Have you ever had the feeling that your social media apps are psychic or that your Amazon Alexa is listening to your conversations? One minute you’re talking to your spouse about needing new running shoes, and the next, your Facebook or TikTok account seems obsessed with Nike ZoomZ Vaporflys.
What’s really going is social commerce. This latest evolution of ecommerce combines not psychic intelligence but artificial intelligence with your activity on social platforms to influence your buying behavior.
This article looks at how social media, payments, and WooCommerce are creating a new type of marketing powerhouse.
What Is Social Commerce?
Social commerce is selling products and services through social media, but the process is highly intelligent and sophisticated.
With social commerce, the entire shopping experience from product discovery and research to checkout, takes place right on the social media app or platform. Let’s say a customer is scrolling through their TikTok feed and spot an ad for hair styling cream with a “Shop Now” button. They can instantly complete a purchase without ever leaving the TikTop app.
The melding of social media platforms with brand marketing is a natural progression for the customer experience. It’s combining two things that most people love—being entertained and treating ourselves with new shoes, new clothes, or other longed-for item.
For more on WooCommerce Web Hosting read, “Has WooCommerce Reached Maturity In Its Lifecycle? What Merchants Should Know About Tomorrow’s Web Hosting”
How Does The Intersection Between Social Platforms and Ecommerce Work?
Psychic powers are not yet in the realm of possibility for the binary ecosystem, but artificial intelligence is. In the case of social platforms, such as TikTok and Facebook, what you browse, watch, or “like” is tracked. Your interests and preferences are fed into AI-powered algorithms that literally push ads to your social media platforms based on your interests and buying habits. You’re a runner? Here’s some shoes you might like. You recently bought an outfit from Express? Here are the latest looks.
Selling on social is where increasing revenues lie. According to the social media management platform, HooteSuite, global eCommerce sales are predicted to be $1.6 trillion in the next three years, which is over a 100% increase since 2020. Merchants should be building partnerships to take advantage of social commerce.
Why Is Social Commerce Important for WooCommerce and Magento Merchants
The future for TikTok is currently uncertain as Congress addresses bipartisan worries over potential data privacy issues and Chinese government intrusion. But TikTok was the world’s most visited website in 2021, according to Marketingmag, beating out Google. That fact implies that even if there is no TikTok, there will be another similar video platform to take its place as a marketing solution, and Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are thriving.
Here’s what social commerce offers ecommerce merchants.
AI-powered algorithms influence customer buying behavior by showing them ads that appeal to each consumer’s unique tastes and preferences. According to TikTok, almost 60 percent of TikTokers use the platform to research/learn more about new products or brands, and close to 50 percent claim to have immediately bought something they saw on the platform at least once in the past year. That’s powerful marketing.
Social commerce is commerce Nirvana. It’s a double -whammy of serotonin for consumers. Consumers jut won’t engage with a streamlined payment experience and easy browsing with the same sentiment as a 10-second video that’s right up their alley. Combining entertainment with the shopping experience is a winning combo.
Social platforms, particularly TikTok, are used by all generations because video content is so easy to consume and is algorithmically personalized to appeal to each person. The same goes for the products advertised on social platforms. They are personalized and targeted.
When a consume clicks on a product ad, they are often redirected to the ecommerce storefront to complete a purchase. That’s a great opportunity to offer other services to customers, such as embedded solutions like the ever-so-popular Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) and boost revenue streams.
Social commerce takes your products to the consumer where they are hanging out, which is on social media, such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest. But then, social shops remove the friction from the consumer journey reducing the chance of abandonment. The product is there, and all the buyer has to do is click to purchase. That’s a lot fewer steps than having to go from an ad to a website, add the product to a shopping cart, and then input their card information.
Engaging With Customers and Getting Feedback
Social commerce collects feedback. You can direct message your customers, ask them to comment on or review products, and provide them with personalized customer service. All of this creates valuable data to tell you your customers’ likes and dislikes.
How Can WooCommerce Merchants Integrate Social Functions Into Their Marketing and Selling?
WooCommerce websites can be integrated with many social platforms. However, not all will allow direct purchases to be made. In some cases, the buyer is redirected to the merchant’s website to checkout and complete the sale.
Here are the leading social platforms that integrate with WooCommerce.
For more on WooCommerce, read “Looking for An eCommerce Platform? 15 Things Merchants Should Know Before They Commit to WooCommerce”
WooCommerce merchants can jump on the social commerce band wagon now that the ecommerce hosting company has established a strategic partnership with the social platform TikTok. The partnership was announded in May 2022, and, according to TikTok, WooCommerce’s 3.7 million merchants can “create advertising campaigns and reach one billion global users” with their new plugin TikTok for WooCommerce.
The plugin automatically syncs your ecommerce catalog to Tik Tok so that the products are promoted in ads on the TikTok video platform. You cany measure and maximize your advertising efforts by installing TikTok Pixel, which boosts matching capabilities to put your ads in front of the right shoppers, optimize the results of your campaign efforts, and maximize your return on ad spend.
Once your catalog is synced, you can “Create a Campaign” from the WooCommerce dashboard and use the Smart Video Generator tool to create a powerful Ad Campaign using their product images or videos. Apparently, it takes minutes.
You can also select in-feed ad formats available including catalog-based Ad formats, spark ads (native ads using TikTok posts, or lead gen ads (customizable forms that integrate with CRM partners to conver leads).
A Facebook for WooCommerce plugin allows merchants to purchase advertising, set up a shop to sell products on Facebook, and give data on customer actions. Merchants sync their WooCommerce catalog to Facebook so that customers can browse the products from their Facebook Page shop. Merchants can create product-based ads and chat with customers through Facebook Messenger.
WooCommerce Instagram is a way to showcase product images particularly on mobile devices. Merchants can upload their catalogs to Instagram and create shoppable posts and stories. Users can be redirected to your product pages with on click. Merchants can apply product hashtags to allow users to tag their own images.
With the Pinterest for WooCommerce extension, users connect their WooCommerce store to a Pinterest business account directly in the WooCommerce app an their catalog is then browsable on Pinterest in just a few clicks.We’ll also automatically set up your Pinterest tag, and a shop tab on your Pinterest profile.
Snapchat is one of the social platforms that redirects visitors to the ecommerce site for purchases. That said, the Snapchat Pixel extension for WooCommerce tracks conversions, tells you when Snapchatters view products, add items to their carts, and make a purchase on your website. Once the Snap Pixel is set up, merchants can check the Snapchat Ads Manager to understand conversions, sales, and revenues from ads.
Take Your Products to Your Customers Rather Than Wait for Them to Come to You
Technology advances and AI have catapulted the marketing and payments industries into the digital stratosphere. Social commerce is an opportunity for ecommerce merchants to showcase their products where their customers spend time, on social media platforms and mobile phones, and to allow their audience to buy instantly wherever they are.
Effective ads are no longer found in television, radio, and print advertising, and transactions are no longer limited to commerce and ecommerce. Instead, merchants need to look to streaming and social media for marketing opportunities and transactions.
Contact Cartis Payments to find optimal ways to integrate WooCommerce and payment gateways.