Social Shopping Platforms: The Future of Ecommerce

Do you want to know which social media platforms offer the best social shopping experience? We share the insights you need to increase your ecommerce sales.

Online shopping keeps getting easier. With evolving technology, a growing social media user base, and shopping functionality baked into more and more social networks, we are seeing shoppable products everywhere.

Users can browse their social media channels, view product pins, and make real-time purchases without switching apps. Social commerce is a beautiful example of how digital marketing can leverage optimization to improve the buyer’s journey. Now, it is time for your brand to step in and profit.

What Is Social Commerce?

Social commerce, also known as social shopping, is where ecommerce meets social media. Social shopping allows brands to sell products and services directly through their social media accounts in a streamlined path to purchase pipeline. Any time users make a purchase via a social media app, it’s considered social commerce.

Unlike regular online shopping, social commerce doesn’t require consumers to search for products they find in a social media post. Sellers can help customers avoid hunting for a link to an online store or needing extra research to complete the purchase. Retailers can link directly to a shopping cart in the social media app.

The Benefits of Social Commerce

Social commerce is quickly becoming a powerful marketing strategy for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Target Audience Engagement: Social media platforms provide direct access to diverse users. With smart content creation, brands can engage with their audience frequently. Regular engagement can reduce conversion friction by blurring the lines between awareness, consideration, and purchase decisions.
  • Seamless Buying Experience: Social commerce minimizes shopping experience friction. Every click or swipe needed during a purchase process complicates the purchase path. Avoiding the need to switch platforms reduces clicks and improves customer retention.
  • Enhanced Social Proof: Utilizing social media for commerce enables customers to easily share their experiences and reviews, boosting social proof and encouraging organic user-generated content that can increase brand awareness and drive sales.
  • Valuable Consumer Insights: Social commerce platforms have analytics tools that provide valuable data on user engagement, customer journeys, and content performance.
  • Increased Social Media Presence: Integrating social commerce strategies helps boost overall social media engagement and brand presence, as quality content and interactive shopping features attract more followers and potential buyers.

Top Social Commerce Platforms

Big-name social media apps with substantial monthly active users are ideal social shopping platforms for social commerce. For example, Meta’s Facebook Shops and Instagram Shopping can be used to improve new product visibility or boost small businesses’ brand awareness. Users can pick through product pages, make purchases, and communicate with customer service all in the same application.

TikTok, though newer on the scene, is taking the social shopping world by storm due to its growing number of users, space for influencer marketing, and hypnotizing feed. 

Other apps like Pinterest, Snapchat, and X are following suit and becoming popular places for social commerce. Additionally, platforms like Shopify and Amazon can now be added to different social media sources to give ecommerce brands the integrations they need to streamline their social commerce sales, regardless of the platform.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the social commerce features our “Big Three” social commerce platforms offer.

1. Instagram

Thanks to its extensive user base and comprehensive shopping features, Instagram is one of the most effective social media platforms for social selling. With over a billion active users, Instagram provides a huge potential audience for brands to tap into. The platform’s integrated shopping features, like Instagram Shopping, product tags, and in-app checkout, streamline the purchasing process for consumers.

Instagram Shopping

Instagram Shopping allows businesses to curate a digital storefront where users can browse and purchase products directly within the app. By setting up an Instagram Shop, brands can display their product catalog and publish shoppable posts and stories that make it easy for users to discover and buy products with just a few taps.

Product Tags

Product tags can be added to posts and stories, allowing users to see product details and prices by simply tapping on the image. This feature makes the shopping experience seamless and intuitive, reducing the friction between discovery and purchase.

In-App Checkout

Instagram’s in-app checkout feature allows users to complete their purchases without ever leaving the app. This reduces the steps required to buy a product, significantly improving the chances of conversion. By keeping the entire shopping experience within Instagram, brands can capitalize on impulse purchases and maintain user engagement.

Tips for Leveraging Instagram:

Instagram Stories: Use Instagram Stories to showcase new products, behind-the-scenes content, and limited-time offers. Stories are a great way to create a sense of urgency and exclusivity, encouraging users to make quick purchasing decisions. Utilize interactive features like polls, questions, and swipe-up links to engage with your audience and direct them to your shop.

Reels: Instagram Reels, the platform’s short-form video feature, is perfect for creating engaging, dynamic content that can reach a broader audience. Use Reels to demonstrate product uses, share customer testimonials, and reach non-followers.

Influencer Partnerships: Collaborating with influencers can amplify your reach and build trust with potential customers. Partner with influencers to host giveaways, live shopping events, and product reviews to boost engagement and sales.

2. TikTok

TikTok has quickly become a key player in the social shopping space, offering even small brands the opportunity for impressive growth and high engagement rates. Known for its highly addictive short-form video format and a feed driven by a consumer-preferred algorithm, TikTok captures users’ attention like no other platform. The platform’s shopping features, like TikTok Shop, shoppable posts, and live shopping, make it a great tool for ecommerce businesses.

TikTok Shop

Like Instagram, TikTok Shop allows brands to set up an online storefront directly within the app. This feature makes it easy for users to browse and purchase products without leaving the platform. Brands can also showcase their products through videos and live streams, making the shopping experience interactive and engaging.

Shoppable Posts

Shoppable posts on TikTok allow brands to tag products in their videos, creating an easy path from content to purchase. Users can tap on these tags to view product details and make purchases instantly. This integration makes it easier for users to act on their purchase impulses, driving higher conversion rates.

Live Shopping

TikTok’s live shopping feature allows brands to host live streams to showcase products, interact with viewers in real-time, and offer exclusive discounts. This interactive format creates a sense of urgency and community, encouraging viewers to make purchases during the live event.

Strategies for Leveraging TikTok as an Ecommerce Platform:

Create Authentic, Engaging Content: TikTok thrives on authenticity and creativity. Brands should focus on producing content that resonates with the platform’s culture and audience, using trends, challenges, and storytelling to capture viewers’ attention. Highlight your products in a natural and relatable way, avoiding overly polished or promotional content typically skipped over by TikTok’s younger Gen Z audience.

Collaborate with Influencers: Influencer partnerships are particularly effective on TikTok due to the platform’s emphasis on personal connection and trust. Work with influencers who align with your brand and have a strong following in your target demographic. Consider partnering for product reviews, tutorials, and live shopping events to maximize the partnership’s impact.

Utilize Hashtags and Challenges: TikTok users love participating in challenges and exploring content through hashtags. Create branded hashtags and challenges to encourage user-generated content and increase visibility. Engaging with popular trends and challenges can also help your content reach a wider audience.

Use TikTok Ads: Besides organic content, consider using TikTok’s advertising options to boost your reach. TikTok offers various ad formats, including In-Feed Ads, Branded Hashtag Challenges, and TopView Ads. These ads can help you target specific audiences, increase brand awareness, and drive traffic to your TikTok Shop.

3. Facebook

Thanks to its established user base and comprehensive shopping tools, Facebook remains a giant in the social shopping landscape. With billions of active users, Facebook offers a broad audience for ecommerce businesses to tap into. The platform’s extensive shopping features, like Facebook Shops, detailed product pages, and Messenger integration, provide a framework for brands to sell products and engage with customers effectively.

Facebook Shops

Facebook Shops allows businesses to create customizable online storefronts directly within the platform. Users can browse product catalogs, view detailed product pages, and purchase without leaving the app. The seamless shopping integration within the Facebook ecosystem simplifies the customer journey and enhances the shopping experience.

Product Pages

Detailed product pages on Facebook offer shoppers important information about each item, including descriptions, pricing, and images. These pages can also feature user reviews and ratings, helping potential customers make informed purchasing decisions.

Messenger Integration

Facebook Messenger integration allows users to ask questions, get support, and receive updates about their orders through Messenger. This direct line of communication helps build trust and ensures that customers feel supported throughout their shopping journey.

Recommendations for Using Facebook:

Use Facebook Ads: Facebook’s powerful advertising platform enables brands to target specific audiences precisely. Utilize Facebook Ads to promote your products, drive traffic to your Facebook Shop, and increase brand awareness. Experiment with different ad formats, such as carousel, video, and collection ads, to see which resonates best with your audience. Facebook’s advanced targeting options allow you to reach users based on demographics, interests, and behaviors, ensuring that the right people see your ads.

Engage with Customers through Messenger: Use Facebook Messenger to provide exceptional customer service and build strong relationships with your customers. Did you know that over 60% of online adults are more likely to do business with companies that offer instant messaging as a customer support channel? Respond promptly to inquiries, offer personalized assistance, and update order status. You can also use Messenger to send targeted messages and promotions to users who have interacted with your shop, encouraging repeat purchases.

Take Advantage of User-Generated Content: Encourage your customers to share their experiences with your products on Facebook. User-generated content (UGC) like reviews, photos, and videos can enhance your product pages and serve as powerful social proof. You can also share UGC on your business page to build credibility and inspire trust among potential customers.

Create Engaging Content: Maintain an active presence on Facebook by regularly posting engaging content that resonates with your audience. Share product highlights, behind-the-scenes looks, customer testimonials, and relevant industry news. Use a mix of post types, including images, videos, and live streams, to keep your content fresh and engaging.

Honorable Mentions


While not one of the “Big Three,” Pinterest is also an exceptional choice for product discovery in social commerce. Focusing on inspiration and aesthetics, Pinterest caters to a broad audience looking to find and purchase products that match their lifestyle and interests.

Here’s why Pinterest earns a place on our list of social shopping platforms:

  • 44% of millennial Pinners have purchased a product they saw on Pinterest.
  • 1 in 3 Pinterest shoppers have an average annual income of $100,000 or more.
  • Pinterest ads bring in 11.4x more prospects than competing social platforms.


Snapchat is a smaller platform, but it still offers unique shopping experiences, making it a compelling platform for social commerce. Snapchat leverages augmented reality (AR) and interactive content to cater to a younger demographic to create engaging and memorable shopping experiences.

Here’s why Snapchat is on our list:

  • Snapchatters are 45% more likely to recommend a brand after watching an ad on the platform.
  • Audiences are 34% more likely to buy items advertised on Snapchat than other platforms.
  • Snapchat ads can reach 75% of the 13 to 34-year-old population in more than 25 countries.

Effective Strategies for Social Shopping

Here are several strategies that can significantly impact the success of your social shopping efforts.

High-Quality Content Creation

Creating high-quality, platform-specific content will help you catch and retain consumer interest on social media. For Instagram, beautiful images in a carousel format and short, captivating videos with strong text hooks work best, while TikTok favors authentic content that resonates with a younger audience. On platforms like Facebook, informative posts and live videos can engage users more deeply.

Understanding Your Target Audience

Utilizing data and analytics is key to understanding who your audience is and what they want. By analyzing interactions and engagement, you can create detailed buyer personas and tailor your content to meet the preferences and needs of your audience.

Minimizing Friction in the Buying Process

A smooth, frictionless buying experience maximizes conversion potential in social commerce. Techniques including integrating product tags directly in posts, streamlining the in-app checkout process, and simplifying navigation can significantly reduce customers’ steps from discovery to purchase.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer partnerships can dramatically increase the reach and credibility of your brand on social media. Selecting the right influencers whose audience aligns with your target market and working with them to create engaging, authentic content can drive awareness and conversions.

Data and Analytics

Data is invaluable in crafting effective social commerce strategies. Key metrics to track include engagement rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and customer feedback. These insights can help refine your content strategy, improve product offerings, and optimize your overall marketing efforts for better performance.

Fine-Tuning your Social Commerce Strategy with First Media

Establishing a social shopping game plan from ground zero means you often start with little social presence and a limited relationship with your target audience. Making the transition and developing a social shopping experience that reinforces your ecommerce website means devoting substantial time to your social content and social media marketing strategy.

At First Media, we come equipped with an understanding of and relationship with your potential customers. As a comprehensive digital publisher, all our content, distribution platforms, and solutions for clients fit under one roof – owned and operated by us. We know our audience and give our clients access to our experience, user knowledge, and platform by publishing high-quality, action-driven content, incorporating proprietary AI technology to inform our data, and executing shoppable content that works. Learn more about partnering with First Media for real-world action.