Social media has visible impacts on our life and one that is revolutionizing e-commerce is social media online shopping. It is the process of buying and selling products directly on social media platforms. The trend has received impetus in the wake of the
Covid19pandemic when online shopping has become a safer path for shoppers. According to market estimations, the social media shopping industry is worth over $89 billion today in the year 2021. It is likely to reach a staggering figure of around $605 billion by 2027. Learning about the driving forces leading to such trends can help small business owners to benefit from them.
#Understanding Social Commerce
To know how social media online shopping is changing the commercial world it is necessary to know what social commerce is.
- In social commerce all shopping activities take place on social media platforms
- Such activities include searching, identifying, as well as buying and selling of products
- It also includes pre and post-purchase support
- It is a one-stop shopping process with a transaction funnel that is fully streamlined
#Motivation for Social Media Online Shopping
Shoppers are motivated to indulge in social media online shopping due to the following reasons:
- It saves their time, effort, and money as everything is managed using one of the social media platforms
- Buyers can perform e-commerce transactionsfrom their homesat their convenience and pace
- The process has completely changed the past practices in e-commerce when shoppers used to find a website where they could buy or sell products replacing it with the facilities of e-commerce to be carried out in seconds
- It has opened up ways for increasing the small businesses to increase their revenue earnings
#Role of Social Media Platforms in Changing the Face of E-Commerce
The concept of social media online shopping is not new and has been there for quite some time but it got a big impetus due to the outbreak of the
Covid 19pandemic. As the regulations made in-store shopping unsafe and unwanted also the result was a big spike in online shopping.
Social networking media sites with millions of followers opened up the scope of replacing in-store marketing for small business owners and the best of it was that the process was not expensive either. Consistent lick downs and shutdowns and the introduction of social distancing resulted in shutter down for many small enterprises and they moved over to an online business that did not have any restrictions imposed.
#Refocusing on Social Media Online Shopping
Till the year 2019, the focal points for all enterprises whether large and small were to make a cost-benefit analysis and making their products desirable and useful to the target audience. 2020 and Covid19 pandemic and the scenario in the first quarter of 2021 remains the same.
- Social media was always a major part of the marketing strategies of commercial enterprises
- The use ofsocial networking mediawas mainly confined to advertising online for brand recognition in the online community
- The practices did not make social media a direct platform for shopping
- A major change in approach is that the focus has shifted to social media online shopping and using popular social media sites as a marketplace for buying as selling products and services on social media sites
Many enterprises and especially small business owners were forced to
refocus their e-commerce strategies.
#Growth of Social Media Managing Tools
A big change in the market was the result of various social media marketing and managing tools for rescheduling and managing social media uses by the enterprises. Some such tools were also used by the customers shopping online. Designers of such tools paid more attention to making these tools user-friendly and affordable. The aim was to promote the use of such tools making social media online shopping a breeze for all.
#Changes in Social Media Online Shopping Sites
Top social media sites also went through an evolution from information and opinion exchanging platforms to direct shopping platforms for online shoppers. Some of the major changes were as follows.
- Facebook came up with shops helping out enterprises to design their online stores
- The tool also worked for Instagram users
- Instagram updated the Instagram checkout tool enabling users to buy and sell products without going out of it
- Pinterest introduces the new Shop tab that enabled users to browse as well as shop with in-stock product pins
- Many social media sites are entering into a partnership with existing marketing sites like Shopify among others
Evolutions are many but the objective is one; it is enabling the users to conduct
social media online shoppingwithout leaving the site.
#A trend that has Come to Stay
Whether it is the convenience of buying from home, scheduling the shopping exercise according to the user's customized requirements, or safety issues related to the Covid19 pandemic the world is consistently shifting to e-commerce at the expense of traditional shopping practices.
According to business experts, the *
e-commerce industryin America is worth over $36 billion in 2021. It is also growing regularly and that means social commerce that occupies a large part of online business now has come to stay. That is also why many enterprises are seeking the services of experts for creating a digital store and helping in online commercial transactions and related fields.
#Changes in Approach of Small Enterprises
In the past, the small business owners were unable to compete with their larger counterparts due to resource constraints failing to build up brand recognition and business. Internet and social media have made things easier for them.
They can now reach out to their target audience directly and influence their social media online shopping experience in a positive manner. Factors that have further inspired them to promote shopping on social media sites are that over 60% of online buyers in the USA use Instagram to find out brands and products and over 48% of buyers in the age group of 18-35 years buy products online through social media.
Also, social media online shopping has become like a personal mail system where buyers and sellers come to contact paving the way for buying and selling of products directly on the site.