It’s so much more than just Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. The unstoppable growth of social commerce is now apparent on all social media channels. The fact that social media offers well segmented, captive audiences is just too lucrative an opportunity for commerce to miss out on.
Social commerce will be the cornerstone of all future ecommerce
Social commerce will become a key driver of growth for businesses over the next few years as Gen Z and Gen Alpha assert their expectation for omnichannel consumer experiences. But what are the trends that commerce organizations should already be looking out for in 2022? And how do these trends affect the rollout of product-to-consumer (P2C) strategies?
1. Social shopping will be the norm for Generation Alpha
With 97% of Gen Z consumers stating that social media is their main point of inspiration when shopping, we can assume that Gen Alpha will act and think the same. Gen Alpha already has their feet inside the metaverse door as they normalize meta-fashion purchases in games like Fortnite – just think back to Balenciaga's announcement last year. Gen Z and Gen Alpha already view digital products in the same manner in which their parents or grandparents looked at physically tangible goods. The key factor in the social commerce boom is the basic fact that the digitally-native generations place a huge amount of trust in their favorite social media spaces. Social commerce simply leverages that trust and offers the shoppers what they want, when they want it – which is the cornerstone of a P2C strategy.
2. The spoils of Livestream expanding west from east
It’s estimated that livestream shopping will generate $480 billion dollars in revenue in China this year alone. Ignoring the why’s for a minute, this booming social commerce channel is set to flourish on other markets as TikTok, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are either setting up channels or upping their livestream shopping output to capitalize on consumer interest. The big verticals in the space are obviously fashion, beauty, fitness, and home decor, but home improvement is also showing signs of growth.
Livestream shopping gives consumers a digital shopping experience that, nonetheless, offers real-time 3D commerce feedback loops between consumers and retailers – sometimes with their favorite influencers. The success of livestream shopping reinforces the importance of 3D commerce as a necessary element in digital transactions with digitally-native generations. They want brick-and-mortar-style interaction without the bricks or the mortar. The fact that many livestream retailers are the influencers they watch regularly adds another cherry to the top of the 3D commerce pie.
3. 5G expansion will continue to affect consumer experiences in all realities
If trust is one of the main explanations for the success of social commerce, seamless consumer experiences are the technical conduit for that trust. Providing enriched, high-quality product content or dynamic ad experiences in both our reality – and any of the extended reality spaces – is a must for consumers born in the cloud. Creating frictionless ad experiences and seamless checkout funnels is essential to close sales and maintain buyer trust. A report from eMarketer in April 2021 estimated that the number of augmented reality users would grow from 83 million in 2020 to nearly 102 million people in 2022 in the US alone.
With the right P2C platform solution, it is already possible to create a seamless integration of product data in social commerce platforms. However, the challenge will be to maintain this as augmented reality usage or even 100% meta realities increase their social ecommerce market share. 5G rollout and developments will make the network itself a platform for innovation onto which ecommerce and social commerce opportunities will have to be grafted.
4. Conversational commerce is developing quickly with social commerce
With messaging apps and social media platforms intrinsically intertwined, it was only a matter of time before so-called conversational commerce and social commerce began to merge. Conversational commerce is a stand-alone channel, however, it’s increasingly being used to complement or enhance the social commerce experience. As we all know, omnichannel shopping is not just a hollow marketing term but describes the network of touchpoints and end platforms where consumers can view and experience your products. It’s only natural that social commerce is beginning to integrate mobile messaging into its modeling.
The increased use of AI-powered chatbots on mobile is a sign of the broadening omnichannel experience and tech’s insight into the need for businesses to identify and implement 3D product information value chains (PIVCs).
5. NFT popularity will grow and grow, but for how long?
There is no doubt that NFT is the buzziest buzzword since ‘fidget spinners’ or ‘digital transformation’. Whatever words are used to describe them, NFTs are here to stay, and they are going to continue grabbing headlines for a long time.
The growth of NFTs in social commerce, however, is where all eyes should be focused. The development of NFT storage, integration, and trading opportunities will not slow down, as augmented and virtual environments are the future of ecommerce. NFT goods are already essential elements in the monetization of both augmented and virtual spaces. No longer hardwired into the art sales world, NFTs are coming in all (digital) shapes and (virtual) sizes. Sneakers, clothes, watches, jewelry – all of these items are now being minted, sold and traded for display or use in various meta realities.
NFTs have a whole range of advantages over tangible goods for businesses. In the long term, NFTs provide more value for owners as – the goods don’t perish or wear – and the business can maintain much longer and more durable brand loyalty programs, which is an important but immensely challenging task for marketers nowadays. CRM is the marketing channel to watch in relation to NFTs. NFTs can be tracked to the wallets where they are stored, opening the door to hyper-segmented customer engagement strategies based on trackable indicators related to the NFTs purchased or traded.
The Productsup P2C platform and the social commerce trends of 2022
Whatever trends or tech developments emerge in the social commerce space, only a comprehensive P2C strategy can prepare businesses for all eventualities. Preparing for what you don’t expect is key to maintaining growth in the rapidly shifting sand of today’s commerce world. Centralizing and visualizing all of your social commerce feeds, creatives, and product data exports in one intuitive space gives you the clarity needed to cut through retail complexity – known as commerce anarchy – and meet your consumers where they are when they want to buy. Enriched media, dynamic campaigns, up-to-the-minute data, and AI-powered feedback loops are all essential elements in any long-term social commerce strategy.
Request a copy of our free 2022 Social commerce guide and learn more about the current social commerce trends and the solutions enabling businesses make the most of this growing commerce space.