The future of e-commerce is social media

by Smart Brief

This article was originally published on Smart Brief.

The recent launch of Facebook Shops is taking on Amazon and Google by blending e-commerce with the world's biggest social media platform. The timing is perfect, as many consumers remain homebound during the pandemic, and turn to digital sources to shop and stay social.  Learn how Facebook Shops could evolve by following in the footsteps of China's wildly popular WeChat social commerce platform -- and how U.S. and foreign retail companies can benefit. 

Why social media and e-commerce is powerful

Embedding e-commerce within social media is powerful in that it allows customers to discover brands through social content, and find products they normally wouldn’t search for on an e-commerce platform.

This "discovery through social content” process is important for smaller, niche brands that are up and coming but may not have as many advertising dollars to spend on an e-commerce platform. The customer journey maybe longer, but there is also more time for a brand to create a unique shopping experience and for the customer to get to know the brand, creating loyalty for the long run.

The social element of social media platforms also makes it easier for brands to create interactive, sharable campaigns that help new product launches go viral. For example, group-buying discounts, interactive contests, and even online games can be a part of the discovery process. 

Social media and e-commerce in Asia

Up until now, Asia has led the world in the development of social commerce. In fact, social media platforms such as Instagram account for one-third to one-half of all e-commerce transactions in Thailand. EMarketer estimates that 11.6% of total retail e-commerce sales in China are driven by social commerce.

With more than one billion active monthly users, WeChat has been the main platform for social commerce. Brands can create mini-program e-commerce stores of their own and drive traffic through digital advertising, influencer marketing, and other creative social media marketing campaigns. Read More

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