The functionality available for social media selling has been on the increase for the last few years; with Facebook’s Shop Section and Pinterest’s Buyable Pins being introduced in 2015, and more recently Instagram’s Shop Now buttons coming out late 2016, it’s a good opportunity for brands to review their social selling options.
Social selling doesn’t always involve selling directly within a social platform, but could also mean leveraging a social platform to make sales via it. Either way with most brands already promoting and advertising their products on social media channels, it’s a logical progression to turn that traffic into revenue.
Instagram Shop Now Button
Instagram’s visual appeal and ability to showcase products in action is what makes it such an opportunity for selling products. With Instagram’s Shop Now button customers can be taken directly to the product on a e-commerce store.
Instagram are also updating to a new version of the functionality, where buyers will be able to see several products in one picture and click on the one they like. They will then be shown the product details in order to provide more product information rather than just a visual, helping to improve conversions.
Instagram recently put together a team to continue building shopping capabilities into the platform, so keep an eye out for more features in the future.
Facebook Shop Section
With over one billion people visiting Facebook Pages every month, it’s a real opportunity to capture that digital foot traffic. Facebook’s Shop Section allows businesses to have a product section linking to their own retail website, or they can allow users to buy directly from the Facebook page by setting up payment functionality.
The shop function is designed to resembles a retailer’s e-commerce store, and features a collection of buy buttons for the products brands choose to feature. The function is designed to make mobile transactions less tedious on the platform, providing a collection of items under the same umbrella whilst users navigate Facebook.
Facebook introduced shopping ads called Product Ads some time ago (a carousel format was added last year to showcase multiple products and images). The difference being that instead of sending users directly to the retailer’s site and leaving the page, the transaction can be totally self-contained within Facebook, leaving less opportunity for user abandonment.
Pinterest Buyable Pins
Last year Pinterest introduced Buyable Pins that allows consumers to click on and buy products without leaving Pinterest. It’s a quicker way of customers getting to a product they like the look of on the visual platform, without having to go through the process of finding the seller’s website and product themselves. The Buyable Pins include a price that appears in blue, highlighting the product’s availability for purchase.
Not all ecommerce platforms currently support Buyable Pins, but Magento, Demandware and Shopify all currently do. So if you have a shop on Magento, you can integrate and start selling on Pinterest very quickly indeed.
Other third party platforms…
If you’re already selling your products via a website, Shopial is an option that allows you to quickly start selling on social. The platform gives customers another way to find your brand by advertising products on Facebook or Pinterest.
Shopial integrates with several major e-commerce platforms, including Magento. Once the app is installed on your Facebook Page or connected to your Pinterest account, it will automatically import your products from your online store so you can start promoting with advertising.
Shopial deals with all advert designs, targeting and optimisation, and you can monitor the results via the reporting system and alter accordingly. In Pinterest it makes your products available as optimised Pins, essentially turning your Pinterest into an online catalog.
Chirpify is a hashtag selling tool that connects on and offline channels with social media. It works by taking unique campaign hashtags (called actiontags) and uses them to enable purchases across multiple social networks.
Customers can find actiontags on social media or any other other marketing channels (such as print & TV) and then post the actiontag on either Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to activate a purchase or receive a promotional offer. Triggers are established, such as posting a hashtag or photo, and you can then define what happens when someone posts with that trigger (eg get a money off deal, or a product).
Chirpify will automatically ‘hear’ customers on social media and instantly send their reward, without any manual work from the seller. Chirpify also offers in-depth analytics so you can see what’s pulling in the crowds.