With the most recent generations being largely dependent on mobile, more and more retailers are taking to social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to grab the attention of potential customers and slowly introduce the idea of social commerce.
Other than the odd success such as the 23-minute Air Jordan sell out on Snapchat, there has been no real success stories on social shopping. Even with there being a significant increase in the use of social media, social commerce only made up 2% of revenue in 2016 and around 34% of shoppers had never bought anything through social platforms by the end of 2017 and retailers are still waiting for social commerce to be the new way of shopping.
The use of social media has had many perks for retailers, such as playing a huge role in influencing consumers purchasing decisions through the use of celebrities and influencers and increasing product discoverability through consumer generated content. Even though the use of social media has helped see an increase in sales, social commerce still struggles to take off and here are the reasons why:
• Even though there is a great difference in which generations use social media, the younger generations are the ones who use it most frequently however tend to have less disposable income than those in the older generations. This creates difficulties for retailers as the different types of consumer groups can change depending on the social platform, which makes it difficult for them to decide what social platform to focus on and the risk of then running a tailored marketing campaigns for a consumer group that currently do not have the funds to make spontaneous purchases.
• Another reason that we don’t turn to social media to do our online shopping is that is isn’t as smooth running and simple as it could be. 68% of online shoppers stress the need for an easy to use mobile experience and with that only 19% of shoppers had ever purchased off social media, evidence that it isn’t yet up to the expected standard.
The future for social commerce is still uncertain, as social media has a lot of potential and has huge existing benefits for retailers, one thing that we know for certain is that someone is still to successfully establish a social shopping platform that creates an effortless experience for its consumers.