Riding the $600 Billion Social Commerce Wave: Q&A with Sprout Social
In 2027, you’ll have to spell “social commerce” with 11 zeros. By some estimates, global social commerce sales will pass the $600 billion threshold that year. $600,000,000,000. That’s larger than the combined valuation of the world’s top-10 unicorn companies.
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For brands looking to scale their revenue, social commerce will quickly become a business bloodline. Or else.
Similarly, with the release of their social commerce solution, Sprout Social, the social media management software provider, is helping business owners (across many types of businesses) more seamlessly integrate social commerce into their wider revenue strategy.
Wix spoke with Ryan Barretto, President of Sprout Social, often rated as one of the industry’s best social media management suites, about how small businesses can jump on the social commerce upswing (even with limited resources) and how they can drive added sales with the right social commerce strategy in place.
As part of a wider social commerce strategy, Wix merchants can connect their online store to all of their favorite social channels using the Wix App Market.
The value of social commerce sales is projected to pass the $600 billion mark by 2027. What can businesses do now to ensure they scoop up a sizeable piece of this revenue pie?
Businesses must invest in their customer’s entire social journey. The entire customer journey, from discovery to purchase, is now unfolding on social media. This means that commerce is just one part of a customer’s social journey, and brands looking to create a strong social commerce strategy must understand how their social presence captures and nurtures their audience before a sale takes place. In order to make a lasting and scalable sales funnel, businesses must first develop their social presence to have meaningful, interactive content, strong customer support, and a firm understanding of their audiences’ needs.
Social media is now the cornerstone of the business-to-consumer relationship.
Businesses that understand this and set their foundation will be most likely to capitalize on the growing opportunity presented by social commerce.
According to Sprout Social's The State of Social Media Investment Report, only 57% of small businesses report currently selling on social commerce platforms. Contrast that with mid-market (84%) and enterprise (85%) businesses. What's behind this gap? How might small businesses bridge it?
It’s no surprise that mid-market and enterprise-level businesses have more resources to invest in emerging opportunities like social commerce. This is likely one of the reasons we are seeing a gap. However, that doesn’t mean small businesses can’t take advantage of social commerce.
In fact, a compelling aspect of social commerce is that it levels the playing field, allowing small businesses to punch above their weight class by lowering the barrier of entry.
Brands no longer need expansive brick-and-mortar storefronts to capture consumer attention but are instead competing in a social marketplace where great products, transparent customer service, and meaningful connections matter most.
When entering social commerce, small businesses can focus on developing their niche and select a social platform that is right for them. They don’t need to be everything or join conversations that don’t feel authentic to their brands. Large businesses may have the edge now, but social commerce is not going away and I expect to see more small businesses capturing this opportunity every day.
How does Sprout Social's new social commerce offering complement a business's existing eCommerce strategy or sales channels?
At Sprout, we understand that social commerce will be essential for companies moving forward, and it was very important for us to develop our platform into one that could help our customers amplify their digital storefront and capture a piece of this sizable and growing market. In order to do this, we integrated with brand partners like Facebook Shops, creating a social commerce platform that allows our customers to unite and scale their commerce and social workflows. This integration gives Sprout users quick access to product catalogs and historical customer information so they can seamlessly connect online orders to their customers’ social profiles, enabling them to provide quick support while reaching customers where they are already browsing and shopping.
This type of uninterrupted social media experience will be key to driving sales and laying the foundation for a strong and successful social commerce strategy. We will continue to follow these developments and expand capabilities to help our customers take full advantage of this opportunity.
Brief note: As an eCommerce business, your eCommerce strategy will benefit from owning an online store, especially in light of recent 3rd-party customer data shake-ups. The value of zero-party data, or data that customers voluntarily fork over to you via Wix Forms, and first-party data, data provided by on-site analytics like Wix Analytics, has grown exponentially in recent months. Wix merchants can use both types of data sets to better inform their social commerce ads, commerce, and marketing, as well as enrich their larger eCommerce marketing initiatives.
How should businesses be thinking about social engagement versus social commerce? How do they work off of each other? Complement one another?
Social engagement doesn’t just complement social commerce, it is social commerce.
Brands cannot be successful in social commerce without a strong and thoughtful social engagement strategy. The sale is only one step of the customer journey and brands must look to social media as a way to attract and engage with their customers.
A huge aspect of this is customer service. With more purchases happening on social media than ever before, brands must be proactive about building a sustainable and scalable engagement strategy that not only attracts customers but supports them throughout the process. Whether a consumer is asking a question, requesting customer support or simply sharing their opinion or experience, every interaction represents an opportunity for brands to build loyalty with their audience and influence perception.
Social provides an important platform to create and develop deep meaningful relationships with your customers.
Is it too late for businesses to work in a social commerce strategy into their larger eCommerce strategy this holiday season?
It’s not too late, but businesses looking to capitalize on social commerce this holiday season should start today.
The sooner brands start developing their social media presence and begin engaging with their customers, the sooner they will be able to take advantage of the opportunity social commerce presents. To start, brands should use the insights provided by their current social media presence to see where their customers are and what they are engaging with. This insight will help brands join the conversation and choose a digital storefront that will integrate with their existing eCommerce strategy (see our guide on what is eCommerce).
Wix merchants can connect their online store to all of their favorite social apps and channels using the Wix App Market.
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.