Middle East Retail Forum (MRF) 2023

Social commerce rules shopping decisions

Social Media I E-commerce

According to reports, about 98% of customers today choose the convenience of social media when shopping. The idea is to shop in a click while browsing your favourite content and never losing touch with #What’sTrending.

Socially conscious consumers seek value and with social commerce they look to find the best hybrid of e-commerce and social media. For social media, retailers use a host of active posts and video content to hook their target audience linked to their social media profiles or followers’ feeds. Social media platforms today include tools like shoppable posts and on-site storefronts to help customers shop with ease and get more insights into the brand and its products. These features allow users to discover new products, learn about new brands, and make purchases without leaving their social feed.

But social commerce is profitable, and brands can benefit from it by amping up their presence. As per Statista, social commerce generated $475 billion in sales in 2020 and will generate $3.37 trillion by 2028, growing at a 28.4% annual pace. 

Why social shopping stands out?

Social shopping opens a vast list of touchpoints for the customers. On their retail journey the social path allows users to browse and explore products and engage with brands. Social shopping helps people to buy what they see on their feeds. This ensures captive engagement. It also provides user-generated social footprint. This turns it from transactional eCommerce into bond-building social commerce between two primary players: shoppers and brands.

Unlike offline retail, the engagement of customers with brands is very high on social media. They can spend hours searching for the brands of their choice, engaging with their content, learning more about their business through their posts and may interact with businesses, creators, and other customers via one-on-one chats, product demos, expert-generated content, public groups, and private communities. 

But being available on social media platforms, brands, must be conscious of their presence. They need to curate authentic social content to engage customers and prospects. They must study the trend, understand and act according to it. This is because the attention span for customers is very less when browsing online. So, they need to capture the audience on the go and make them stay hooked through the right content approaches.

Social commerce also gives rise to an impersonal space that is complete with static product images clubbed with scrollable videos, how-to content, consumer and brand expert insights, and other interactive elements. So, it is important to use the right technologies to stay trendy and right!