By now we all heard the term ‘e-commerce’ and we all know pretty much what it is. To provide a general meaning of the term, its the electronic transactions (buying or selling) of goods and services, over an electronic network that usually is the internet. These transactions can be B2B (Business 2 Business), B2C (Business to Consumer) and C2C (Consumer to Consumer). But in the last couple of years, a new term is beginning to gain attention and is closely related to e-commerce.
As we said above, social e-commerce is related to traditional e-commerce with the difference being that, social e-commerce is the electronic transaction of goods and services specifically for social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok.
Facebook & Instagram
Facebook (now known as Meta), introduced Facebook and Instagram shops on the 19th of May 2020, in order to help small businesses sell their products online, without the requirement of having a website. The two platforms combined have close to 300 million users, and that is why global brands are active on these platforms and report that their highest profit originates from sales through these platforms. Now in Facebook and Instagram you can tag your products on posts so that users can click on them to purchase. Below you can see an example of such a post, from Knix.
Tik Tok introduced its social e-commerce on September 28, 2021. One of the newest social media platforms out there, but its rapid growth seems like it won't stop anytime soon, as it is predicted to hit 48.8 million US users by 2025.
You may wonder how many people are interested in purchasing a product on Tik Tok; isn’t it used just for the videos? Well statistics show otherwise. 39% of users have discovered a product or a brand on TikTok that they didn’t know before and almost half of them have purchased something they saw on the app.
What are the trends for 2022?
- Video must be a priority
It is well known that a video is more engaging for the users, but with the increasing competition from video platforms, like Tik Tok and YouTube, there is an on-going pressure on other platforms as well. Since the users are now expected to be entertained by scrolling through their feed, businesses and brands should give priority to videos in order to promote their products.
- Livestream Shopping
The purchases during livestream’s of brands or influencers is continuously growing, as between January 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021, the number of app installments for livestream selling grew by 61%. Livestream Shopping is starting to be prioritized by businesses and brands as the CEO of Glamnetic stated “The power of liveshopping has not been nearly tapped yet, and we’re on the precipice. We’re just starting on that, and we are really pushing into it. We already have a Head of Live Shopping.”
- Live Chat
As AI technology is becoming more advanced, so do several tools that use this technology like chatbots. Chatbots are expected to become more advanced, offering a more personalized experience to users.
- Influencers & Micro Influencers
Influencers will still be a “thing” on 2022, but it is expected that the number of micro- influencers will increase significantly. Many brands are starting to promote their products through people with less followers, but also the number of people that are willing to tap in influencing as a side job will also grow. As the founder and CEO of Fanjoy “The perfect Instagram photos dissolved and Gen Z came out swinging, pushing for real people to be stars. Overly edited photos, picture-perfect lifestyles, and celebrity status took a back seat to incoming TikTok stars who are your classmates, co-workers, and family members.”.
The new face of e-commerce is social e-commerce. Big companies are starting to implement social e-commerce strategies, with innovative approaches and in ways that people enjoy their journey to purchase. But small businesses as well need to tap into social e-commerce, as it may be one of the easiest ways to sell online, with no extra costs.