links here.
It comes as no surprise that currently, video is the preferred way to consume content, so just how long will it be until such features are integrated into the likes of YouTube and TikTiok?
Brands are continuing to steer away from traditional marketing methods and are working hard to build relationships with social media influencers to focus their budgets and campaigns on influencer marketing.