Influencer Marketing, Social Media, Strategy

The State of Social Commerce in 2024 & Beyond

The State of Social Commerce in 2024 & Beyond

It’s no secret that shopping right from social media apps has mass appeal. I mean, who actually enjoys seeing a cool product on TikTok or Instagram, only to have to Google it and track it down on the brand’s website to finally make a purchase? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

This is where social commerce comes in. Spot something that screams “buy me” while scrolling? A couple of taps, and boom, it’s on its way to you. 

But it’s not just a win for shoppers; brands benefit big time too. Not only do they get more eyes on their products – the ease of social shopping means people are more likely to follow through with their purchases and less likely to abandon their carts (music to a brand’s ears, right?). 

So, how’s social commerce been faring over the past year, and where’s it headed? Is it still a smart move for brands? In this blog, we take a look at The Social Commerce 2024 report by Influencer Marketing Factory and break it down for you to give you the answers you’re looking for.

Top Insights From The Social Commerce 2024 Report by Influencer Marketing Factory

Influencer Marketing Factory (IMF) gathered data from various credible sources such as eMarketer, Hootsuite, Hubspot, and Insider Intelligence to create this report. IMF also conducted two exclusive surveys: the first one to 1,000 participants in the U.S. aged 16-54+ years and the second to 500 TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram content creators in the U.S. aged 18-44 years. The goal of the surveys was to discover participants’ opinions about social commerce and how content creators sell on social media. 

According to the results of IMF’s surveys, 50% of internet users between 16-24 prefer searching for brands on social media over traditional web searching, with 97% of Gen Z using it for shopping inspiration. 

In 2024, social commerce sales are predicted to surpass $82.82 billion in the U.S.

Source: IMF

It should also come as no surprise that influencers are driving sales. Those that genuinely connect with a brands’ target audience typically drive a 650% return on investment ($6.5 earned for every $1 spent). Remember that it’s important for brands to work with varying sizes of influencers to promote their products – sometimes a creator with 2,000 followers has a more dedicated fanbase than a creator with 20,000 followers depending on what their content is focused on. Don’t sleep on the results nano or micro influencers can create for your business!

While social selling is on the rise, it’s still not the preferred shopping method, according to those surveyed by IMF. 62% still prefer traditional ecommerce while only 22% said social shopping was their preference.

Of those surveyed, 43% had purchased a product directly through social media in the past year, while 56% had not. For those who had not purchased a product through social selling in the past year, these were the top reasons why: 

  • Overall lack of trust in social media when it came to purchasing something
  • Not wanting to share sensitive information like credit card info, mailing address, etc.
  • Not knowing the brands/sellers
  • Lack of incentives like promo codes, loyalty programs, etc.
  • Preference for using an ecommerce website to purchase due to brand trust, security, and loyalty programs

“A main reason why users are inclined to buy online versus directly on social is due to a lack of trust in social. While you can’t fully control all aspects of this trust, it’s good to understand in order to be authentic in your presentation of these products by offering a well-rounded organic strategy to create a community that is loyal and will leave reviews, create user generated content, and ultimately repeat social purchases,” said Taylor Thompson, Lead Strategist at Joybyte.

Those that do utilize social shopping do so regularly – 19% said a few times per year, 14% monthly, and 9% weekly.

The top categories of products purchased include apparel (25%), beauty (19%), and home goods (13%). 

Source: IMF

Shoppers are also spending money on social – 37% of respondents spent over $100 and 31% spent between $50-$100 on purchases. 

Here are some of the reasons respondents gave for purchasing via social commerce:

  • Free shipping
  • Limited time offers and TikTok Shop coupons 
  • To easily discover and bookmark new products
  • Convenience (not having to fill in their information every time) and Instant Purchases
  • Product was posted by a trusted influencer or content creator

The “rule of 7” (where a consumer has to see your brand 7 times before they commit to purchase) basically applies to social commerce as well – most respondents saw a product 1-5 times before ultimately deciding to purchase. Remember this stat when curating your own content calendar and working with influencers and ambassadors.

Being familiar with the product and brand/influencer trust are huge when it comes to social commerce. “The content that comes out of an ambassador program is creating direct social proof from someone who has their own audience that trusts their recommendations,” said Chelsea Clough, Lead Strategist at Joybyte. “For those elite influencers who have proven success selling the product and creating connections with their audience, retargeting them with giveaways or additional products continues to build that relationship between the creator and the product, which contributes to that overall number of seeing a product multiple times before buying.”

Additionally, it’s important to incorporate different forms of social proof into your social media content calendar, including reviews, testimonials, press, certifications, and influencer endorsements. Why are reviews so important? 40% of respondents said that reviews were the most important when deciding to purchase a product on social media.

Source: IMF

One of the top reasons respondents gave for making social commerce purchases was TikTok Shop coupons – this is creating a great opportunity for both brands and creators. “TikTok Shop is a tool for TikTok creators to monetize their content directly by selling products to their followers,” explains Taylor Gills, Campaign Lead at Joybyte. “Brands featured on TikTok Shop gain exposure to TikTok’s largely engaged user base. As users browse through TikTok content, they may come across products featured on TikTok Shop, leading to increased brand visibility and potential sales. Brands can also leverage TikTok Shop insights to make strategic decisions when it comes to their marketing strategies.”

Source: IMF

Tips To Leverage Social Commerce To Increase Brand ROI

Based on the aforementioned stats from IMF’s survey and our expert knowledge of influencer marketing, here are the ultimate tips you need to increase your brand’s ROI when implementing social commerce:

  • Invest in working with niche ambassadors and influencers, even if it is just through product gifting. This can ensure you start the process while you’re still working on a budget for more established creators.
  • Showcase UGC to effectively offer social proof. This is a more authentic way to showcase reviews of your product.
  • Offer social-only “Flash Sales” or discount codes to entice users to make a first or repeat purchase.
  • Offer exclusive rewards to those who leave a review when purchasing on social.
  • Make sure the audience sees the product more than once and in different ways to continue audience appeal.
  • When working with influencers, utilize exclusive discounts or unique promo codes they can share – these can incentivize followers to make purchases and helps drives ROI.
  • Encourage creators to use features like swipe-up links (Instagram Stories) and shoppable posts (Instagram Shopping) that allow influencers to directly link their followers to product pages where they can make purchases. This provides a seamless shopping experience for audiences and increases the probability of conversion.
  • Partner with influencers who livestream frequently with a well-established purchasing audience to drive more awareness to shop. 
  • Create limited-edition product drops solely for TikTok Shop, leading pre-hype strategies to help entice the community.
  • Use Instagram Stories to promote shopping, utilizing countdowns for when new products are being added to shop.

If you haven’t incorporated social commerce into your brand’s roadmap for the year, now is the time to start. Need a helping hand? Joybyte has your back – talk to us today

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