5 Reasons to Embrace Social Media for eCommerce


If we could summarise this article with a single statement, it would be that using social media for eCommerce is no longer optional.

As a business, you absolutely must be embracing social media if you want to succeed at selling online.

Not convinced? Take a peek at the facts for 2019:

  • 4.3 billion people are now using the internet worldwide. Up 9.1% year-on-year.
  • 3.4 billion people are active on social media. Up 9% year-on-year.
  • 5.1 billion people have access to a smartphone. Up 2% year-on-year.

With numbers like that, it’s difficult to understand why any business would shy away from selling online via social.

But, just in case you’re still on the fence, here are five more reasons to start using social media to help boost your eCommerce potential.


1. Selling on social media is a no brainer

It’s not just the number of people on social media that’s impressive. It’s the amount of time that people are actually spending on their newsfeeds.

According to TechJury, the average person gives up 2 hours and 22 minutes of their day to catch up on social media. Which, when you think about it, accounts for a staggering 14% of their waking hours.

This presents you with a tremendous opportunity to reach out to an ever-growing audience with your products and services. Though doing so isn’t quite as simple as flooding your newsfeed with your products.

A big part of selling on social media is demonstrating a compelling reason for people to buy your products. Not to mention the tricky business of ensuring that you are targeting the right kind of people in the first place.

Fortunately, most social media services have sophisticated advertising platforms to help you do this. Allowing you to target people based on specific demographics, interests, job titles and even lookalike audiences.

2. People buy with their emotions

If you wanted to sell a pair of snow boots, you wouldn’t write about how durable the leather is. You’d try to describe how it feels to actually own a pair of snow boots. This helps the customer form an emotional connection with the product before they even buy it.

Social media works in a similar way. With images and videos performing far better than walls of text. This is because the brain can interpret and react to images far faster than the written word. Which means that emotions can be triggered far quicker as a result.

Sellers use this to their advantage, particularly on visual social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. Just take a look at well-known brands such as Oreo to see this being used to great effect.

3. Your business needs to be credible

Success on social media is often about the perception of credibility. Which boils down to how popular your business appears to be on the social platforms. This could take the form of likes, followers, reviews and verification badges. All of it adds to your overall credibility.

This doesn’t just apply to how your customers view your social media profiles either. You’ve also got to consider how your suppliers and potential influencers perceive your brand from a social perspective. Getting this right goes a long way towards establishing yourself as an authority in your niches social space.


4. Social media is the future of customer service

There’s a reason why people take to Twitter to complain about a company. Why bother ringing the complaints department when you can air their dirty laundry in full view of other potential customers instead? The same is true for customer service in general. Not everyone wants to call a number or fill out a form. Some people prefer the convenience of being able to reach out via Facebook or WhatsApp. So when you take the time to provide customers with that convenience – even in the form of automated chatbots. It can go a long way towards improving their perception of your brand. You should also take the time to interact with people when they comment. Make them feel that their opinion matters. This kind of interaction is welcomed by social platforms such as Facebook who value authentic conversations above all else. Depending on your industry, it can also be advantageous to encourage the development of an online community. For example, a Facebook group where your customers can seek advice from each other. Nurture that community, and you could even use it to secure new business by promoting your products to a captive audience.

5. If you don’t start now, you could get left behind

Don’t allow the challenge of establishing a social eCommerce presence prevent you from getting started. The longer you leave it, the harder it will become to compete with your rivals and win those all important engagements. This is especially true when you consider the ever-changing algorithms that social media platforms use. For example, Facebook, with its recent shift to focus on friends and family in newsfeeds. Making it even harder for new brands to get noticed and gain a significant following. Unfortunately, as the old adage goes – you really do have to be in it to win it. In next month’s ultimate guide to integrating eCommerce and social media, we’ll talk you through the in’s and outs of opening doors to your business through social, what the most appropriate social gateways for your business are, and how the shady world of influencers is defining the latest ways we shop. Form Commerce specialise in enterprise retail solutions on platforms such as Magento and Shopware, if you’d like to find out more about integrating social media into your shop or our wider services, then feel free to get in touch and one of our team will be glad to advise on any questions you may have.