Nowadays Social Media has become the driving force behind discovering new products. Online users browse thousands of pages daily while coming across different worldwide content, especially when shopping online. In doing so, this hassle-free experience convinces them that it is faster, simpler, and more influential. As per Pamela Bump, 2023, businesses have improved their selling services by opening digital stores so they can sell directly to customers after web shopping became popular on social media. Where is this course going to take us? We’ll dive into the benefits and drawbacks of social media from a balanced perspective.
Social media has become a utopia for online shoppers and is growing dramatically. In light of that, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms updated their apps to be compatible with online shopping. Instagram and Facebook, for example, are now one-in-all apps that promote various online shopping categories. According to Retail Customer Experience, 2019, Facebook is the top online personal shopping site compared to other platforms. Statistically, Millennials and Gen Z are the primary groups making direct purchases regarding social media to discover products.
Regarding startups, social media platforms are a reliable place to gain recognition, engage with your customers, and reach potential customers. Instagram and Facebook offer a feature that enables you to provide high-quality customer service, encompassing phone, email, chat, and social media interactions. A notable trend emerging in 2023 is the concept of “social shopping,” which seamlessly merges social media and online shopping. Brands are increasingly adopting this innovative marketing strategy to generate more substantial impacts. As a result, its implementation enhances the overall customer buying experience, leading to heightened visibility, increased referrals, and strengthened customer loyalty.
Another factor that contributes to the success of social media direct shopping is product listing. Social media is all about visuals and descriptions. The buyer is more likely to make a favourable purchase decision when the product’s reviews, visuals, pricing, and other attributes align with their needs and desires. For that goal, the necessary tools on social media are available to enhance customer retention management.
Away from traditional selling, online shopping, specifically on social media platforms, is relatively new. Thus, shoppers are not convinced, and sometimes even doubtful, about doing social shopping. A study has revealed that people require a higher level of trust in social media apps when making purchases. Because of this new emergence, consumers are afraid of companies that could be illegitimate, which raises concerns for them about doing direct social media shopping. In some examples, end users face the worries that come with their package never being dispatched or that the product does not precisely match the specifications. With that being said, the concern lies mainly behind the lack of trust and item quality.
It is also pertinent to add that users on social media are tracked. Once a purchase is made, more shopping listings will follow automatically through the spam of product story ads and organic findings. Increasing the number of browsing steps will lead to a more refined algorithm, which, in turn, may be perceived as intrusive as it tailors recommendations based on customer segmentation.
Last but not least, utilizing social media for product discovery can be a daunting and time-consuming process. Furthermore, a notable downside lies in the presence of social media influencers who vigorously promote their products. Consequently, followers may find themselves purchasing unwanted items under the influence of commercial endorsements.
Ultimately, it is evident that social media online shopping has a driving influence on users. The so-called social shopping, by itself, shows that social media is striving to expand and look like an online webshop to maximize the influence of product discovery. Throughout this blog, we explored several pros and cons of “social media online shopping”. Putting them together can feel like a battle between the two. For example, the lack of trust in social shopping is still high. Nonetheless, it remains within the discretion of end-users to monitor and assess how this trend evolves over time.
Read further: News, Icecat, product content, Product discovery, product social media, social media, social media ecommerce, social media shopping
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