4 Benefits of Social Commerce for CPG Brands

Is Social Commerce the right tool to boost your CPG brand messaging and customer engagement? We share four reasons why this D2C strategy can benefit your brand.

Open any social media app, and you’ll be offered endless chances to buy products quickly and conveniently through the platform. While it feels normal now, this functionality, known as social commerce, has only been around for the past few years. With the popularization of social commerce, online shopping is becoming even easier, allowing users to buy products where they spend most of their time: social media.

You may ask yourself, is social commerce a good fit for CPG brands? Is shopping convenience its only advantage? The team here at First Media has found a few ways social commerce can boost CPG brands. Let us share some ways you can benefit from this new trend.

What Is Social Commerce?

Before we look at the advantages of social commerce, let’s take a moment to explore what this term actually means.

Imagine a TikTok user scrolling through their feed before bed and stumbling upon a video posted by a popular influencer. The influencer showcases their morning skincare routine, highlighting their favorite new product. The user is intrigued and reads the comments, seeing other commenters also talking about how they love the product line. With a quick tap, they click the link to the product in the influencer’s bio, instantly being redirected to the product page within the TikTok app. Impressed by the positive reviews and the influencer’s recommendation, the user purchases the featured product with a frictionless and convenient shopping experience through the social media platform.

Social commerce refers to the integration of social media platforms with e-commerce functionalities, allowing users to discover, shop, and purchase products directly within the social media environment. Users can discover items, explore product catalogs, and purchase new finds through advertisements, brand and influencer posts, live videos, and profile links. You can take a closer look at some social commerce terms that might come in handy in our social commerce glossary.

Social commerce platforms are gaining popularity, from Instagram Shopping to Facebook Shops, TikTok, and Snapchat’s shopping features. And that omnipresence is a good thing for CPG brands. Here are four reasons why:

Benefit #1: Build Brand Awareness

Social media gives brands access to a wider audience than has ever been possible before. Social commerce plays on that access, leveraging the large user bases of popular social media platforms to let brands showcase their products directly to the millions of active users already engaged on those platforms. Social commerce also encourages earned media through user-generated content, such as reviews, recommendations, and user experiences, which can build more trust and credibility. Users sharing their positive experiences with a product or service creates a ripple effect, fostering a sense of community and loyalty while increasing brand awareness across social networks.

Social commerce also fosters a more personalized and interactive brand experience. Social media algorithms allow brands to target specific demographics and interests, tailoring content and advertisements to individual preferences. This personalized approach boosts customer engagement, as users are more likely to connect with brands that understand and cater to their needs. 

Benefit #2: Understand Your Audience

Social commerce utilizes data-driven insights to understand and effectively target specific audience demographics. Social commerce platforms enhance their understanding of the audience by analyzing customer data, algorithms, metrics, and real-time feedback. Here’s how:

Target Demographics: Social commerce platforms leverage customer data to identify and define target demographics. Analyzing user behavior, preferences, and interactions on social media helps you identify the specific characteristics of the social consumers in your audience and tailor your strategies and content to resonate with that demographic.

Customer Data Analysis: Social commerce relies on extensive customer data analysis, including purchase history, browsing behavior, and engagement patterns, to create customer profiles and understand individual preferences. By tracking and interpreting this information, social commerce platforms customize the user experience, recommend relevant products, and optimize the shopping journey.

Algorithms and Personalization: Social commerce platforms employ sophisticated algorithms to process and interpret vast amounts of customer data. These algorithms are key in providing personalized recommendations based on individual preferences and behavior. By continuously learning from user interactions, algorithms enhance the accuracy of product suggestions, creating a more personalized and targeted shopping experience.

Metrics for Performance Evaluation: Social commerce platforms utilize metrics to evaluate the performance of their strategies. Metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and engagement levels provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of content and campaigns. Analyzing these metrics in real-time can help you make data-driven decisions and adjust your approach to better align with the preferences and behaviors of your audience.

Shopping Features and User Interaction: Social commerce directly integrates shopping features into social media platforms, enabling users to purchase without leaving the app. The interaction with these shopping features generates valuable data on user preferences, product interests, and the effectiveness of various marketing tactics. Real-time data from user interactions informs social commerce strategies, allowing you to adapt and refine your approach based on immediate audience responses.

Real-Time Feedback and Adaptation: Social commerce platforms actively engage with real-time user feedback. Whether through comments, reviews, or other forms of interaction, brands can gain instant insights into customer sentiments and preferences. This real-time feedback loop enables social commerce to adapt quickly, addressing concerns, capitalizing on positive feedback, and refining strategies to better align with the audience’s evolving needs.

Benefit #3: Simplifying the Path to Purchase

Social commerce plays a significant role in making a seamless shopping experience by integrating enhanced functionality directly into social media platforms. The seamless integration allows users to discover, explore, and buy products without leaving their preferred social networks. With the advent of in-app storefronts and a user-friendly interface, online shopping has become more intuitive, eliminating the need for consumers to navigate multiple external websites. Integrating a “buy button” directly within shoppable social media posts or advertisements enhances purchasing convenience, reducing friction in the customer journey and encouraging impulsive buying decisions.

Impulse-driven discovery, instant gratification, and personalized shopping – the social commerce experience is heaven for social users. Social commerce lets users snag items the moment they make a purchase decision. And social commerce isn’t just about one-click wonders; it’s about creating tailored experiences. Platforms recommend products based on your browsing history and preferences, making discovery effortless and relevant. Customers go from seeing a perfect pair of shoes on a Facebook page or TikTok fashion reel to having the product land in their virtual shopping carts with the personalization social media algorithms offer.

Live shopping is another dynamic aspect of social commerce that simplifies the path to purchase. Brands can showcase new products or host live demonstrations, allowing consumers to engage with the products in real time and make informed decisions. The interactive and personalized approach transforms the traditional online store experience into a more immersive and engaging one. Additionally, the product catalog functionality within social commerce platforms enables businesses to curate and display their offerings effectively, improving users’ overall online shopping experience. The addition of chatbots makes these features even more convenient for users and brands. Helping you automate customer care, chatbots can solve problems and effectively and efficiently take users from product discovery to purchase.

By streamlining the process from product discovery to checkout, social commerce creates a more efficient and user-friendly path to purchase, benefiting the growth of nearly any e-commerce business.

Benefit #4: Leverage Social Proof

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – authenticity is the true currency for digital marketing strategies. Social commerce gives brands a chance to use authentic engagement to its fullest extent in a few ways:

User-generated content (UGC): Social commerce actively encourages the creation and sharing of user-generated content, including reviews, testimonials, photos, and videos. Authentic content serves as social proof, influencing potential new customers by showcasing real people enjoying and endorsing products. It becomes a powerful tool in social media marketing, helping in the discovery of products by presenting them in a relatable context.

Influencer marketing: Collaborating with influencers and aligning with a brand’s values and target audience is an important approach for most social media marketing, especially for social commerce. And, with the advent of social commerce, influencers offer new customers even more avenues for hitting the buy button. Influencers can make their posts shoppable and integrate links to Shopify and other plug-ins on their profiles to add more ways your users can go through checkout. And influencers’ authentic endorsement of products provides social proof and contributes to product discovery for their followers, helping you reach new customers through their trusted recommendations.

Community building: Social commerce platforms facilitate the creation of online communities around products or services. These communities serve as hubs for social proof, with customers sharing experiences and opinions. Actively participating in these communities is an integral part of social media marketing for social commerce, fostering a sense of belonging and trust. It also aids in product discovery as community members exchange insights and recommendations.

Transparency and honesty: Authentic engagement in social commerce is synonymous with transparency and honesty. This openness is crucial in social media marketing, contributing to social proof and building trust among existing and potential new customers. Transparent communication about product features and values enhances consumers’ product discovery experience.

Interactive content: Social commerce platforms enable interactive content like polls, quizzes, and live videos. This interactive approach enhances social media marketing efforts, actively engaging existing and potential customers. Interactive content contributes to authentic engagement, driving product discovery as users actively participate in the brand’s content, making the overall experience more dynamic and compelling for new customers.

Why Social Commerce Matters for Omnichannel Marketing

Social commerce is a pivotal part of an omnichannel marketing strategy. Effective omnichannel marketing connects the customer journey with every marketing channel, including out-of-home marketing, social media e-commerce sites, traditional e-commerce platforms, and more. This approach particularly benefits small businesses looking to enhance their online presence and reach a diverse audience. Here’s how social commerce contributes to omnichannel marketing:

Integration With Social Media E-commerce Sites: Social commerce involves the integration of shopping features directly into social media platforms. This integration allows businesses to extend their reach beyond traditional e-commerce sites. Customers can view product pages and purchase items directly through social media, creating a more fluid and interconnected shopping experience.

Traditional E-commerce Platforms: Social commerce complements traditional e-commerce by providing an additional avenue for customer engagement and transactions. Small businesses, in particular, can leverage social media platforms to showcase their products, share customer testimonials, and drive traffic to their traditional e-commerce websites. This synergy enhances the omnichannel experience, seamlessly connecting customers between social media and dedicated e-commerce sites.

SEO Benefits: Social commerce contributes to search engine optimization (SEO) efforts by creating more touchpoints for the brand across various platforms. As search engines often index social media content, businesses can enhance online visibility. This increased visibility on social media and traditional e-commerce platforms helps attract users from everywhere, including millennials and Gen Z, who frequently rely on online searches and recommendations to discover new products.

Enhanced Customer Experience: Omnichannel marketing emphasizes delivering a seamless and consistent experience across different channels. Social commerce contributes to this by providing an additional interaction layer within the customer journey. Small businesses can leverage social media to showcase products and engage with customers through comments, direct messages, and interactive content, creating a more holistic customer experience.

Cross-Platform Consistency: Social commerce ensures consistency in branding and messaging across various platforms. By maintaining a unified presence on social media, traditional e-commerce sites, and out-of-home channels, businesses can reinforce their brand identity and provide a cohesive experience for customers. This consistency is a fundamental aspect of successful omnichannel marketing.

Starting Your Social Commerce Strategy

It’s clear – if you want to enhance engagement, boost sales, and foster lasting customer loyalty, social commerce is the way. Starting a social commerce strategy from scratch or learning the ins and outs of making it the most successful strategy can be challenging without expertise. At First Media, our experience in omnichannel marketing, social media, and social commerce lets us guide our brand partners in finding the most effective social commerce strategy for any industry. Lead more about partnering with First Media for powerful strategic growth.