Social Commerce 2020: What’s Changed?

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By Published On: February 17, 20200 Comments

Social media can make or break a brand's image. Small things like maintaining transparent language can be the crux to building a strong and loyal customer.

On average, Australians spend more than 800 minutes scrolling through social media per week. From Instagram to TikTok, we’re living in a world of omnipresence. Shopping is the same, and this omnipresence will only become more ubiquitous.

Every year social commerce adapts and transforms with ever-sophisticated technology and consumers. Digitally native and rapidly self-educating, Australian consumers are spending more tie on their phones than ever before. Capturing every facet of this tech is a vital tool for bolstering growth.

In 2020, it’s not acceptable to simply have an Instagram account. In 2019, the number of internet users globally was 4.4 billion. Furthermore, 3.5 billion of those internet users also utilised social media.

On social media, even the smallest moments can be worthy of a share. Get your team to create a video of someone using a product, share customer images and reviews, and keep the content honest. In this day and age, 59 percent of social media users want to see content that is authentic and engaging. Thirty-three percent wish to see informative content and 28 percent want to see something visually appealing.

2020 Trends to Watch and Apply

  1. Transparency … To the Next Level

    As one of the key buzzwords of the last two years, a retailer that maintains transparency is one that establishes greater trust with its consumer. Whether it’s a simple post on Instagram and Facebook that an item is out of stock, or even posting a requested item on social with a hyperlink to the site. Last week, Sportsgirl shared a post on Instagram with the caption: ‘WE GET IT – YOU ALL CAN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS DRESS. So, here it is…’ This language is laidback, relatable to its audience and has a compelling CTA which will resonate with its consumer.

    In 2018, Showpo shared a video on YouTube addressing the backlog of orders during the busy Easter period. The video, titled ‘So… We F*cked Up’, included Showpo’s CEO, Jane Lu, who addressed the business’ mistakes and promised to do better in the future. In the act of frankness, it opened up a dialogue about the ways the company could improve. Social media allows companies to have somewhat face-to-face communication with their consumers.

  2. Multiple Platforms – Within Reason

    It’s no longer acceptable to be across two or three channels. Cross-promotion is a fantastic way to keep your consumer abreast of the latest promotions, products and updates for your brand. It’s also a useful tool for capturing a new audience. With TikTok growing exponentially (500 million global active monthly users and 1.5 billion iOs and Android downloads), creating an authentic and well-conceived action plan for these platforms is essential. There is a catch, though. Just because a platform is trending, it doesn’t mean your brand is aligned with that platform.

    A success story of a retailer utilising the likes of TikTok includes Superdry, who brought out three TokTok influencers during the launch of its store in August 2019. “The way Australian’s (and the world for that matter) shop and interact is evolving. We have seen the rise of many businesses and technologies that have entered the traditional brick and mortar marketing stratagem (AfterPay, WeChatPay, Facebook, Instagram and even AI technology) and TikTok is just one of the newer developments,” said Matthew Iozzi, PR and Marketing Manager at Superdry Australia. “We are seeing an active shift in the kind of content brands are expected to create for Gen Z. Moving away from static, posed, model-esque Instagram shots, to engaging video and interactive AI.”

  3. Visual-Rich Content

    It’s no longer viable to share simple images across social media. Content can conjure up a better online retail experience and can create a lifestyle from a single product without too much imagination from the consumer.  YouTube is the best option for tech demonstrations – Instagram is ideal for fashion and makeup. “Using tactics like blogging, you can create warm traffic to remarket to later, with a much lower CAC than cold traffic,” said Cassandra Campbell, Content Marketing Lead at Shopify.

    It’s not just about creating a beautiful image for Instagram 0- you have to compel your customers to continue to visit your site. Use reviews, essential features of the product, real-life pictures of people using your product and anything else that you think it’s useful for the customer. This is one of the most essential parts of creating rich content – make sure it’s relevant to your customer, not just your brand image. BCF does this in spades with its content. The company often shares imagery of consumers using fishing tackle and camping gear from the retailer, while staying rich in its aesthetics and staying ‘on-brand’.

  4. Don’t Discredit Influencers

    In 2019, there was a peak of influencer content. The social media world was flooded with #ad hashtags, and content was soon becoming far too saturated to have any cut-through. Then when Instagram cut off the visuals cues of likes in 2019, it seemed that the inevitable bubble for influencers had burst. However, this isn’t the case. While the number of influencers may have dipped in size, it means that the quality of this content may have actually increased. According to Power Retail, 53 percent of Australian consumers want influencers to promote bargains, and 43 percent prefer content that is filled with advice or tips.

    When it comes to finding the right influencers for your content, it’s not about finding someone with a considerable following. In reality, that will get you nowhere. It’ doesn’t make sense to pay someone thousands if they don’t represent the retailer’s brand image, messaging or overall ethos. Micro-influencers, or those with under 100,000 followers, often have a core community of loyal followers who produce a high engagement rate. While hiring a celebrity may look great for your image, it may not have the cut-though you’re expecting. Influencers of this calibre get hundreds of offers thrown at their feet every day, and if they shill every product under the sun, their audience may feel desensitised to the content.

Really, not much has changed for social commerce, but the retailers must remember the power of social media. It pays to do your research, find imagery and messaging that resonates with your brand, and don’t be afraid to reach out into new platforms that may bolster further growth with a new audience.  It can make or break a brand; it can build or demolish reputation.

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About the Author: Power Retail

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