Social media has completely changed how we interact with each other and how we use the content we consume. It started as a way to share our opinions and experiences, but as time has progressed, social media has become much more integrated into our everyday habits and behaviors.
More than half of the human population uses at least one social media platform and is consuming content for multiple hours a day. In recent years, and especially in 2020, social media has been tapped as an eCommerce tool as well as a place to share content.
There’s never been a time where eCommerce and retail businesses can have a massive reach on their own. Social commerce is a hot trend right now, with businesses using updated strategies to engage with their existing audience, while also generating further sales in the process.
There are three platforms generating the most excitement, and the most sales: Twitch, YouTube, and Instagram. This guide will explain more about each one and, with the help of influencers, why they can help to explode your social commerce success.
Started primarily as a streaming service for gamers and owned by Amazon, Twitch has become – especially during the pandemic – an amazing additional channel for a lot of creators that wanted to stream anything, from Hikaru Nakamura streaming chess tournaments to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez playing Among Us and encourage viewers to vote.
In 2019 custom clothing company Teespring linked up with Twitch to bring social commerce to gaming audiences. This partnership grew in 2020, allowing Twitch users to sell while streaming thanks to “integrated checkout, live alerts and exclusive sub-only merch” as stated on the official Twich+Teespring landing page. In this way, viewers can easily browse and buy Twitch streamers’ products without having to leave the stream.
This feature is similar, in some way, to Amazon Live, a feature released by Amazon in February 2019 that helps influencers and content creators go live on Amazon and be able to sell products (with referral links) just below their embedded streaming video while demonstrating products and interacting with shoppers in real-time in the sidebar chat.
Learn more about Live Selling, the trend that’s shaping the future of eCommerce, here.
YouTube has been a social media powerhouse for years. However, it’s soon to take a step into the social commerce sector with the launch of YouTube Shopping, allowing brands to engage with buyers and sell to them directly.
This feature is currently in the testing phase with a handful of channels, but once it becomes available sitewide, it could change eCommerce as we know it.
YouTube Shopping opens the door for creators, retailers and eCommerce businesses to create engaging social content that generates more product exposure. Videos won’t be bound to the same time restrictions as paid ads either, allowing for greater flexibility in the way information can be presented to prospective buyers.
Interestingly, Google has also been experimenting with selling through YouTube via Shopify too, perhaps with the intent to compete with the likes of Amazon and Walmart. Considering it’s the second-most used search engine in the world (behind Google itself), sellers can expect to expand their reach to new prospects all over the globe.
Instagram is a very effective marketing tool. More than one billion users are active on Instagram. In fact, 37% of adults in the US are actively using the app.
Instagram is extremely visual, so it’s the perfect platform for companies to show customers exactly what they have to offer. One of its best features is perfect for influencer marketing; Stories. More specifically, Swipe-Ups.
Influencers are well known for their ability to create compelling, engaging Stories, so take advantage. Viewers swipe, land on the product page, select what they want to buy and checkout. All under five minutes.
It’s quick, smooth, and it converts.
Several brands are using Instagram Stories in different ways to convert their followers in online buyers, using Swipe-Ups and time-limited offers and discounts.
Instagram Story content is also great for Stories Ads. This makes the most of an influencer collaboration and ensures the ad contains high-quality content. Plus, ads reach more people than either your or the influencer’s followers, therefore increasing your reach.
This article was originally featured on TaggerMedia.com on January 4, 2021. It was written by guest author, Alessandro Bogliari, who is the CEO and Co-Founder of The Influencer Marketing Factory, a global influencer marketing agency that helps brands get in front of Gen Z & Millennials on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram.