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Shopping via Instagram - what is Social Commerce?

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Bargain hunters, money savers and sustainable shoppers - just about everyone has held one of these 3 roles when shopping. The future of shopping will be different - and it has a new place: social media.

Positioning a product or service correctly for the target group is one of the tasks of a company that must be continuously reconsidered and developed. Because if you don't "are" where your potential customers are, you will find it increasingly difficult to sell. 

The "continuous" rethinking of the right sales channel is not a task that can be erased from the mind after it has been completed once. Social networks are sprouting from the ground, the possibilities of the Internet are increasing almost daily, and so it is with opportunities to sell products. 

What once seemed unthinkable is now commonplace: selling over the Internet. Selling via e-commerce (online or Internet commerce) has become a standard, fast shipping times and stores with a great user experience are almost a prerequisite. 

However, selling via an online store is no longer the only way to take advantage of the Internet. Welcome to the world of social commerce. 

What is Social Commerce?

A brief research on these two terms will sooner or later lead you to social selling as well. Let’s take a look at what the difference is to social commerce.

Social commerce - a form of online selling that relies on revenue generation via social media. In short: the direct sale of products or services via platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. 

Social commerce not only aims to draw attention to the company's own products on those platforms, it also encompasses the entire shopping experience through to purchase processing and shipping. 

Social commerce pursues the long-term goal of increasing sales, while social selling takes on a more overarching function and aims to build a relationship with potential customers. This is done through targeted approaches and community management. Social selling can therefore be seen as a preliminary stage to social commerce.

Social commerce has long been regarded as the "future of commerce", not least because the beginning of a customer's customer journey begins and proceeds in a different place and may even start with existing interest.

How does it work?

In summary: this is where e-commerce and social media meet and enable users to buy via social media. Companies highlight their products in Instagram posts, for example, and thus enable a direct purchase process. The entire purchase process can be handled via a single platform, making it very quick and easy for customers. 

It all sounds relatively simple, but how exactly does it work on an existing platform such as Instagram? 

Instagram Shopping

Of course, sales via social networks are also desired by the networks themselves. It is therefore not surprising that the big players already have implementation options for this. 

Instagram, for example, offers the option of an Instagram store: Products can be integrated into the Instagram profile and purchased directly via the "Shop" button. Store products can also be tagged in normal photo posts: Through a form of tagging, a small icon of a shopping bag appears for viewers - tapping it reveals the price and tapping it again opens the product page. 

What are the reasons to definitely consider Instagram for social commerce?

1. Instagram is among the largest social networks and is visited by many on a daily basis. Shopping via an app that is used anyway thus reduces friction for users, has fewer distractions, and is easy.

2. Products can be better advertised directly. Since the community already has a basic interest in a company or brand if it is a follower, selling is easier - because the attention is already there - and the purchase intention is automatically higher. 

The implementation of this is not as complicated as one might think: In short, only the Shopify store (if available), the Facebook page or Facebook store and the Instagram company profile need to be connected. 

What Twitter has to say 

The trend topic of social commerce naturally also leads other social media giants to think about how a smooth shopping experience can also be guaranteed in one place via their platform. 

Twitter is monitoring the behavior of its own user group and is conducting a number of studies on the topic of shopping communities on its own platform. In the process, the company identified some indications that Twitter helps German users to form opinions when making purchasing decisions and that trust in the platform is quite high. 

Pinterest has also been offering its form of social commerce for some time now, and the redirection from Tik Tok to a store works just as smoothly. 


Of course, the desire for social commerce also presents companies with a number of challenges, because the customer data collected may then no longer be held by the company itself, but in the realm of social networks. 

And even if social commerce is still in its infancy, this topic will become much more relevant in the coming years. Accenture is conducting a study on this topic that forecasts significant growth in the social commerce market by 2028. This growth will be driven not least by generations Y and Z. 

However, social media users also express concerns in Accenture's study: users currently doubt the security of purchases or simple returns - trust is thus a major obstacle. 

With each new challenge, there will also be new opportunities for companies. The trend is growing and should therefore be kept in mind. 

What else to keep an eye on? The F7 Blog

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