Social Commerce Platforms: 7 New Tools That’ll Supersize Holiday Sales
Last year, 59 percent of consumers started shopping for the holidays in early November. This year, they started even earlier. Concerns about global supply chain delays have moved up shopping timelines. Consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier than ever—and they’re finding products by scrolling through TikTok and Instagram.
And shoppers buying on social media don’t just buy for themselves. According to Facebook data, nearly half of people who discovered a product online last holiday season purchased that product as a gift for someone else.
According to Grand View Research, social commerce generated $474 billion in revenue in 2020, 11 percent of the total global eCommerce market. With eCommerce merchants already rolling out Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in anticipation of a busy holiday season, it’s time to grab your share of the social commerce pie and maximize your 2021 revenue.
As consumers spend more time on their preferred social media channels and bask in the convenience of in-app purchases, the world’s top social media platforms continue to roll out new tools to help eCommerce merchants supersize their holiday sales.
These seven new social commerce features can help you reach new holiday shoppers.
If you're looking to sell on social media this holiday season, Wix eCommerce can help connect your online store to social media channels like Facebook.
01. TikTok Shoppable Ads
With TikTok reaching 1 billion active users globally in September 2021—including 80 million monthly active users in the U.S.—it’s become a powerful force in social commerce. Videos with the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt hashtag have attracted more than 4.6 billion views and counting.
So how can you cash in on the craze this holiday season? Consider a hashtag campaign that can double as a TikTok Shoppable Ad. These ads, also called Hashtag Challenge Plus ads, allow you to promote a top holiday product, connect it to a hashtag, and add a “Shop Now” button that allows for in-app purchases. Shoppable Ads now even allow retailers to upload their product catalogs. Use a Shoppable Ad to inspire user-generated content and turn your product into a holiday TikTok star.
In addition, TikTok has rolled out two additional ad options you can use this holiday season: collection ads, which allow businesses to create fast-loading galleries (called cards) of products in-feed, and dynamic showcase ads, which help businesses promote thousands of products and make money on Tik Tok based on user interest and activity.
02. Instagram Drops
Instagram, clearly an established social commerce powerhouse, lets retailers show off their most buzzworthy products with Instagram Drops. It allows retailers to build demand for products with limited quantities and those that will be available for only a limited time. That makes it perfect for promoting your holiday-themed items!
Instagram Drops allows users to browse and shop the latest product launches inside the app at the top of the Shop tab. It also lets shoppers sign up for reminders about products they’re interested in. Users can purchase directly in the app.
03. Pinterest Shopping List
Advertise your products on Pinterest this season, and they might become part of a user’s in-app wish list. The social media channel’s new feature, Pinterest Shopping List, rolled out in the US and UK this year, and it’s planned for Australia, Canada, France, and Germany later this year. It helps “pinners” find their favorite products faster. Pinterest Shopping Lists collect all products a user pins in one place, allowing them to easily return and buy when they’re ready to purchase. Users can also sign up for price-drop notifications, encouraging them to purchase when the price is right.
Skeptical about advertising on Pinterest, fearing its moment has passed? Well, the opposite may be true. Though ranked as only the 14th most popular social platform by number of users, it’s seeing rapid growth across international markets (146 percent growth from 2019 to 2020), young user groups like Gen Z (40 percent growth for the same period), and men (50 percent growth on what was once a woman-dominated platform). Its shopping ad revenue, in fact, is outpacing the growth of its overall business. Plus 92 percent of social ad marketers rank Pinterest as the number one platform in terms of overall reputation.
04. Facebook Live Shopping
To get a sense of how monumental live streaming has become for eCommerce, take this number into consideration: $7.5 billion. That’s the value of the transactions sold on Taobao Live, the Chinese-owned live streaming platform, in just half an hour, yes, 30 minutes. This during China’s ever-popular Singles’ Day event.
To jump on this trend, you can set up Facebook Live Shopping events geared for the holiday season. As evidenced by the astronomical sales seen on Taobao, shoppers love to see products showcased in ways that mirror real-world settings. Using Facebook Live Shopping, you can address consumer questions and concerns in real time, and allow shoppers to buy directly from your stream. Before you can set up your own real-time shopping stream, you’ll need to open a Facebook Shop. Luckily, Wix merchants can connect their eCommerce store to their Facebook Shops, making the process of managing your products and inventory across channels much easier. Once ready, you can prep and market your very own Live Shopping broadcast. And build some much-needed holiday buzz in the process.
05. Reddit Ad Bid Recommendations
While many brands now know the value of TikTok as a social commerce platform, fewer eCommerce merchants choose to advertise on Reddit. Social media ad platforms tend to become attention battlegrounds during the holiday mix, upping ad costs. Reddit not only offers a less competitive field for eCommerce marketers, it can offer them a rich, formerly untapped audience. 69 percent of Reddit users are not active on TikTok. 52 percent of them don’t use Twitter. 47 percent don’t scroll Instagram. Yet, 430 monthly active users, most based in the U.S. and falling within the highly coveted 18-34 age demo, spend an obscene amount of time on the meme-heavy platform (34 minutes per day). That makes it an ideal place for emerging retailers to create and promote product demos unseen on more “popular” social media platforms.
Now, Reddit is making it easier for retailers to measure their amount of social commerce spend. Reddit Ad Bid Recommendations, embedded within the platform’s ad creation tool, give you an automated estimate for bidding on marketing campaigns. Simply enter the target audience you want to reach, and Reddit will provide a slider with a suggested bid range. You can use it to help manage your cost-per-click on Reddit ads and create an affordable and effective campaign promoting your best holiday products.
The truth is that marketers tend to avoid Reddit because they’re intimidated by its user base—which tends to be highly skeptical and ad-averse. But the social platform often dictates popular culture, with many trends now popular on Tiktok, Twitter, or Facebook originating on Reddit. If marketers spend time learning the Reddit aesthetic and vernacular, there’s no reason they can’t promote their products to users to great effect and in a way that will resonate with their sensibilities.
06. Twitter Shop Module
Twitter is getting serious about eCommerce. It piloted its Shop Module in the US this summer with a handful of brands. Now, it’s doing a full launch and including the Shop Module into all of its Professional Accounts.
Twitter Shop Module allows businesses to showcase their products in a dedicated space at the top of their profile. Users visiting your Twitter page can then scroll through product images, tap on a single image to learn more, and purchase in-app. By being an early adopter of the Twitter Shop Module, you can get ahead of the competition and help holiday shoppers find your products in a new and interesting way heading into Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021.
07. WhatsApp Business Profile
The world’s largest instant messaging service is dipping its toes into the social commerce world. In September 2021, it tested a new feature in Brazil that allows users to find shops and services through a directory within the app. WhatsApp expects to expand this new feature to India and Indonesia next. To take advantage of this new feature, retailers should maximize the catalog within their WhatApp Business Profile. Remember to emphasize your best holiday-related merchandise this season. This video gives you a great starting point.
Considering that only Facebook and YouTube currently outrank WhatsApp as the world’s most popular social media platform, this development has eCommerce-changing potential. Because it’s free to install and bypasses the costs often associated with SMS messaging, WhatsApp has become the go-to social messaging platform in many international markets. And now has the potential to become a social commerce leader.
Using first-party data for social commerce campaign optimization
Increasing ad costs and understanding target audiences remain two of the biggest challenges in social media marketing. The holiday season brings with it increased shopper activity and ad bidding from brands, so merchants will want to make sure their social media campaigns are highly optimized (especially when using new social media tools and features).
Enriching your customer profiles with first-party data will allow you to improve audience segmentation, create more relevant ad creative, and boost your personalization efforts.
With Google phasing out third-party cookies from Chrome by the end of 2023, eCommerce businesses must optimize the collection and use of first-party data. Any successful eCommerce marketing strategy from here on out will heavily depend on first-party collection and enrichment. Wix eCommerce marketing tools offer businesses a complete marketing and customer management suite that will help you collect and optimize first-party data and build customer loyalty. Through the use of Wix forms, you can capture relevant customer data throughout the shopper journey. This captured data can then inform your use of the new tools from TikTok and more, optimizing around relevancy and spend.
Maximize your 2021 holiday revenue with social commerce
This holiday season promises to be one perfectly tailored for social media marketing. During the pandemic, 73 percent of Gen Zers reported making a purchase using social media. Meanwhile 66 percent of shoppers expect to increase their online holiday purchases this year, with retail stores seeing a reduction of shopper activity, showing that an omnichannel retail strategy can help shore up revenue in a volatile world. With the right eCommerce platform you can sell your products the way you want on the channels you prefer. Wix eCommerce is one such platform. Plus it lets you design and launch social ads directly from its dashboard. A powerful machine-learning algorithm even optimizes your Facebook ad performance, on platforms like Facebook, so you can attend to things more important than social media marketing this holiday season.
Looking to sell on social media this holiday season? Wix eCommerce can help connect your online store to social media platforms.
Head of Outbound Marketing, Wix eCommerce
Bogar leads thought leadership and outbound marketing for Wix eCommerce. He has an extremely soft spot for all things eCommerce, retail, tech, content, and marketing.